In this article, the main issues related to obtaining a work permit are discussed. However, first of all, the meaning and nature of it should be explained.
1.Right to Work
Foreigners have the right to work in the country where they have a residence permit, provided that certain conditions are met, and they can benefit from this right within certain limits. Certain limits are determined by law. Compared to the right to work for citizens of their country of residence, foreigners can be employed in more limited sectors. Their participation in working life is handled more narrowly by the state.
Turkey has become a country where many people migrate to work due to its geopolitical position and the need for labor in the market. The number of foreigners immigrating to Turkey is increasing day by day. Depending on the increasing number, it increases in direct proportion to the changes in the relevant regulations; In addition, new applications are being developed. Even new, idiosyncratic statutes are being developed regarding the protection status of foreigners. In this case, it causes the development of different regulations for the implementation of the right to work.
In this article, a general explanation will be made about this kind of permission and the question of how to get the work permit of the international protection status and temporary protection status holders will be given in particular.
2.What is a Work Permit?
Unless otherwise stipulated in international agreements to which Turkey is a party, employment of foreigners in Turkey is subject to obtaining a it from the Ministry of Labor and Social Services. If a work permit is not obtained, it is not possible to work in the Republic of Turkey. If it is determined that the foreigner is working without obtaining it by the law, severe sanctions such as the deportation of the person will come to the agenda.
The system has one function: to control foreigners working within the country’s borders. Another function of it is to ensure that the examination and questioning of the foreigner are carried out systematically. It should be emphasized that it is also important in terms of ensuring national security.
2.1. Legislation on in Turkey
The Law on Work Permits of Foreigners No. 4817 came into force after being published in the Official Gazette No. 25040 on 06.03.2003. The main elements aimed at making the regulations in the legislation are listed below:
- Gathering such dispersed legislation and authority, which includes direct or indirect provisions regarding the employment of foreigners in Turkey, in a single center as much as possible, and ensuring control,
- Prevention of hiring illegal foreign workers,
- Reducing bureaucratic procedures,
- Establishment of a database of foreign workers working in Turkey. (Dr. Er Selami, Yabancıların Çalışma İzinleri ve Ön İzin Müessesesi, 21.07.2014.)
2.2. Work Permit Within The Scope Of The Law
According to Article 4 of the Law on Work Permits of Foreigners; Foreigners must obtain permission before starting to work in Turkey. It is obligatory to obtain permission before starting to work as an employee or self-employed in Turkey. Unless otherwise stipulated in the international conventions to which Turkey is a party, this obligation must be fulfilled.
2.3. Work Permit in International Protection Status
In this section, it will be evaluated whether it can be obtained according to the types of international protection status.
The identity document to be issued by the General Directorate of Migration Management replaces the work permit. Persons who have gained these statuses can work in our country with the said identity document.
2.3.b. Conditional Refugees
An application can be made six months after the start of the procedures regarding the international protection application. According to the approval of the application, the work permit is given to the foreigner with conditional refugee status.
2.3.c. Secondary Protection Status Holders
The identity document to be issued by the Immigration Administration replaces the work permit. Persons who have gained these statuses can work in our country with the said identity document.
2.3.d. Foreigners Applicant for International Protection
This permission can be applied for six months after the international protection application date. According to the approval of the application it is given to the relevant foreigner
2.3.e. Temporary Protection
Temporary protection status, which is unique to Turkey, is not one of the international protection statuses. Under current conditions, Syrians in Turkey should be considered within the scope of temporary protection.
(Practice Guide on Work Permits of Foreigners Under Temporary Protection, Ministry of Labor and Social Security, https://www.csgb.gov.tr/media/47594/gecici-koruma-saglanan-yabancilarin-calisma-izinlerine-dair-uygulama-rehberi.pdf, last entered date: August 3th,2022.)
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I get a work permit after I start working?
The foreigner is expected to meet all of the following conditions.
1) In cases where the country’s interests necessitate or due to force majeure, inform the relevant authority before starting to work,
2) a Working period not to exceed one month,
3) Obtaining the approval of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
If all of the above mentioned conditions are met, a it can be granted even after the foreigner starts working.
