Law on International Labour Force (“New Law”) has been come into force on the 13th of August, 2016 and repealed Law on the Work Permit for Foreigners numbered 4817. The New Law numbered 6374 makes changes in the Turkish Work Permit system. Results of these changes are the topic of this Q&A.
1- DOES THIS NEW LAW OUTLAW THE LAW ON THE WORK PERMIT FOR FOREIGNERS?
Yes, New Law repealed the existing Law no: 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners. It is possible to say that there is no significant change in terms of work permit or visa procedure; there are just some flexibilities for specific categories of professions and there are severe penalties for employer and employee in terms of working without work permit.
2- WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF THIS NEW LAW?
This Law covers statutes of foreigners who apply for working or are currently working, apply for having or currently have occupational training from an employer, apply to do internship or are currently doing their internship in Turkey and foreign cross-border service providers who are in Turkey for rendering temporary services and real and legal entities which employ or apply to employ foreigners.
3-WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF WORK PERMITS?
There are 3 different types of work permits in Article 10 of the New Law:
1) Work permit with definite period,
2) Indefinite Work Permit,
3) An independent work permit.
4- WHAT ARE THE TYPE OF WORK PERMITS?
Work permit with definite period: a work permit for maximum one year shall be granted to the foreigner at his/her first application. This work permit may be extended up to two years on condition that employee works in the same job and for the same employer. At the end of this two years extension, work permit may be extended maximum three more years with the same conditions.
Indefinite Work Permit: Foreigners who have a total legal working period of 8 years in Turkey or the Long Term Residence Permit holders might be eligible for work permit for indefinite period of time.
Independent Work Permit: Work permit for a definite period of time in line with Turkish International Labor Force Policy might be granted to foreigners who shall work independently on their name on their behalf
Foreigners with indefinite work permit shall have all the advantages of long term residence permit.
Except for the regulations in special laws, foreigners with indefinite work permit benefit from the rights granted to the Turkish citizens provided that their acquired rights regarding social security are reserved and they are subject to the provisions of relevant legislation when using these rights. Foreigners who have indefinite work permit do not have the right to vote and stand for election or public service and military service liabilities.
6- WHAT ARE THE EVALUATION CRITERIAS OF INDEPENDENT WORK PERMIT?
In evaluation of the independent work permit in accordance with the international labour policy; foreigner’s education, professional experience, contribution in science and technology, the impact of his/her activity or investment in Turkey on the economy and employment in the country, his/her capital share if he/she is a company partner as well as other matters to be determined by the Ministry in accordance with the recommendations of the International Labour Policy Advisory Board shall be taken into consideration.
7- I AM A SHAREHOLDER OF A LIMITED COMPANY ESTABLISHED IN TURKEY. DO I NEED TO APPLY FOR WORK PERMIT?
Yes. According to the article 10/5 of International Labour Force no. 6375, directors who are partners of limited companies are required to obtain work permit.
8- I AM A SHAREHOLDER OF A JOINT STOCK COMPANY ESTABLISHED IN TURKEY. DO I NEED TO APPLY FOR WORK PERMIT?
Only persons who are both shareholder of company and executive members of Joint Stock Companies at same same are required to obtain work permit.
9- I AM ONLY A SHAREHOLDER OF A JOINT STOCK COMPANY ESTABLISHED IN TURKEY. DO I NEED TO APPLY FOR WORK PERMIT?
No. You do not need to apply.
10- WHAT IS TURQUOISE CARD AND WHO CAN APPLY FOR TURQUOISE CARDS?
The Turquoise Card grants right of work for indefinite period of time for the foreigners and also grants resident permit to owner’s spouse and children. In accordance with international labour policy, Turquoise Card is given to the foreigners whose application is approved according to their education, experience, contribution in science and technology, the impact of their activity or investment in Turkey on the economy and employment in the country as well as the recommendations of the International Labour Policy Advisory Board and procedures and principles determined by the Ministry.
Turquoise card is similar like the Greencard of the United States of America. Card holders will also be able to acquire Turkish citizenship and are also able to take benefit of the rights of Turkish citizenship once their reliability is confirmed.
