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December 21, 2023

Procedures And Principles Regarding Work Permit Applications From Embassy

1. Introduction

Foreigners must obtain a work permit before working under someone or as self-employed individuals in Turkey. A work permit is an official document issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (“Ministry”) that grants the foreigner the right to work and occupy in Turkey within the validity period. The Ministry evaluates work permit applications according to the international labor force policy and within the scope of the International Labor Force Law No. 6735, the Implementing Regulation of the International Labor Force Law, the Law on Foreigners and International Protection No. 6458, the Turquoise Card Regulation, the Regulation on Work Permits for Foreigners Working in Free Zones, and the Regulation on the Employment of Foreign Nationals in Foreign Direct Investments. Regarding the place of application, work permit applications can be made in two ways: domestic and foreign. In domestic applications, employers of foreigners with a residence permit issued by the Ministry of Interior for at least six (6) months may apply directly to the Ministry for a work permit. Applications to be made from Embassy are in cases where the foreigner does not have a valid residence permit in our country and is outside our country. This article will examine the procedures and principles regarding work permit applications from Embassy.

2. Application Process 

       In case the foreigner does not have a residence permit, they are required to apply for a work visa at the foreign representations of the Republic of Turkey in their country of nationality and inform their employer in Turkey of the 16 (sixteen) digit reference number that will be given to them. Their employer is also required to submit an online work permit application to the Ministry using this reference number. 

       After the employment contract is signed by the parties and other necessary documents are submitted to the foreign missions of the Republic of Turkey, the relevant foreign missions (embassies or consulates general of the Republic of Turkey in the country of application) forward the application document to the Ministry. The employer must complete the online work permit application before the Ministry within 10 (ten) days after the reference number is notified to the applicant by the relevant foreign representative office. The application can be made by the employer or the e-declaration user authorized by the employer. In order to complete the online application, the employer must enter the reference number from the “Foreign Application” tab in the Ministry’s online work permit system ( and upload the requested information and documents to the system online after following the relevant steps. The evaluation process of the application can be followed through the “Application Tracking Menu”.

       If the application is evaluated positively by the Ministry, the work permit fee and valuable paper fee will be paid by the employer based on the e-mail sent by the Ministry. A work visa is obtained by paying the visa fee to the Republic of Turkey Representative Office, where the foreigner applies for a work permit. If the foreigner enters the country before the payment of this fee, fees, and valuable paper fee is completed, the work permit will not be valid. After the payment of the fees and valuable paper fee, the work permit card to be issued on behalf of the foreigner is shipped by PTT cargo to the workplace address specified in the application form. Within 30 days from the date of entry of the foreigner into the country, the employer must apply to the Social Security Center to which they are affiliated and submit an insured employment declaration. At this point, the amount to be taken as the basis for insurance premiums cannot be lower than the wage declared in the foreigner’s work permit application. Finally, the foreigner must also register their address by applying to the nearest population directorate within 20 days of entry into the country.

3. Documents Required for Application 

 a) Documents Required for Foreign Workers: 

Although each foreign representative office may request different documents during the work visa application made by the foreigner to the foreign representative offices of the Republic of Turkey, the documents requested in each application are basically as follows: 

  • Labor Contract
  • ID and passport (original and copy)
  • Proof of residence 
  • Bank account statement for the last three months
  • Travel Insurance
  • Biometric photo 
  • Criminal record certificate 
  • Documents related to education (diploma, transcript)
  • An invitation letter issued by the institution where they will work 
  • Certificate of activity of the institution and a copy of the trade registry gazette showing the persons authorized to represent and bind
  • Work visa fee receipt

b) Documents Required for Employer’s Application:

The following documents are requested in the online work permit application made before the Ministry by the employer and/or the e-declaration user authorized by the employer through the reference number submitted by the foreigner:

  • Tax Certificate
  • Trade Registry Gazette (company capital must be at least 100.000.-TL or gross sales must be at least 800.000 TL, or last year’s export amount must be at least 250.000 USD).
  • Workplace Balance Sheet (obtained from the Revenue Administration Department or certified by a Certified Public Accountant)
  • Workplace Activity Certificate (for the last six months)
  • Prior Authorization Certificate (If the foreigner is a health professional, it will be obtained from the Ministry of Health; if the foreigner is an education professional, it will be obtained from the Ministry of National Education).
  • Foreigner’s Turkish Notarized Passport and Diploma Translation
  • Concluded employment contract 
  • Biometric Photograph of the Foreigner and Personal Information Form

4. Conclusion

Foreigners who do not have a valid residence permit in the Republic of Turkey and who are outside our country will be able to obtain a “reference number” by applying for a work visa at the foreign representations of the Republic of Turkey in the countries of their nationality (embassies or consulates general of the Republic of Turkey in the country of application). This reference number is a prerequisite for the work permit application to be made by the Employer. If the required information and documents are uploaded to the online work permit platform of the Ministry by the employer and/or the e-declaration user authorized by the employer, the work permit application is completed. As a result of the positive evaluation of the application, after the necessary fees and valuable paper fees are paid, the foreigner’s work permit visa is approved. So, the foreigner can enter the country and work.


Mert Sönmüş

Mert Sönmüş

Consultant Lawyer