Work Employment Visa In Turkey: Explained

Work Employment Visa In Turkey

From the bustling bazaars of Istanbul to the pristine beaches of Antalya, Turkey offers more than just captivating landscapes; it’s a burgeoning hub for global employment. Looking for placement in Turkey and want a visa? Fret not! We’ve got your back!

Before you pack your work attire and Turkish phrasebook. Let’s demystify the ins and outs of the work employment visa.

Let’s dive in!


Working In Turkey

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Most expats who move to Turkey do so for the sunny skies and its ideal retirement options. Thousands of expats are working in Turkey, and many more are trying to relocate to take advantage of professional opportunities.

Turkey’s conservative approach to issuing work permits is a limiting factor for foreign nationals. 

Despite improvements in bureaucracy, the government is still hesitant to grant too many of these prized pieces of paperwork as a result of the country’s high unemployment rate.

What Is a Turkish Work Visa?

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Obtaining a work visa to Turkey is one of the best and most reliable methods of obtaining Turkish residence. 

This method is unlike a tourist residence you apply for after entering Turkey. A Turkey work visa is one of those residences you do not apply for, but the employer who wants to hire you applies for your Turkish work visa.

So, when working residency is your goal, you need to find somewhere in Turkey willing to hire you. It doesn’t matter if the business owner is an Iranian, an Arab, or a Turk; It is essential that a Turkish company has the necessary conditions for hiring foreign workers.

A Turkish company with at least 5 Turkish workers and capital above 100 thousand liras can apply for employment and work residence in Turkey. When you send your documents to that company, you will receive an official job offer. 

After this step, the Turkish company will accept your insurance code, and you will be issued a blue residence card or work visa.

As we explained, the company that applies for your work residence must have the necessary conditions for this subject based on the rules announced on the website of the Turkish Immigration Department.

Do You Need A Visa To Work In Turkey?

Aside from nationals of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, all world citizens need a work visa and a work permit to work in Turkey. 

How To Apply For A Turkey Work Visa?

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The application process for a Turkish work visa differs a bit from the application process for other Turkish visas. This is because the application process for a Turkish work visa involves two sides: the employee and the employer.

Note that you must have a job offer or contract before applying for a Turkey employment visa. You must start the procedures to get this visa with a concrete job offer in Turkey.

Below, you can find all the necessary information you need to know before applying.

When And Where To Apply

You should apply for a Turkish Work Visa as soon as you get a job offer to work in Turkey. Yet the earliest you can apply is two months before your departure to Turkey. Whereas, the latest you can apply is one month before.

You should submit your application file to the Turkish embassy or consulate in your country of residence. 

In some countries, you may have to submit your application at a third-party visa application center, to which Turkey has outsourced visa submission.

Within 10 days after your application, your employer should submit other documents required from his side to the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS). 

If your employer fails to deliver the documents on time, your application will be rejected for being incomplete.

Select The Right Turkish Work Visa

Depending on the field of employment in Turkey, when you complete the online form for a Turkish Work Visa, you will need to select one of the employment types listed below:

  • Employment Purpose/Special Employment Purpose
  • Assigned Lecturers/Academics
  • Assigned Sportsperson
  • Assigned Artists
  • Assigned Free Zone Workers
  • Assigned Journalists
  • Montage and Repairman Purposes

Required Documents To Apply For A Turkey Work Visa

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To apply for a Turkish Visa, you must submit a few documents on the day of your interview. These documents are:

  • Completed Turkey work visa application form.
  • Your valid passport. Should be valid for at least another six months after you arrive in Turkey.
  • Two photos. You should submit biometric photos that are taken within six months.
  • Police clearance certificate. This document will prove that you are not under criminal investigation or haven’t had legal issues.
  • Job offer or contract. The document must indicate your job position, the monthly salary, and the contract validity period.
  • Sworn translation or an official certified translation of the diploma or provisional graduation certificate.
  • Diploma or Provisional Graduation Equivalency Certificate. This document should be obtained in accordance with the Turkish Regulation on the Equivalence of Diplomas from Foreign Higher Education Institutions.
  • Medical Insurance. Covering the whole of Turkey for the whole period of your intended stay here.
  • Evidence of accommodation in Turkey. This could be a rent agreement or proof of a real estate property in Turkey.
  • Means of subsistence. The Turkish authorities demand evidence of having at least €50 for every day you plan to spend in Turkey.
  • Proof of booked flight tickets. If you are planning to travel to Turkey by plane, you will need to book a roundtrip flight and present this document to the embassy or consulate on the day of your appointment.

