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Obtaining Residence and Work Visas for Turkey

by admin (4/8/2010)

Getting a Work Visa for Turkey

Obtaining a Work Visa for Turkey

Obtaining a work visa for Turkey is a little trickier than getting a residence permit. All work permits for Turkey are employer-driven and are based on specific job offers – you must have a job offer with a Turkish employer before you even think of applying. You will not be given a work permit on the ‘off chance’ that you may find work once you are there.

Applying for a work visa from inside Turkey: If you are already settled with a residency visa in Turkey – with at least six months left on your visa - you can apply for a work permit to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

Applying for a work visa from outside Turkey: If you are not yet settled in Turkey but intend to work there, you must apply for a work permit before you enter the country, by visiting your nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate. It can take six to eight weeks for your application to be processed.

Applying for a work visa comes in two steps. As well as your own application to the authorities above, your potential employer must simultaneously apply to the Ministry for Labor and Social Security for permission to employ you. There should be no more than three days in between both applications, so you will need to time it carefully. If your employer has never employed foreign workers before it is wise to check that they understand this process beforehand.

It is worth noting that there are some professions that are not open to foreigners in the first place, so don’t even try! These include doctor, dentist, midwife, pharmacist, optician, veterinarian, chemist, judge, public prosecutor, attorney, notary public or a member, representative or commissioner of the Stock Exchange.

Being granted a work permit is not the end of the affair either! Once informed of a positive decision, you then need to take your passport back to the relevant Consulate to have it stamped with the appropriate visa. This is important! Beware! If you fail to do this within three months of the initial work permit approval, you lose the right to work in Turkey and must apply all over again.

The little stuff: Work permits are generally valid for one year and your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond the expiry date of the requested work visa. As usual, there will be a fee for the application – contact your Turkish Embassy for details.

Note: Foreigners entering Turkey on the basis of a work permit are expected to get a residence visa within 30 days.

Note 2: A work visa does not apply for education and training; for that you must get a different visa. See your nearest consulate for details.  

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