Work and Residence Permits explained!
Yes, the system sounds confusing but I’ll try to make it easier for you to understand. At times, most schools do not completely understand the procedure of hiring a foreign teacher.
There are two ways of hiring a foreign worker under Turkish law:
- A foreign worker who is residing in his home country
- A foreign worker who is already in Turkey at the time of hiring
Within the country: More than likely a foreigner is on a 30-day or 90-day visa, depending on his/her nationality. Canadian, British, and American citizens get a 90-day visa whereas a South African citizen gets 30 days visa.
A person must first obtain a residence permit. A residence permit can be obtained by making an appointment on the government website before the expiration date on the visit visa. (It must be made before the last day of the visa or else your application will not be accepted, and you’ll be asked to leave the country within 10 days)
No one can apply for your residence permit. It is something you need to do for yourself.
You’ll need to have a health insurance.
You’ll need to have approximately $6,000 deposited in a Turkish bank,
You’ll need to have a rental contract for 12 months showing the place you reside in Turkey.
If you can obtain these documents, then you should not have any issues getting your residence permit.
Once you receive your pink card (residence permit), a school can file for your work permit with the Ministry of Education to get your credentials approved. After that, they will file with the Minisrty of Labor to get your white/blue work permit card.
A residence permit is called a touristic residence permit. You file it yourself. You do not need anyone to help you. No one can enter the residence permit office with you but an attorney (optional) that you have hired.
Work permits can only be filed by your employer. The whole process is done by the school and normally schools pay the fee.
You’ll require three things to be translated in Turkish and notarized by a Turkish notary.
- Teaching Certificate
You can do this at any public notary (noter). They usually have a translation (tercüman) office in the same building or on the same block. The approximate cost for getting all three documents will cost you around 500 TL.
You do NOT need these for Residence permit. You’ll only require the translation and notarized document for work permit. Usually, the school will ask you for these documents.
Outside of the country (You’re in your home country): In this case you do not need a residence permit. Your work permit will double as the work/residence permit.
This is called the consulate/embassy processing of your work permit.
The school will explain the process to you. You’ll make an appointment at the nearest Turkish Embassy/Consulate in your home country. The school will send you signed/sealed/stamped contracts in English and Turkish. (The Embassy/Consulate will only accept the original signed/stamped contract and not emailed ones) You’ll take this contract to the consulate with you on your appointment date along with your passport, degree, and teaching certificate.
The consulate will then issue you a reference code. The school will process your visa through the ministry in Turkey. Once all the process is done, the consulate will contact you to bring your passport for visa stamping. This will be your work visa (not Tourist visa). The cost will be around $200- $250 USD.
The process takes anywhere from 6 to 10 weeks.