(Dr. Er Selami, Yabancıların Çalışma İzinleri ve Ön İzin Müessesesi, 21.07.2014.)
- What procedures should the foreigner complete to obtain a work permit?
The steps to be completed in order are listed below. A foreigner who wants to work independently or dependently in Turkey must supply the following documents;
Work permit from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
Working visa from Turkey’s foreign representations,
Residence permit for work from the relevant police authorities.
(International Labor Law Implementation Regulation, Official Gazette, No.:317, 02.02.2022)
- Where to apply for a work permit?
Applications for work permits must be made to the representatives of the Republic of Turkey abroad. In Turkey, an application can be made directly to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. A foreigner directly concerned or the prospective employer of the foreigner can apply for a work permit.
- What are the conditions for granting a residence permit for work purposes?
Steps to be completed in order are listed below:
- The foreigner’s application by obtaining a valid work visa from our foreign representative offices.,
- Being in Turkey within legal periods,
- Understanding that the foreigner will work in the specified workplace,
- There should be no legal, administrative or political inconvenience in the acceptance of the application of the person concerned.
- In which cases the work permit is canceled?
Work permit can be canceled ex officio at the request of the foreigner or the employer or in case of the realization of the reasons stated in the law. The reasons for the cancellation of the work permit are regulated in the International Labor Law. These reasons can be listed as follows::
- The foreigner does not come to Turkey for 6 months after being granted a work permit.
- Expiration of the foreigner’s passport or the document used instead.
- It is determined that it does not work by the provisions specified in the International Labor Law.
- Termination of work for any reason.
- It is determined that the information in the work permit application is misleading or the documents are fake.
- Having a Turquoise Card and not submitting the requested information and documents during the transition period, or it is noticed that they have lost their qualifications.
- There is a foreigner who will not be allowed to enter Turkey, who will not be granted a visa, and whose deportation decision will be made.
- Statement by public institutions and organizations that the foreigner’s work in Turkey will adversely affect public order, public safety, and public health.
- Being out of Turkey for more than 6 months without interruption in temporary work permits, and for more than 1 year uninterruptedly in independent and indefinite work permits. (Reasons such as health reasons or compulsory public service are excluded from these periods.)
- If the foreigner is a Turquoise Card holder and the period of stay abroad exceeds the period determined by the Ministry, it is possible to cancel the work permit. (International Labor Law Implementation Regulation, Official Gazette, No.:317, 02.02.2022)
- Is it possible to object to the refusal of a work permit?
In case the work permit request is rejected; The foreigner whose request is rejected may appeal within 30 days from the notification of the decision regarding the rejection. In addition, the foreigner cannot apply for a re-work permit for the same workplace, business, or the same profession for one year.
- Is it possible to represent by proxy in obtaining a work permit?
The work permit request process is a long process that requires attention. It is necessary to apply to many institutions at the point of obtaining the necessary documents. At this point, disruptions may occur in the process of collecting the relevant documents to apply for a work permit. In this case, it would be beneficial to work with a lawyer during the work permit application process.
Work Permit Card:
Work Permit Certificate Given to Temporary Protection Status Holders:
Information Form on Work Permit Exemption Granted to Foreigners with Temporary Protection Status
Dr. Er Selami, Yabancıların Çalışma İzinleri ve Ön İzin Müessesesi, 21.07.2014.
Ergin Bekiye Gizem, Yabancıların Türkiye’de Çalışma İzinleri Hakkında Kanuni Düzenlemeler, TBB Dergisi, 2018.
Practice Guide on Work Permits of Foreigners Under Temporary Protection, Ministry of Labor and Social Security, https://www.csgb.gov.tr/media/47594/gecici-koruma-saglanan-yabancilarin-calisma-izinlerine-dair-uygulama-rehberi.pdf, last entered date: August 3th,2022.
International Labor Law Implementation Regulation, Official Gazette, No.:317, 02.02.2022
Types of International Protection, Ministry of Labor and Social Security, https://www.csgb.gov.tr/uigm/yabancilar/uluslararasi-koruma-saglanan-yabancilar/, : August 3th,2022.
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