Turkey – New Work Permit Regime

A new law that was published in the Official Gazette supersedes the previous Law on Work Permits for Foreigners, now called The Law on International Labor Force.  The new law implements important changes in the work permit system.

A new work permit regime is included, entitled the “Turquoise Card.”

  • Issued with an indefinite term;
  • Granted initially for three years;
  • Applicable to foreign nationals who meet education and experience background; and
  • Dependents of Turquoise Card Holders can use documents received indicating their relationship to the holder to be used as a residence permit.

Notable work permit changes included in the new law are:

  • Foreign nationals must enter Turkey within six months of the date the work permit was issued, otherwise it will be cancelled.
  • Applications for work permit extensions must be applied for 60 days in advance before expiration, otherwise the Ministry of Labor and Social Security will reject the application.
  • Indefinite term work permits has increased to eight years than the previously six years.

Exemptions for the work permit regime include:

  • Foreign directors of joint stock companies and shareholders not acting as directors are exempt from requiring a work permit whose stay does not exceed 90 days in a 180 day period