11- HOW MUCH ADMINISTRATIVE FINES SHALL IMPOSED IN BREACH OF THIS NEW LAW?
If foreigners work without work permit,
1) Two thousand four hundred Turkish Liras to the foreigner who is employed by an employer,
2) Four thousand eight hundred Turkish Liras to the foreigner who works independently,
3) Six thousand Turkish Liras for each foreigner of employer who employs foreigner or the representative of such employers, Will be the administrative fine.
12- IS IT NECESSARY TO OBTAIN RESIDENT PERMIT WHILE WORKING IN TURKEY?
No, there is no need to apply for the resident permit, if the foreigner has already work permit since the work permit covers also residence permit during its validity.
13- WHEN IT IS NECESSARY TO APPLY FOR PRELIMINARY PERMIT?
It is obligatory to take preliminary permit in evaluation of the work permit applications of the foreigners who will work in healthcare and education services, which require professional competence.
14- I BENEFIT FROM THE RIGHTS GRANTED BY TEMPORARY PROTECTION PROVISIONS, CAN I APPLY FOR TURQUOIS CARD?
No. Foreigners under temporary protection cannot apply for the turquois card.
15-HOW CAN I APPLY FOR THE WORK PERMIT IN TURKEY?
It is possible to file an application to obtain a work permit in Turkey either in Turkey or from abroad. In the case of applications filed abroad, foreigners are required to file an application at a consulate of the Republic of Turkey in the country of which they are a citizen or have a permanent residency. The employer in Turkey is required to file an online application and submit the required information and documents to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
16- WHEN WILL BE THE EVALUATION OF APPLICATION COMPLETED?
Evaluations of duly submitted applications shall be completed within thirty days provided that all required information and documents are submitted.
17- WHAT IF THERE ARE MISSING DOCUMENTS AT APPLICATION FOR WORK PERMIT?
If there are any missing document(s) you will be given 30 days to submit the document(s) and complete the application. At the end of 30 days if the missing documentation is not submitted, the application will be considered withdrawn.
18- I APPLIED FROM ABROAD AND I OBTAINED MY WORK PERMIT. AM I OBLIGED TO COME TO TURKEY?
Foreigner who is granted work permit on the basis of application submitted abroad is obliged to come to Turkey within six months as of the date when the work permit takes effect. The work permit of the foreigners who do not enter into Turkey within this period shall be cancelled.
19- IS THERE ANY WORK PERMIT EXEMPTION IN TERMS OF COMPANIES?
Executive board members of joint stock companies established in Turkey according to Law no 6102 who are not residing in Turkey and shareholders of other companies who are not managers, crossborder service providers whose activities are carried out in Turkey does not exceed ninety days within one hundred and eighty days shall be evaluated within the scope of work permit exemption.
20- I AM FOREIGN STUDENT IN TURKEY. CAN I WORK?
Yes, foreign students who are enrolled in associate degree or undergraduate programs can apply for work permit after they complete the first year of their education and they can only work part-time in accordance with the Labour Law dated 22nd of May, 2003, No 4857
21- I AM FOREIGN ENGINEER/ARCHITECT, CAN I WORK IN TURKEY?
Yes, foreigners who are granted the titles engineer or architect by completing their education in engineering or architecture faculties in a higher education institution in Turkey or a higher education institution abroad which are recognized by the authorities of the relevant country and the Council of Higher Education, are able to carry out engineering and architecture activities on project basis or for temporary periods by taking work permit.
22- WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF NEW LAW ON APPLICATIONS IN PROGRESS AND GRANTED WORK PERMIT?
Work permits granted by other public organizations and institutions based on the authority granted by other laws shall be valid until their expiration date. For work permit applications that were submitted before the date when this law comes in force and which are in still progress, the provisions of the legislations before this Law limited to the ones that are in favor of the applicant shall apply.
23- WHAT ARE THE FEES FOR WORK PERMITS IN TURKEY?
1. Temporary work permit and work permit exemption certificate: Up to 1 year (including 1 year) (Time extensions are subject to charge in the same amount for each year.) TRY 500
2. Indefinite work permit certificate: TRY 5.000
3. Independent work permit certificate: TRY 5.000