Visas and Work Permits 7 min

Work permits and visas in Turkey: an employer’s guide

Written by Sally Flaxman
January 15, 2024
Sally Flaxman


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The importance of having the right to work in a foreign country like Turkey is crucial. Without this legal "go ahead," traveling to Turkey may be legal, but working within its borders would be noncompliant with its labor and immigration laws. Noncompliance can lead to various punishments that can be detrimental to their career and your company's reputation.

To ensure compliance, you must stay up-to-date with the labor, taxation, and immigration laws of Turkey. This guide will help you stay compliant in these critical situations:

  • Hiring in Turkey without having a local legal entity

  • Hiring a foreigner in Turkey 

  • Relocating your employee to Turkey 

  • Allowing a digital nomad to work in Turkey in full compliance

Which workers need a right-to-work check in Turkey?

Like many parts of Europe, individuals must be legally cleared to gain employment in Turkey. This enables an individual to join an organization and earn a living while staying in the country. Without this permit, working for a company would be illegal and is punishable by law. For non-citizens and non-EU nationals, the penalties may involve deportation and a reentry ban.

Permanent Residents

Permanent residents are typically foreigners with the right to live, work, or do business in Turkey. They do not require a Turkey work permit to look for jobs in the country. Permanent residency is valid throughout the holder's lifetime.

Temporary Residents

Temporary residents are foreigners living in the country on a short-term basis. Individuals temporarily living in Turkey must have a work permit before getting jobs.

Work Permit Holders

A work permit allows an individual to gain employment legally. Turkey work permit holders can also renew their visas and permits once it expires.

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Do non-citizens need a work visa or work permit in Turkey?

A work permit is necessary for foreigners who want to live and work in Turkey. In most European nations, besides a work permit, non-citizens would need a residence permit to stay and earn in the country. A Turkey work permit makes a foreigner a legal resident.

What are the eligibility requirements for a work visa in Turkey?

A clean criminal record is one of the most crucial Turkey work visa requirements. They also must have secured a job with a registered company. 

Upon gaining employment, they must have a signed copy of the agreement contract and an appointment letter proving their employment status.

Eligibility requirements include updated documents detailing academic and professional qualifications, such as university certificates or relevant diplomas in related professional courses. Only valid passport holders will be permitted entry into Turkey, regardless of their employment status.

What are the long-stay visa types in Turkey?

Turkey mostly offers short-term visas between 90 days and 180 days. However, the Turkish working visa and student visa are two long-stay visas available. They are typically valid for up to a year, and the holders can renew them upon expiration.

Working visa

Work visas are for individuals who have secured employment with a company in Turkey. With a work visa, applicants automatically get residence permits, allowing them to reside legally in the country. 

How do you get a work visa for Turkey?

To get a work visa in Turkey, applicants must have the necessary documents, such as:

  • Valid international passport

  • Visa application form

  • Employment letter from the company

  • Employment contract signed by the employer

  • Updated resume

  • Documents of academic and professional qualifications

  • Medical insurance

  • Two biometric photos

  • Police clearance testimonial

  • Proof of accommodation in Turkey

You can apply online for an e-visa on the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS) official website. After filling in your details, print out the form. Take the printed copy along with original copies of your credentials and means of identification to the Turkish embassy for screening. Turkey work visa and permit processing usually takes 30 days to complete. 

What is the process for employee work visa sponsorship in Turkey?

Turkey work visa requirements include an employment letter from your company, a valid passport, and a work visa. According to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, employees must follow this process:

  • Submit visa applications through the nearest Turkish consulate

  • Secure their work visa or permit at the Turkish mission nearest to them

  • The employer must submit accompanying documents to the MLSS within 10 days of your visa application.

The MLSS makes the final decision on granting the applicant the working visa. In Turkey, the work permit has the same function as a residence permit. Thus, foreign workers do not need to apply for residence permits once they get their work permits.

What are the visa requirements for digital nomads in Turkey?

Regardless of the non-existence of a staple digital nomad program, the Turkish government is trying to cater to remote workers' needs. The requirements for a visa that suits a digital nomad in Turkey may differ slightly from other visa types in Turkey.

EU vs. Non-EU nationals

Ordinary passport holders from non-EU countries entering Turkey for long or short stays must possess a valid passport and a visa to gain entry legally. In most cases, only diplomats from these areas may gain entry without a visa. This makes them legal foreigners for 90 to 180 days.

Meanwhile, EU ordinary passport holders don't need a visa to enter Turkey. Their visa exemption is also for short stays between 90 and 180 days. Besides EU nationals, people from some double tax treaty partner countries like the United Kingdom are also exempt from visas for up to 180 days.

How Remote makes compliance in Turkey so much easier

Each country, including Turkey, has multiple laws, from hiring to taxation. These laws can have gray areas and complex clauses that can be tricky to comprehend. This makes complying with the local laws in foreign countries difficult.

Regardless of your best efforts to comply with local labor laws, noncompliance can lead to harsh punishments. The best way to comply with these laws is to partner with an employer of record like Remote. Working with Remote can make it easy for you to handle the hassles of global employment.

From filing taxes to securing travel documents, Remote will help you identify the essential tools for your employees to become productive. More importantly, we bear the legal risks for your international hiring endeavors and help you manage your global workforce. With us managing your most complex responsibilities, you have more time and less pressure to focus on growing your business globally.

Download Remote's Relocation Guide to learn more about how you can successfully relocate your remote employees. Or contact our Mobility experts to see how Remote can help you with your international hiring and employee relocation needs.

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