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Getting a Work Permit in Turkey | WorqCompany

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How to Get a Work Permit in Turkey? 

The methods and principles concerning work permits to be issued to foreigners to be employed in Turkey vary by the relevant sector as well as with respect to foreign direct investments, special foreign direct investments, professional services, and liaison offices. In our article, we will focus on methods and principles regarding work permit applications concerning foreign direct investments. 

Work Permit in Turkey as an Investor

The evaluation criteria that investors have to meet regarding the work permit requests of foreigners determined pursuant to Article 13 of the Implementing Regulation of the Law on Work Permits of Foreigners, which is still in force in accordance with the fourth paragraph of the temporary Article 1 of the International Labor Law No. 6735, are as follows.

  • The paid-in capital of the companies established by foreigners must be at least 100,000 TL or the gross sales must be at least 800,000 TL or the export amount in the last year must be at least 250,000 USD.
  • It is obligatory that the foreign shareholder of the company requesting permission must have at least 20 percent of the capital, not less than 40,000 TL.
  • At least five T.C. Citizens must be employed. However, this condition is required for the last six months of the one-year work permit to be given by the Ministry in the application for a work permit of the shareholder of the company.

Work Permit in Turkey as an Employee

For employees to obtain work permit:

  • the paid-in capital of the workspace they work must be at least 100,000 TL or the gross sales must be at least 800,000 TL or the export amount in the last year must be at least 250,000 USD, and
  • At least five T.C. Citizens must be employed for each foreign employee.

Accordingly, if the company where the foreign will be employed could be deemed as a “Special Direct Foreign Investment” (“SDFI“) the foreign employee may benefit from these exemptions and be employed without meeting the above criteria. According to the Regulation, if a foreign investment company satisfies one of the below conditions it shall be deemed as a SDFI 

  • The turnover of the company for the previous year shall be at least TRL 114,700,000.-; provided that the foreign shareholders of the company possess a minimum of TRL 1,526.057 of such company capital, or;
  • The exports of the company for the previous year shall be at least $1,000,000.-; provided that the foreign shareholders of the company possess a minimum of TRL 1,526.057 of such company capital, or;
  • The company should employ at least 250 personnel registered at the Social Security Administration as employees; again provided that the foreign shareholders of the company possess a minimum of TRL 1,526.057 of such company capital, or;
  • If the company is planning to make an investment with the projected fixed investment value of at least TRL 38,100,000.- or;
  • The investor shall have at least one other foreign direct investment entity located in a country different from the country where its registered (main) offices are located.

Benefits of Investing in Turkey

Turkey has numerous investment opportunities which attracts the overseas investors. The strategic location of Turkey implies Asia and Europe, and cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Adana, Izmir or Bursa are tempting for entrepreneurs who wish to establish their companies in this country. 

Can any type of company be established by foreigners in Turkey?

There are a number of company structures available in Turkey such as joint stock companies, limited liability companies, collective companies, partnerships limited by shares and cooperative associations. Foreign investors usually prefer establishment of either a joint stock company or a limited liability company which are capital companies, as opposed to sole proprietorship. 

The main reason why foreign investors prefer capital companies over sole proprietorship is the level of their business activity and the requirements for the establishment process. Under Turkish Law, foreign citizens are subject to the same conditions with Turkish citizens regarding establishment of capital companies, however, the founder should be resident for at least 5 (five) years in Turkey to establish sole proprietorship. 

Required Documents

Required documents for application to obtain work permit are as follows:

Work permit application letter 

The letter must be scanned and submitted as part of the online application; it must also be submitted in hardcopy, signed by the employer

Foreign personnel application form 

The form filled online must be printed, and a hardcopy signed by the employer and the foreigner must be submitted to the ministry. If the signed form is unavailable, the employment agreement executed by and between the parties must be submitted. The application will not be processed in the absence of a signed form or a labor contract.

The Trade Registry Gazette of Turkey, detailing the current shareholding and capital structure of the entity 

The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application

A balance sheet and a profit/loss statement for the most recent year, certified by the tax office or certified public accountant 

The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application.

A document stating that entities (including consortiums) awarded international tenders by government agencies or organizations have been contracted for the awarded job from the relevant agency or organization 

The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application.

In the case of legal entities that are to employ foreign specialists in the field of engineering, architecture, contracting, and consulting services, a payroll document stating that Turkish engineers/architects/city planners are employed for the same occupation 

The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application

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, or a document attesting to the employment of the user at the applicant entity or organization 

The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application

In the case of applications filed in Turkey, a copy of the residence permit issued for other than education purposes with a term of at least six months remaining as of the date of application 

The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application.

If a foreigner who files a work permit application does not hold a valid residence permit, the foreigner is required to file an application to the consulates of the Republic of Turkey in the country of which he/she is a citizen or a permanent resident, submitting his/her labor contract or a document attesting to company partnership. However, if the company meets at least one of the criteria required for Special Foreign Direct Investments*, the work permit application can be filed directly with the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services provided that the foreigner to be employed with key personnel status is currently staying in Turkey on a legitimate basis 

Copy of the passport 

Where the passport is not printed in the Latin alphabet, a sworn translation or an official certified translation must be attached. The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application.

Sworn translation or an official certified translation of the diploma or provisional graduation certificate 

The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application, as well as submitted in hardcopy).

 

Is a work permit enough for residing in Turkey?

Work permits are considered as residence permits as long as they are valid. The expiry date of the work permit is also the expiry date of the residence permit. Foreigners who have a work permit can stay and run their business from Turkey until the expiry date.

Is a residence permit enough to work in Turkey?

Foreign employees or board members/managers and shareholders of the joint stock and limited liability companies must have a work permit to stay and work in Turkey. The residence permit by itself or e-visa is not enough to work in Turkey. If it is determined that foreigners are working against the legal regulations, an administrative fine of approximately 10.000 Turkish Liras may be imposed on them as of 2021. In addition, foreigners who are found to be working without a work permit will be reported to the Ministry of Interior for deportation.

Is it possible to apply for e-visa for working in Turkey?

The e-Visa is a permit that allows entry to Turkey. It is an alternative to the visas issued by Turkish consulates and the visas issued at the border gates. The e-visa is not valid for travel to Turkey other than for touristic or commercial purposes (work, student visa, etc.). Such visa applications must be made through our foreign representatives. In addition, e-visa is not enough to work in Turkey. Foreigners who intend to stay and work in Turkey should meet aforementioned criteria and apply for a work permit. 

 

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