Foreigners working in Turkey possible upon receipt of specific permission. Foreigners in Turkey can get a Periodicals work permit, permanent work permit, independent work permit or turquoise card. Applications for work permits are submitted to the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Interior Directorate General of Migration Management.


There are four types of foreigners allowed to work in Turkey.


Work permits for temporary work are regulated by law. According to the International Labor Law No. 6735, work permit application is given to the foreigner accepted. A maximum of one-year work permit is granted for the first application for a specific job, provided that it does not exceed the term of employment or service. The work permit of the foreigner is extended for certain periods if the application for extension is evaluated positively. If the employee works under the same employer, a maximum of two years is allowed for the first extension application and up to three years for the next extension applications. However, applications made to work with a different employer are also re-evaluated. The foreigner is required to work in a specific workplace of a real or legal person or a public institution and organization or in the workplaces of the same business.


The foreigner who has a permanent work permit shall have all the rights provided by the long-term residence permit. Foreigners who have a work permit indefinitely benefit from the rights granted to Turkish citizens. The foreigner who has a permanent work permit does not have the right to choose, to be elected and to take part in public duties and to perform military service.


If a foreigner is a member of a professional group and fulfills the special conditions specified in other laws, an independent work permit may be granted. Foreign person’s level of education, professional experience, science and technology contribution, to the investment activities in Turkey or the country’s economy and its effect on employment is evaluated. If the foreigner is a company partner, the share of capital and other matters determined by the Ministry shall be evaluated in line with the recommendations of the International Labor Policy Advisory Board. The Independent work permit is also granted for a period of time.


Turkuaz card is a recognized facility for foreigners in line with international labor policy. Foreign education, professional experience, the contribution of science and technology, the impact of the investment activities in Turkey or the national economy and employment is determined in accordance with the recommendations of the International Labor Policy Advisory Board and the procedures and principles determined by the Ministry. The turquoise card is given if deemed appropriate.

This application can be made one hundred and eighty days before the end of the transition period, in any case before the end of the transition period. If this period expires, the application for the cancellation of the registration period is rejected and the Turkuaz Card becomes invalid. The Turkuaz Card holder’s foreigner’s spouse and dependent children are provided with a certificate stating that they are relatives of Turkuaz Cardholders. This document replaces the residence permit.

The Turkuaz Cardholder foreigner also benefits from the rights provided by the indefinite work permit issued in this Law. The people who are considered as qualified foreigners in Turkuaz Card application: Those who have internationally accepted studies in academic field; those who have come to the forefront in an area that is considered strategic in terms of science, industry and technology for our country; those which contribute or are expected to contribute significantly to the national economy as export, employment or investment capacity.

NOTE: Provisions of this Article do not apply to foreigners who are granted temporary protection.

ASG Law & Consultancy Office located in Ankara, with its lawyers specialized in the field of foreign law; takes part in the application, follow-up and dispute processes alongside their clients. Conducting the processes together with the professionals will prevent loss of rights and will help to finalize the processes the most advantageous way. You can contact us to get legal advice and advice on matters related to the Law of Foreigners.

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