Türkiye, which changed its name from ‘Turkey’ in June 2022, attracts many visitors each year, and some countries’ nationals are Visa-exempt; others can apply for an online e-Visa, while those not eligible for the e-Visa can apply for a Visa stamp at a local embassy or consulate in their home country. These Visas allow visitors 90 days for holidays or some business activities. Costs vary according to the government for those who are not Visa-exempt. There may also be extra charges from the Visa company applied through.
Companies expanding into Türkiye and onboarding their employees from home or elsewhere overseas require work documentation and ensure their staff are legal and compliant. However, sometimes bureaucracy slows down implementation updates to immigration laws or new systems. Foreigners must have a work Visa and work permit with few exceptions. Both employer and employee take part in the work visa/permit process.
Many companies expanding into new territory look towards a Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR), such as Bradford Jacobs, to set up their business, recruit staff and operate payroll to save time and money. This includes acquiring immigration and work documentation. After 20 years of working in this area, we are aware of potential problems and have the experience to solve them. Here are some guidelines to assist you.
As with most countries, Türkiye protects its borders and requires documentation to enter, stay, and work there. Applicants need to be aware of the procedures as these differ between tourist and business Visas compared to work and study Visas. Also, passports must be valid for 60 days beyond the Visa’s validity whether holders have a Visa from the embassy (or foreign representation), an e-Visa or are Visa-exempt.
Foreigners wanting to work in Türkiye require:
This is the permission for the company to employ a foreigner and for the employee to work in Türkiye. Employees apply for the Work Visa through an embassy or consulate (or foreign representation) in their home country when they have an employment contract. The employer is also the sponsor and deals with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) regarding documentation and application for the Work Permit.
When the work permit is approved, the Ministry notifies the embassy abroad and issues the Work Visa allowing the employee to enter the country. However, the Turkish MLSS finalizes the permit and posts the Work Permit Card to the employer.
Work Permits are available for the following:
Note: Check to see if this permit is fully operational, as some Visa and permit changes and legal updates have noticed a lack of guidance and slow implementation.
Three classifications of Work Permits
For companies expanding into the country and onboarding their staff from abroad, the Foreigner Abroad Work Permit, a Temporary Work Permit, applies. However, certain conditions must be met by the employer and employee.
Residence Permit: Is required by people who wish to stay in Türkiye for longer than 90 days. People with an employment contract and sponsoring employer receiving a Work Permit do not require the Residence Permit.
There are different routes into the Turkish workplace, but many companies sponsor their employees when bringing them from abroad on an employment contract when the following documentation is required:
The process starts at embassies and consulates abroad, with the employee requesting an interview through their online portal to initiate the Work Visa procedure and submit documentation. The Embassy issues a 16-digit reference number for the employee to give to the employer, who then offers the rest of the documents to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, MLSS) within ten days. The papers must have been translated as necessary and notarised. When approved, the MLSS contacts the Embassy abroad and notifies the employee to collect the Work Visa. The Foreigner Work Permit Card is issued by the MLSS and posted to the employer’s address.
The employee enters Türkiye, and the employer activates the Work Permit Card. They pay fees and register the worker with the Social Security Institution regarding healthcare, benefits, and entitlements. Before day 20 in Türkiye, applicants must give their home address to their employer to be registered with a local Directorate of Populations Registry (NVI).
Documents needed for the application process of work documentation:
From the Employer for Work Permit
From Employee for Work Visa
Non-refundable Fees need to be paid by the foreigner for processing the Work Visa, the Work Permit and Residency, which is part of the Work Permit. The Work Visa is stamped in the passport. The Work Permit is sent to the employer’s address. The employee enters Türkiye.
The procedures can take four to eight weeks, depending on all the correct documentation.
For more information, download our free guide or get in touch with our consultants here