Turkey grants Turkey Work Visa to travellers planning to visit the country for employment purposes. A Work Visa is mandatory with a Work Permit that allows foreigners to work in Turkey.

If you are willing to work in Turkey, you must possess both a Work Visa and Work Permit.

Do I Need a Visa to Work in Turkey?

Nationals of all countries in the world except the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus need to apply for a work visa and a work permit to do the job and earn in Turkey.

How to Apply for a Turkey Work Visa?

The process of getting a Turkey Work Visa is a bit different from other visa types because it requires a bunch of information and documents from both sides, the employee and the employer.

Prerequisite: You must meet specific criteria before you apply for a Turkey Work Visa.

You must possess either of these:

    1. A job offer in Turkey
    2. A job contract

You cannot avail of a work visa if you do not qualify for the above criteria.

When to Apply?

You can apply for the visa at most two months before you intend to travel to Turkey or at least one month before your travel. However, the best time to apply for the work visa is as soon as you get the job offer to avoid any unpredictable delays.

Where to Apply?

For getting a work visa or work permit, you need to complete your application file and submit it to the Turkish Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. In some countries, Turkey has outsourced visa submission to third parties. The nationals of such countries need to submit their application file at Third Party Visa Processing Centres.

As stated, a work visa requires submission from both sides; an employee and employer. When you submit your application as an employee, your employer also needs to forward some documents in the next ten days to the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS).

In case MLSS receives no submission from the employer side, your application will face rejection on account of being incomplete.

Turkish work Visa Categories

Within the Work Visa, there are different subcategories that you can select according to your work nature.

    1. Assigned Artists
    2. Assigned Free Zone Workers
    3. Assigned Journalists
    4. Assigned Lecturers/Academics
    5. Assigned Sportsperson
    6. Employment Purpose/Special Employment Purpose
    7. Montage and Repairman Purposes

Turkey Work Visa Application

When you have completed all the above steps, now you can proceed to the next ones to get your Turkey Work Visa. You have to complete the online visa application form that requires information about your identity and travel details.

Upon completion of the application, you will get a date for a visa interview that you must attend.

Required Documents

You need to submit a few required documents on the day of your interview.

    1. Filled out Turkey Work Visa Application Form
    2. Two photos. Photos should be biometric and not older than six months.
    3. Passport. It should have a validity of the next six months after you land in Turkey.
    4. Job Offer or contract. Your document must contain information about your job position, remuneration and the period of contract validity.
    5. Police clearance certificate. A certificate that shows you were not part of any criminal activity or legal issues in recent year.
    6. Diploma or Provisional Graduation Certificate. Sworn translation/official certified translation of the certificate is acceptable.
    7. Diploma or Provisional Graduation Equivalency Certificate. You should obtain this document as per the Turkish Regulation on the Equivalency of Diplomas from Foreign Higher Education Institutions.
    8. Medical Insurance. For the whole period of your stay in Turkey
    9. Evidence of accommodation in Turkey. You may present proof of a real estate property in Turkey or a rent agreement.
    10. Means of subsistence. You must show bank statements or any other document to show your financial stability to support your living in Turkey. Approximately, you would spend at least €50 every day.
    11. Proof of booked flight tickets. For travelling to Turkey under Work Purpose, you will need to book a roundtrip flight and show this document to the embassy on your interview day.

Depending upon your case and nationality, your embassy may ask you to submit a few additional documents.

Turkish Employment Visa Interview

You need to come up with all the documents at the embassy on your interview day for a short meeting with the consular office. The officer will ask you questions about your job and background. Your response to all the questions helps him to decide on the approval of your case.

You should prepare for this interview and answer every question with a balance of confidence and relaxation.

Post-Interview Procedure

Having attended the interview, you should inform your employer in Turkey to submit additional documents within ten working days after your application at the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS).

Turkey Work Permit Application

Work Permit authorizes you to stay in Turkey and get involved in work and is equivalent to a residence permit. The employee is responsible for applying for Work Visa and employer for Work Permit.

How to Apply for a Turkey Work Permit

Your employer needs to complete an online application at the website of MLSS within ten days after your visa appointment. After filling out the application, he has to send the required documents visa using mail or in person.

