Is It Easy to Get a Job as an Expat in Turkey?


Foreigners in Turkey have the right to work in many sectors. There are many suitable positions for foreign nationals who speak English or more than one language in the fields of management, marketing, sales, technical information and translation for global companies.

According to the latest statistical report published before the pandemic, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security approved 115,826 work permits within a year. Most applications were made in Istanbul, Turkey's most important and populous city, and the second is located in the touristic city of Antalya.

 Hotels and travel agencies in Turkey are mostly open in the summer season every year. Some foreigners want to be a tour guide using their native language. This job requires several years of training. Seasonal jobs such as travel consultancy or hotel animators are suitable for foreigners. Foreigners with a TESOL qualification certificate can work as teachers in private institutions.



The Most Preferred Online Job Search and Posting Platforms

  • LinkedIn: You can access events and meetings where Turkish and foreigners come together, organized by business groups created on this platform and other websites that have established their own business networks.
  • Indeed: the UK's largest job search platform, it can be a useful platform to find many job opportunities in Turkey.
  • Craigslist: Cragslist, which also has a Turkish page, is the most preferred online trade platform.
  • net: is currently Turkey's most preferred job search platform. To be able to use this site, which is mostly used by local people, it is absolutely necessary to speak Turkish.

There are many online platforms that offer job opportunities in Turkey such as, Learn4Good,, Totaljobs etc.

After finding a job, the candidate who is willing to work for an employer must apply for a work permit. You are not allowed to work without a work permit in Turkey.


Istiklal Street, Taksim, Istanbul

Istiklal Street, Taksim, Istanbul


Work Permits for Foreigners

 Employees and employers can apply for a work permit. Employee candidates who have a residence permit, a passport valid for at least 60 days and a legal contract with the employer are entitled to obtain a temporary or indefinite work permit.

The employer should submit all the necessary application forms and send all relevant documents to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. Those living abroad can apply to Turkish consulates in their own country.

The candidate can start working as soon as the work permit application is approved. It is the employer's responsibility to arrange social security and tax payments. Work permit is specific to the workplace. The work permit is canceled as soon as the foreign employee leaves the job.

You can find more information about visas or residence permit types for Turkey from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. As the regulations may change over time, the website must be visited regularly or you can contact the consulate for up-to-date information.


Independent Work Permits

Independent work permit applications can be made in case of residing legally and continuously in Turkey for 5 years. You should provide a business plan and entrepreneurial character that must be shown how Turkey's economy will be benefited from your work.

Alternatively, with an amendment made in the International Labor Force Law in 2017, the Turquoise Card System has been implemented for highly skilled employees.

Note: There are many exceptions to the law on work permits for foreigners in Turkey and these laws are constantly updated. Therefore, updated information should always be checked from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. It should also be remembered that those who work illegally will be punished and, in some cases, be deported.



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