Talking Turkey: An Insider's Guide to Immigration to Turkey


Have you ever thought about working in Turkey? Located on the eastern side of the Mediterranean, Turkey has long been seen as a cultural due to its location straddling the borders of the two continents. Turkey has a rich culture filled with European and Asian influences.

Any foreigner working in Turkey must have a valid work permit. Permits are issued by the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security or MLSS.

Foreign workers should apply for work permits while they apply for their work visas. To do that you would want to submit your application to the Turkish embassy in your home country while your employer submits your required documentation to the MLSS. You can also apply for a work permit inside Turkey if you have already been issued a residence permit with at least 6 months remaining. However, if you enter Turkey as a tourist you are not allowed to apply for a work permit.

To be eligible for a work permit you will need an employment contract or job offer. Once you and your employer submit the application it will be processed within 90 days. At the company you have requested a work permit they must have at least 5 people that are citizens of the Republic of Turkey employed for every 1 Foreign worker.

If the application gets approved you will need to travel in person to a Turkish embassy to have your work visa and permit stamped into your passport.

Lastly, you will need to apply for a residence permit after your arrival within 30 days. You will need to apply at the Foreigner’s Branch of the local police station which is closest to your employer. You cannot begin working until you have your work permit, work visa, and residence permit. Work permits are issued for a period of 1 year and you can apply for an extension at least 2 and ½ months of your expiration date on your work permit. If approved for an extension it will be extended or 2 years, if requesting an extension for the 2nd time it would be valid for 3 years. You will be eligible for an indefinite work permit once you have worked and lived in Turkey for 8 consecutive years legally.

Once you begin work your employer must submit a notice of employment to the authorities online before your start date. If you are already registered with the Social Security authorities then you will also need to notify the authorities of you have started to work within 30 days from your start date. You will also need the below documents when you submit your notification:

  • Copy of identity card
  • Proof of Residence
  • Photos (standard passport size)
  • Copy of SSK identity card
  • Health report
  • Letter of good conduct from police
  • Academic Credential

After one year of service including your probationary period employees are entitled to paid annual leave. You can use your leave at any time during the following year. Annual Leave is based on length of service.

  • 1-5 years (including 5 years) - 14 days
  • 5-15 years -20 days
  • More than 15 years -26 days

However, employees aged 18 and younger and aged 50 and older are entitled to a minimum 20 days. Increased annual leave entitlement can be granted through employers and collective agreements.

If this sounds like something that you may want to pursue, reach out to us at We’re here to help you with your managerial, secretarial, immigration, and consultancy needs. Contact us and we will get back to you within 24 hours. Get ready to see what Turkey has to offer you!