According to your case and nationality, the embassy that processes your application may ask you to submit additional documents. Make sure you submit all of them on time.

Turkish Employment Visa Appointment

On the day of your visa appointment, show up on time at the embassy, consulate, or visa application center. Ensure you have all the required documents and everything is present. 

The interview is a short meeting with a consular officer, who will ask questions about your new job offer and background.

Try preparing for your interview prior to this day. Make sure you are relaxed and answer every question correctly.

After the interview, you should notify your employer in Turkey. The employer must submit additional documents to the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS) within ten working days of your application.

Turkey Work Permit Application

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A Turkey work visa application is only helpful with the work permit application. While the foreign employee should apply for a Turkish work visa, the employer in Turkey should complete the application process for a work permit.

The Turkey work permit is equivalent to a residence permit.

How To Apply For A Turkey Work Permit

Within ten days after your visa appointment at the Turkish embassy or consulate in your country of residence, your employer in Turkey should complete an online application at the website of the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS).

Upon the completion of the application, the employer should send to the embassy the required documents, either via mail or in person. 

This should be completed within ten days after your interview and within a maximum of six business days after the online application. Please calculate the time with your employer so you don’t lose the chance of getting a work visa only because of deadlines.

Required Documents For A Turkey Work Permit

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The employer in Turkey should submit the following as a part of a Turkey Work Permit application:

  • Work permit application letter.
  • Foreign personnel application form.
  • The Trade Registry Gazette of Turkey details the current shareholding and capital structure of the entity.
  • A balance sheet and profit/loss statement for the most recent year, certified by the tax office or a certified public accountant.
  • Notarized power of Attorney for the person authorized to file the online application as a user on behalf of the entity or organization to employ the foreigner.

Upon the submission of these documents, all that is left to do for you and your employer is to wait for the processing of your application.

Turkey Visa And Work Permit Application Processing

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After your employer submits the required documents for a Turkish work permit, the ministry takes a maximum of thirty days to come up with a decision.

The ministry concludes the procedures regarding duly submitted work permit applications within a maximum of thirty days, provided all required documents are submitted in full.

The ministry forwards the affirmative or negative decision regarding the work permit application to the relevant consulate of the Republic of Turkey (via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

After You Get A Turkish Work Visa

After your application is approved, you have a maximum of hundred and eighty days to enter Turkey.  

As soon as you arrive in Turkey, you are required to register with the Address Registry System in Turkey within a maximum of one month after your arrival.

Prohibited Occupations For Obtaining A Turkish Work Visa

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Suppose you intend to immigrate to Turkey and obtain a work residence. In that case, you should know that in all employment in this country, priority is given to Turkish citizens, then Iranians and other foreign nationals. 

It is interesting to know that there is a list of jobs in this country that you, as an immigrant, are not allowed to do in this country; these jobs are:


Veterinary medicine





All jobs related to shipping

Tourism agency management

Hospital Manager

Job Market In Turkey

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Those who have been lucky enough to be brought aboard by an employer willing to support their job contract will find the Turkish labor force generally hard-working and dedicated, with few qualms about working after hours if necessary.

The Turkish economy is growing consistently. It has been lauded for its complex mix of modern industry, commerce, and traditional agricultural sector.

It is still possible for expats with an adequate skill set and a bit of determination to find jobs in Turkey. Most often, foreigners obtain employment working in the tourism, teaching, real estate, and finance fields in the more expat-friendly cities of Istanbul and Ankara. 

These major metropolises also present opportunities in the engineering, information technology, construction, finance, supply chain management, marketing, and sales departments, although positions in these fields are more of a rarity.

As in the past, expats have plenty of opportunities to teach English in Turkey. Many institutions merely require a college degree with no formal teaching training necessary, although having the appropriate qualifications will assist in getting the job. 

