International Workforce Law No: 6735 aims at attracting qualified foreign professionals such as engineers and architects, medical personnel, academicians, research and development personnel, free trade zone personnel and partners of companies, cross-border service providers and the investors.
Work permit application of foreign free trade zone personnel legally staying in Turkey will be made to relevant free zone management by the free trade zone firm. Applications are evaluated by Ministry of Economy and granted by Ministry of Labor and Social Security. It should be noted that “relevant free zone management means” regional directorates of free zones at which the workplace is established, not the General Directorate of Free Zones of Economy Ministry.
Implementation Regulation, determining the application and issuance of work permits related to foreigners who wish to work in the scope of Free Trade Zone Law, No. 3218, has been issued in Official Gazette No. 30078, dated 27th May 2017.
Below you will find the brief translation of said Regulation.
Procedures and Principles
Obligation of obtaining work permit
ARTICLE 5 – (1) It is obligatory to obtain a work permit for the foreigners who wish to work in the free trade zones
Work permit application in Turkey
ARTICLE 6 – (1) Work permit and work permit extension application of foreign free trade zone personnel legally staying in Turkey will be made to relevant free trade zone management by the free trade zone firm.
(2) Relevant free trade zone management certifies the foreigner’s legal stay in Turkey.
(3) Information and documents related to foreigner are entered into system by free trade zone management. Foreign identification number, and registered electronic mail accounts of foreigners and the free zone firm must be included in the application.
(4) Free trade zone management sends the application to Ministry of Economy to be evaluated.
ARTICLE 5 – (1) Applications abroad shall be made to the Turkey’s foreign mission in the foreigner's country of citizenship or legal stay.
(2) Related information and documents are forwarded to Ministry of Labor and Social Security on line.
(3) One copy of documents is sent to relevant free trade zone management together with a letter of application by the free trade zone firm. Reference number given by foreign mission must be included.
(4) Information and documents are entered into system by free trade zone management.
(5) Free trade zone management forwards the application to Ministry of Economy to be evaluated.
(6) Registered electronic mail account (KEP) of foreigner is notified to free trade zone management by free trade zone firm within 15 days as of working start date.
ARTICLE 8 – (1) Documents necessary in the application are announced in the website of Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
(2) Passport or the documents that substitute passport with the validity period over sixty days should be included in the application documents. Save for the presence of favorable opinion of the Ministry of the Interior or Ministry of Foreign Affairs, passports with less than sixty days validity period are returned to free trade zone firm by the management.
Evaluation of work permit application
ARTICLE 9 – (1) Ministry of Economy evaluates the application and forwards the result of evaluation to Ministry of Labor and Social Security through the system.
(2) Foreigner to be employed by free trade zone firm must be a administrator or qualified personnel. However in work permit applications of applicants of international protection claim, conditional refugees or foreigners under temporary protection the relevant laws will be applied.
(5) Upon favorable assessment of Ministry of Economy, foreigners are granted work permit by Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
Duration of work permit
ARTICLE 10 – (1) Permit is granted to free trade zone personnel upmost one year period on their first application.
(2) Applications for extension of work permit should be made within sixty days prior to the expiration of work permit, and in any case before the expiration of work permit. Applications for extension made after the date of expiration shall be rejected.
(3) Foreigner serving under same employer will be given upmost two years extension on the first application and maximum three years for the ensuing applications.
(4) In determining the work permit duration, license expiration date of the free trade zone firm are taken into consideration.
(5) In case the validity period of foreigner’s passport or the documents that substitute passport is less than one year, work permit will be given with a period of sixty days shorter.
ARTICLE 11 – (1) Amount of Fee and valuable paper rate will be determined by Ministry of Economy in line with Turkish Act on Fees No. 492 of 2 July 1964 and Law of Negotiable Instruments No. 210 of 21 February 1963.
Delivery of work permit.
ARTICLE 12 – (1) Work permit document that issued by Ministry of Social Security and Labor is sent to relevant free trade zone management.
(2) Work permit document is handed over to the free trade zone firm or to the foreigner by the free trade zone management, after seeing the documents of proof that fees are paid.
Validity and cancellation of work permit
ARTICLE 13 – (1) In case of expiration work permit losses its validity.
(2) Work permit will be cancelled in the following situations by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security upon notification of Ministry of Economy:
a) In case of foreigner's or the free trade zone firm’s request through the free trade zone firm,
b) Ex officio cancellation by Ministry of Economy,
c) In case foreigner does not arrive at free trade zone within six months as of the date of work permit's validity start date, excluding free trade zone firm partners who don’t have managerial status.
(3) In the following cases work permit directly cancelled by Ministry of Labor and Social Security:
a) Save for the presence of favorable opinion of the Ministry of the Interior or Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in case the validity period of passport or the documents that substitutes passport are not extended,
b) In case of being found working in contradiction of the provision of the Law,
c)In case the work terminated for whatever reason,
ç) Application is found afterwards as made by false and misleading information and documents,
d) In case foreigner is notified by Ministry of Interior as being in the scope of Law No. 6458, Article 7, 15 and 54.
e) In case the working of foreigner is notified by state institutions and organizations as objectionable for public order, public security or public health reasons,
f) In case of foreigner uninterruptedly stays outside of Turkey exceeding six months for reasons other than force majeure such as health and compulsory public service.
Obligation of social security
ARTICLE 14 – (1) Without prejudice to provisions of international social security agreements to which Turkey is party, Foreigners and free trade zone firm shall fulfill their obligation stipulated by social security legislation in accordance with the provisions of Social Security And General Health Insurance Law No. 5510, dated 31 May 2006, within the prescribed time.