Ensure that the application and documents required for Turkey visa from the employer side for the work permit must be sent within ten days (six business days) after your visa appointment for a work visa. Keep a check on time and stay in contact with your employer to avoid any chance of not getting a work visa and work permit.

Required Documents:

Your employer from Turkey must submit the following documents at MLSS.

    1. Work Permit Application Letter.
    2. Foreign Personnel Application Form.
    3. The Trade Registry Gazette of Turkey. Including the details of the current shareholding and capital structure of the entity.
    4. A balance sheet and profit/loss statement for the most recent year. It should be certified by the tax office or a certified public accountant.
    5. Notarized power of attorney. The employer lodging online application as a user on behalf of the entity or organization to employ the foreigner.

Upon completion of all these steps, the only mile between you and your visa is the time taken for processing your application.

Turkey Work Visa and Work Permit Application Processing

You will get a response from the authorities in a maximum of thirty days.

The ministry takes a maximum of thirty days to finalize the decision about approval or rejection for your work permit application. Then forward it to the relevant consulate of Turkey.

After You Get a Turkish Work Visa

When your application is approved, you should enter Turkey within Six months. Registers yourself to the Address Registry System within one month after you arrive in Turkey.

How Can I Get a Work Visa for Turkey?

Working in Turkey follows a standard work permit issued by the Government of Turkey. Foreigners who wish to work in Turkey need to send their applications to the consular offices in their own country. It is required that the applicant applies for a legal work permit in the nearest Turkish mission to get the permit and visa for Turkey.

All documents required will need to be submitted to the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security by the employing company present in Turkey. These documents include:

    1. a valid passport,
    2. company offer letter,
    3. duly filled application form.

The company offer letter is an essential document for getting a work permit in Turkey. Once you have been offered the job, make sure you ask the HR manager at your new company to make an offer letter that meets the requirements of the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

This has to be done within ten working days after the applicant has sent in his or her application.

Work permits equals residence permits, hence they are thoroughly checked and charged accordingly. They can be accepted or rejected by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, depending on the background of the applicant. The fees include an entry visa fee, work permit certificate fee, and a residence fee. This has to be paid at the Turkish consular offices at the time when the application is approved.

The list of documents required for a valid work permit can be found at the MLSS website, which makes the application easier to understand. All applications that are received at the MLSS are usually finalized within thirty days, given that all documents are accurate and complete. When the applicant arrives in Turkey, the first thing he or she needs to do is registration at the local police department. This must be done within one month of arrival in order to obtain the residence permit.

Work permits are granted to those foreigners who work in the Free Zones in Turkey. This is given to them by the Ministry of Economy working in units. These units are under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

What is the difference between a work visa and a business visa?

A work visa gives the traveller a right to seek or gain employment in a foreign country and receive income in exchange for their services. The difference between a work visa and a business visa is that with a work visa, the traveller cannot engage in business dealings, start a company, make investments, or participate in trade-related activities in a foreign country.

In contrast, a business visa entitles them to enjoy all these perks. The traveller can do a specified work activity until the pre-defined period as per their visa. If they have a visa to work in Turkey for 2 to 3 years, the traveller can easily work until the visa expiry approaches.

If you want to work in a foreign country, the best option is to apply for a work visa because a business visa won't give you the right to work in that country. It is important to note that a business visa is only obtained if a person wants to do business dealings or investments in that country. Moreover, business visas are generally short-term travel permits and may allow you to stay in a country for a few weeks or a couple of months only. However, a work visa entitles you to stay in that country for an extended period.

Another point of difference between a work and business visa is that a business visa is entirely arranged and sponsored by the company to do business in a foreign country. Since a business visa is sponsored, it comes with several exclusive perks such as full accommodation costs, meals, stays and business class travel expenses are borne by the sponsoring company.

Moreover, the sponsor is responsible for making all kinds of travel reimbursements. The work visa is also sponsored by a company, but in most cases, the organization you will be working for will bear the visa and ticket costs. When you reach your destination, the accommodation and food will not be the company's responsibility.