Residence Permit and Work PermitQuestions About Turkish Work Permits Answered

Navigating the legal intricacies of obtaining a work permit in Turkey can be a daunting task. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify the process and answer the most common questions foreigners have about work permits in Turkey.

What is a Work Permit and Who Needs One?

A work permit is a legal document that grants foreigners the right to work in Turkey. It is issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and is mandatory for any foreign national seeking employment in Turkey.

What are the Types of Work Permits?

Work permits in Turkey can be classified into three categories, namely:

  1. Temporary Work Permit: This permit is granted for a maximum duration of one year during the first application.
  2. Permanent Work Permit: Foreigners who have legally worked in Turkey for at least eight years or have a long-term residence permit are eligible to apply for this permit.
  3. Independent Work Permit: This permit is granted to foreigners in professional occupations for a limited period, provided they meet specific criteria stipulated in other laws.

How Do I Apply for a Work Permit?

There are two ways to apply for a work permit in Turkey:

  1. Domestic Application: This is for foreigners who are already residing in Turkey and have a valid residence permit for at least six months.
  2. Overseas Application: This is for foreigners who are not currently residing in Turkey. The application process begins by applying for a work visa at the Turkish embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country.

What Documents are Required for a Work Permit Application?

The following documents are typically required for a work permit application:

  1. A completed Work Permit Application Form
  2. Passport or equivalent document
  3. Four recent passport-sized photographs
  4. Declaration of sufficient and regular financial resources for the duration of stay
  5. Valid Health Insurance
  6. Additional supporting documents based on the type of work permit applied for

How Do I Extend My Work Permit?

You can apply for an extension of your work permit within 60 days prior to its expiration. Applications made after this period are treated as first-time applications.

What are the Legal Requirements for a Work Permit?

According to Turkish legislation, specifically Law No. 6735, Law No. 4875, Law No. 6458, Law No. 5901, and Law No. 2547, foreigners looking to work in Turkey must meet certain legal requirements. Some of these include having a valid residence permit, obtaining health insurance, and providing proof of sufficient financial resources.

What to Do in Case of Work Permit Rejection?

In the unfortunate event that your work permit application gets rejected, you have the right to appeal against the decision. For detailed information on the appeal process, you can refer to the article, “Appealing against a Turkish Work Permit Rejection in Istanbul”.

How Do I Renew My Turkish Work Permit?

The renewal process for a Turkish work permit involves submitting an extension application within 60 days prior to its expiration. For a detailed guide on how to renew your work permit, you can refer to the article, “How to Renew Turkish Work Permit”

What Services Does the Istanbul Law Office Provide?

Navigating the legal intricacies of obtaining a work permit in Turkey can be a daunting task. At the Istanbul Law Office, we have a team of expert Turkish work permit lawyers in Istanbul who can guide you through the entire process, ensuring that all legal requirements are met and any potential issues are addressed promptly.

Our English and Turkish-speaking team of attorneys is well-versed with the intricacies of Turkish law and has an excellent track record of service. We provide professional legal services in a variety of areas, ensuring that our clients receive the best possible legal assistance.

You can reach out to our law firm through our Contact Page for any legal queries related to your work permit or residence permit applications.


Q1: Do I need a work permit to work in Istanbul?

Yes, any foreign national who wishes to work in Istanbul needs to obtain a work permit. This applies to both employees and self-employed individuals.

Q2: How do I apply for a work permit?

Work permit applications are taken by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. The application must be made through an employer or a business. A foreigner cannot apply for a work permit on their own without an employer.

Q3: How do I extend my work permit?

If you wish to extend your work permit, you must apply for an extension within 15 days of the expiry of your current permit. Applications for extension made after this period will be treated as first-time applications.

Q4: Do I need a residence permit to live in Istanbul?

Yes, any non-Turkish citizen wishing to stay in Istanbul beyond their visa period or visa exemption period needs to apply for a residence permit.

Q5: How do I apply for a residence permit?

The application for a residence permit is made online through the website of the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management in each city. After the online application, you will need to submit the necessary documents and attend an interview.


Living and working in Istanbul can be a fulfilling and exciting experience. However, the legal procedures involved in acquiring work and residence permits can be complex. At İstanbul Law Office, our team of experienced attorneys can assist you throughout the process, ensuring a smooth transition into your new life in Istanbul. We invite you to contact our law firm for professional legal assistance. We look forward to serving you.