Employment And Work Permits in Turkey 2021

If you are willing to work in Turkey, you need work permits in Turkey. The work permit needs to be acquired before you start the work and it is illegal for an employer to allow workers to begin working before they have their work permit. It is also illegal for any employee to start working before they have acquired their work permit 

This blog post is on work permits in Turkey so read the details carefully to make the most out of employment in Turkey and avoid making mistakes which will result in the subjects facing consequences which need to be avoided. 

Let’s talk about some keywords and what they mean in the Turkish work permit scene. Understanding these keywords and basic concepts will make your process easier. As you will be able to understand what your work permit application is communicating to you.

Building a rapport and having a great level of communication between you and your consultant is absolutely key to success whether you are buying property in Turkey or applying for a work permit in Turkey. 

Key Concepts To Understand


An individual who does not have a legal bond of citizenship in the Republic of Turkey. 

Work Permit

Work permit is an official document given by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services to foreign individuals right to work and live in Turkey within the validity of the permit. 

Obligation of Getting Work Permission

Whether to work dependently or independently if unless you are a citizen of a country that has a bilateral agreement with Turkey, all workers are required to have a work permit to be able to work in Turkey. Both the employer and the employee would be committing a crime if you are working in a company without a work permit in Turkey. 

Independent Work Permit

Independent work permit is the type of permit that allows foreign individuals to be able to work in Turkey on their own behalf and account in Turkey. 

Work Permit For A Definitive Period Of Time

Generally, foreigners who apply to work in Turkey will be granted a permit validity of one year. There are some rare cases where the application is overwhelmingly positive and the ministry will give you two years for the first application. 

When an individual is looking for an extension for their work permit in Turkey, a second application needs to be done and for extensions the ministry will grant two or three years upon the success of the application. 

Permanent Work Permits

Foreign workers in Turkey may apply for a permanent work permit once they have completed 8 years of service in Turkey. However, the successful outcome of the application is not a right to the individuals. 

Statistics Of Work Permits In Turkey

Number Of Work Permits Granted Over The Years

Year Type of Permission Total
  Definite Indefinite Independent  
2011 17.318 132 16 17.466
2012 32.191 79 9 32.279
2013 45.721 93 9 45.832
2014 52.197 95 3 52.295
2015 64.402 115 4 64.521
2016 73.410 115 24 73.549
2017 87.150 19 13 87.182
2018 115.826 4 7 115.837
2019 145.232 0 0 145.232

The general consensus is that it is extremely hard to get a work permit and a job in Turkey. However, it is clear from the table that the number of work permits granted to foreigners is increasing steadily in Turkey. If you have the right skills for particular jobs that fit foreign individuals in Turkey, you can drastically increase your chances of getting a job in Turkey. This is especially the case for teaching and tourism-related jobs in Turkey. You can also have a go at Blue Chip companies in Turkey. International companies in Turkey are always looking for international workers who have language and professional skills in their given field. 

Turkish Work Permit Acquired By Genders Through Years

Years Male Female
2011 %52 %48
2012 %39 %62
2013 %38 %62
2014 %40 %60
2015 %42 %58
2016 %52 %48
2017 %57 %43
2018 %59 %42
2019 %65 %35

In this graph, you can see the number of work permits acquired by different genders over the years. As it can be seen from the graph there isn’t a huge difference between genders apart from the year 2012, 2013 and 2019. So if you were wondering whether your gender makes a difference when it comes to finding work in Turkey, please do not worry as there are opportunities for everyone. 

How can I get a work permit in Turkey?

You initially need to find work in Turkey before you can apply for a work permit. Once you have found the work and an employer who is willing to sponsor you, go read our guides to find out the details. 

How much does a work permit cost in Turkey?

Costs can vary depending on your application and the year you are applying. Contact us for more information.

What are common jobs in Turkey?

Foreigners tend to find work in teaching languages and tourism in Turkey. 

Can I live and work in Turkey?

Yes you can live and work in Turkey. 

What is the basic salary in Turkey?

Minimum wage in Turkey is 2800 lira in 2021.

What happens if I overstay my visa in Turkey?

We do not recommend you staying over your visa limit. Please submit an application for extension for your permit or you will face legal consequences and might be deported from Turkey. 

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