Residence Permit and Work PermitObtaining a Turkish Work Permit in Istanbul

Istanbul, the vibrant heart of Turkey, is not just a hub of cultural heritage and scenic beauty, but is also a thriving metropolis offering ample job opportunities. Foreign nationals eyeing to work in Istanbul must be privy to the need for a valid Istanbul work permit. This article serves as a complete guide, detailing the necessary steps and documents required to secure a Turkish work permit in Istanbul.

What is a Work Permit?

A work permit is a legal document that grants foreign nationals the right to work in a foreign country. In the context of Turkey, it is issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS). It is essential to understand that a work permit is separate from a residence permit, although the two often go hand in hand. Working in Turkey without a valid work permit is considered illegal and can result in severe penalties.

Types of Work Permits in Turkey

Turkey offers various types of work permits, each catering to different employment scenarios. These include:

Short-term Work Permit

This permit is valid for up to one year at the first application, provided that the applicant works at a specific workplace within a certain job under a real or legal person, or a public institution. The permit’s validity doesn’t exceed the duration of the employment or service contract.

Long-term Work Permit

Foreign nationals who have a long-term residence permit or a legal work permit for at least eight years are eligible to apply for a permanent work permit. However, fulfilling these criteria does not guarantee an absolute legal right to the applicant. Foreign nationals with permanent work permits enjoy the same rights as Turkish citizens, excluding the provisions of special laws.

Independent Work Permit

Professional foreigners who meet the specific conditions stipulated in other laws can apply for an independent work permit. This permit is granted for a limited period of time.

Turquoise Card

The Turquoise Card is granted to foreigners who are deemed appropriate considering their level of education, professional experience, contributions to science and technology, and the impact of their investment on Turkey’s economy and employment.

Applying for a Turkish Work Permit in Istanbul

The application process for a Turkish Work Permit is two-fold, involving both the employee and the employer. It is essential to have a job offer or job contract before applying for a Turkish work permit.

Step-by-Step Guide to the Application Process

Step 1: Online Application

The initial step is to fill in the online application form on the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security’s website. The form asks for details about your identity and purpose of visit. Upon completion, you will receive an interview appointment date.

Step 2: Document Preparation

You need to gather a set of documents that are to be presented on the day of your interview. These include:

  • A copy of your valid passport
  • Two recent biometric photos
  • A certified copy of the diploma or a temporary graduation certificate
  • A copy of the job contract signed by your employer
  • Proof of your medical insurance coverage in Turkey
  • Document showing your place of residence in Turkey
  • Proof that you have enough financial means to support yourself during your stay in Turkey

Step 3: Interview Appointment

The interview is a short meeting with a consular officer, who will ask you questions related to your job offer and background. It’s wise to prepare in advance and ensure you have all the required documents for a smooth process.

Step 4: Employer’s Application

Once the interview is over, your employer in Turkey should submit additional documents to the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS) within ten working days after your application.

Renewing Your Turkish Work Permit

Renewing your work permit is a straightforward process, similar to the initial application. You can apply for renewal up to 60 days before your current permit’s expiration but not later than one month before it expires.

Common Misconceptions About Work Permits in Turkey

Some common misconceptions about work permits in Turkey include the belief that a residence permit is sufficient to work legally in Turkey, or that once you receive a work permit, you can work anywhere in Turkey. Both these assumptions are incorrect. A separate work permit is mandatory to work legally, and a work permit is usually issued for a specific job at a specific workplace.

Legal Assistance in Turkish Work Permit Applications

Navigating the complexities of Turkish immigration laws can be challenging. At the İstanbul Law Office, we have a team of experienced Turkish work permit lawyers in Istanbul, well-versed with the intricacies of the Turkish work permit application process. Our lawyers, proficient in both English and Turkish, are equipped to provide comprehensive legal support to ensure a hassle-free application process.

FAQ Section

Q1. What is the validity of a Turkish Work Permit?

A Turkish Work Permit is initially valid for up to one year. It can be renewed for up to two years for the first renewal and up to three years for subsequent renewals.

Q2. Can I work anywhere in Turkey with a Turkish Work Permit?

No, a Turkish Work Permit is usually issued for a specific job at a specific workplace.

Q3. Can I work in Turkey with just a residence permit?

No, to work legally in Turkey, you need a valid work permit, even if you have a residence permit.

Q4. How soon can I renew my Turkish Work Permit?

You can apply for renewal of your Turkish Work Permit up to 60 days before its expiration.

Q5. Can the İstanbul Law Office assist me with my work permit application?

Yes, at the İstanbul Law Office, we have a team of experienced Turkish work permit lawyers who can guide you through the entire application process.


Navigating the intricacies of Turkish immigration laws and work permit applications can be daunting. With intricate procedures and in-depth documentation, it’s crucial to have professional legal help. At the İstanbul Law Office, our team of skilled attorneys and legal experts can assist you in every step of your Turkish work permit application in Istanbul, ensuring a seamless process. We encourage you to contact our law firm for any queries or assistance with your work permit application.