How to apply for a work permit in Turkey
For a foreigner to work in Turkey they are required to hold a valid work permit. The permits are issued by the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social security (MLSS) .
A foreigner should apply for a work permit at the same period of time as applying for a work visa. Accordingly you need to submit your work visa application documents to the Turkish Embassy or consulate in your home country, your employer will submit the required documents to the MLSS.
However it is also possible to apply for a work permit from inside Turkey. Foreigners are eligible to do so if they have already been issued a residence permit with a remaining period of at least six months validity. Foreigners whom have entered Turkey as tourist are not eligible for work permits.
Work permit application process
You will need to have a job offer or employment contract prior to applying for a work permit whether you are applying from your home country or in Turkey regardless. Once your employer has given the application to the MLSS it will be processed within 90 days.
Once an application is approved then you must be present in person to a Turkish Embassy to have your work permit and visa stampted into your passport. If you are applying in Turkey you can get your visa and permit from the MLSS offices in Ankara.
Finally you are required to apply for a residence permit within 30 days of your arrival in Turkey. Apply at the foreigners branch of the local police station nearest to that of your employer. You can not legally start to work until you have gained your work visa, work permit, and residence permit.
For updated lists of documents required from you and your employer check with the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
Extending a Turkish work permit
Initally a Turkish work permit is issued for a one year period. If you intend to extend this period, you have to apply for the extension two and a half months prior to your expiration date.
This extended work permit will be valid for two years. If you again apply for further extension this will be valid for three years.
Having lived and worked in Turkey for eight full years you are eligible to then apply for an perminant work permit which will be indefinite and not need a renewal.
To apply for extensions on a work permit it is done at the office in Ankara of Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
Independent Turkish work permit
If you have worked in Turkey for at least a five year period without interruption then you are eligible for an independent work permit, this allows you to work as self-employed. An important factor if you goal is to start your own business in Turkey.
To apply for an independant work permit use the office in Ankara for Ministry of Labour and Social Security .