Types of Work Permits in Turkish Legislation

According to the International Work Force Law No.6735 ("IWFL"), it is mandatory to obtain a work permit for the foreigners who would like to work in Turkey.
Abdülkadir Güzeloğlu & Tarık Kurban

The mandatory work permit necessity is applicable for the followings persons:                

i. Foreign employees who will work in Turkey                

ii. Foreigners who would like to start their own business in Turkey                

iii. Foreign managers of limited liability companies, or foreign board members of joint stock companies, or foreign unlimited managing partners of limited partnership divided into shares.

Types of Work Permits

There are 4 types of work permits:                

1. Temporary work permit                

2. Permanent work permit                

3. Independent work permit                

4. Turquoise Card work permit

1. Temporary work permit                

Temporary work permits can only be obtained by the employer on behalf of the employee or through intermediary institutions. That means a foreign employee can not apply for a temporary work permit by himself/herself.                

On the initial application, a maximum of one years of valid work permit may be granted. After the first period of one year, employee can apply for the extension of the work permit. If the application for extension of work permit is evaluated positively, the Applicant may be granted work permit for up to 2 years for the first extension application and up to 3 years for the subsequent extension application. Thus, it is possible to work for a maximum of 1 + 2 + 3 = 6 years with the temporary work permit.                

But the work permit can be extended only if the foreigner is working for the same employer through the work permit period.

2. Permanent work permit                

Pursuant to IWFL, the persons who are granted long-term resident permit or the persons who have been having at least eight years of legal work permit can apply for the permanent work permit.                

Permanent work permit provides all the benefits of a long-term residency permit. Accordingly, persons who have permanent work permit benefit almost all the citizenship rights that are granted for the Turkish citizens.

3. Independent work permit                

Independent work permits are issued for the persons who have been living in Turkey continuously at least for 5 years, creates value on economic development and has a positive effect on employment.

4. A special work permit for the Exclusive Employees: Turquoise Card                 

In addition to above-mentioned work permits, IWFL introduces a special type of work permit that is called Turquoise Card. The Turquoise Card can be granted to foreigners who have a sufficient degree of education, occupational experience and contribution to the technology, employment and economy of Turkey.                

A Turquoise card provides all the benefits of a permanent work permit for its holder. Consequently, the persons who has Turquoise Card can benefit almost all rights that are granted for the Turkish citizens such as social security, unemployment payment etc. Foreigners can apply for a Turquoise Card by themselves or through their employers.
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Author: Abdülkadir Güzeloğlu & Tarık Kurban
Relevant Fields: Citizenship and Foreigners Law