Adequate salaries accompany these positions, but expats looking to support a family will need a more significant income.

Nevertheless, the Turkish job market is restricted to foreigners, and expats are prohibited from working in specific fields. 

For example, foreigners are not allowed to be employed in the mining industry, as executive directors of travel agencies, and in some professional occupations, such as pharmacy, nursing, and dentistry.

Work Culture In Turkey

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Generally, Turks are hospitable towards foreign workers. This is ideal for expats as business can be intimate in Turkey. Turks like to take time to form relationships and prefer doing business with those they trust. 

Turkish business culture is also exceptionally hard-working, and new arrivals should expect to work longer hours than they may be used to.

Business is hierarchical in Turkey. Those in senior positions are respected, and their decisions are typically not questioned publicly.

It is also essential for expats to remember that although Turkey is a secular state, Islam is the dominant religion and does have an impact on business culture. 

Respecting religious practices and acknowledging how these may impact office hours or colleagues’ behaviors will assist expats in gaining the trust and respect of their coworkers. Moreover, this will also help expats adjust to the working environment in Turkey.

Essential Things You Need To Know Before Living In Turkey

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Turkey has much to offer for all foreigners who are planning to live in the country. 

With its infrastructure, the standard of living, the low cost of living, the uncomplicated process of getting a work permit or residence permit, and the currency rate of TL.

Moreover, the advantage of getting Turkish citizenship by investment, living in Turkey is an excellent idea for all foreign nationals.

Cost Of Living And Housing

Living in Turkey is not expensive for EU and US foreigners. Except for certain locations, housing, and living costs are cheaper than in their home countries. 

Although the regional differences affect the cost of living, the average cost of rent, transportation, food, and daily expenses are still much lower than in the EU or the US. Also, the housing costs options, ranging from villas to apartment flats, are more reasonable in Turkey.

Residence And Work Permit

Foreigners deciding to live in Turkey must get their residence or work permit to stay in the country after the 90-day visa period

Before moving to Turkey foreigners should apply for a work permit with required documents from the consulates of the Republic of Turkey in their country. 

After the initial application, online applications should be made through the e-Government portal of Turkey ( and direct applications to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in Turkey within 10 days. 

Residence permit applications are also made through the Directorate General of Migration Management’s e-residence system first. 

Following the online application, foreigners should submit the required documents to the local Directorate General of Migration Management offices.

Currency Rate Of Turkish Lira

For foreigners coming from Europe or America, the currency rate of Turkish Lira is a great advantage for them. In the last year, house sales surged in Turkey due to the currency rate fall, and sales to foreign nationals climbed 78% in 2018. 

Most home buyers who want to live in Turkey are from Europe and the Middle East. The currency rate of TL also attracts business owners from the nearest countries as well as EU countries such as the UK, Netherlands, Spain, and the USA.

Turkey also offers Turkish citizenship to foreigners by investment. 

If you have established a business for at least 50 full-time jobs for Turkish citizens or made a capital investment of at least $500 K, you can apply for Turkish citizenship.

Popular Regions To Live In Turkey

Turkey offers many options to foreigners who want to buy a house or establish a business and live in the country. 

The most popular regions to live in Turkey for foreign nationals are Istanbul, Aegean, and Mediterranean coast cities. 

While most business owners prefer to establish their business and live in Istanbul, foreigners prefer to live and buy property in many peaceful regions such as the Alanya region in Antalya, Bodrum, Fethiye, Marmaris, Didim, or Side.

Learn A Few Turkish Words

Last but not least, starting to learn Turkish before your move will be a great advantage for you. Learning Turkish may be challenging without a proper Turkish course, but you can learn a few valid words that come in handy when you travel to Turkey. 

The Turkish language may be challenging to learn, but after you start to live in Turkey, you will pick up the Turkish language much faster.


Embarking on a professional journey in Turkey promises rich experiences and cultural immersion. With a clear understanding of the employment visa process, you’re not just securing a job; you’re unlocking an adventure in this Eurasian wonderland.

Career Conquered!

But wait! There’s lot more that you might be interested in following:

  • Job Seeker Visa In Turkey
  • Types Of Visas In Turkey
  • Income Tax Brackets In Turkey