Types of Work Permits in Turkey

Created : 07 Dec 2021
Turkish work visa

By Justin Mays:

A work permit, also known as a work visa is a document that shows one’s employment status in a foreign country. Different countries have different ways of granting work permits to foreign employees. There are penalties given to employers with foreign workers who do not have work permits. Foreign employees who are found without work permits may also be deported. 


Foreign workers who work for companies or independently must make sure that they get a work permit from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in accordance with the law on work permits for foreigners. There are four different types of work permits (described below) in Turkey and different workers fall under different categories.

Work Permit for a Definite Period

When a foreigner applies for a work permit and it is accepted in accordance with Labour Law No 6735, they are granted the work permit for a period of one year. The work permit duration should not exceed the term labor contract signed by the employer. After this period, a two-year work permit can be granted to the employee if they wish to continue to work in the country and provided that they continue to work at the same company. The following applications will be granted three years maximum work permit. 

Work Permit for an Indefinite Period

Foreigners in Turkey who have a long-term residence permit and work permit with a minimum of eight years are allowed to apply for an indefinite period work permit. A Turkish foreigner with an indefinite period work permit can benefit from rights granted to Turkish citizens expect rights which include military service, the right to be voted and elected, and a right to work at a public service institution. 

Independent Work Permit

With this particular permit, the Ministry evaluates who gets this work permit according to the following criteria. The level of education of an individual, secondly, professional experience is also weighed. For someone to also qualify for an independent work permit, one’s contribution to the science and technology industry in the country is scrutinized. To add to this, one’s investment contribution of an individual to Turkey economically is evaluated by the Ministry. If an individual has invested in the country and is a shareholder of a foreign company, they have a chance to qualify for an independent work permit.

Turquoise Card

Since the demand for work permits has increased annually, the Turkish government has come up with a Turquoise card. It is given to highly qualified individuals such as artists, scientists, athletes, investors, or those who own property in the country. The turquoise card work either as the work permit or the residence permit without a given specific period of time. The wife/husband and the children (below 18) of the turquoise cardholder have the right to get permanent residence.

However, this card can be revoked or canceled when an individual submits forged documents or when they stop working for more than 6 months. More so, if a turquoise cardholder fails to renew his/her passport or does not return to Turkey in two years after traveling, the card will be canceled. 

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