Turkey has announced detailed requirements and processes for applying and granting work permits to foreign employees who work in Free Trade Zones. The work permit rules are largely the same as for foreign employees who work outside Free Trade Zones.

The Regulation on Working Permits for Foreign Employers Who Will Work in Free Trade Zones (“Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 30078 on 27 May 2017, entering into force on the same day.

Applications are made by the employer (which holds an operating license in the Free Trade Zones). Applications can be made either to:

  • The directorate of the relevant Free Trade Zone, or
  • The Turkish Foreign Representative Office in the foreign employee’s home or residence country.

For applications made within Turkey:

  •  The foreign employee must be in Turkey legally and have an identity number.
  • Both the foreign employee and employer must have an e-mail account registered with the Information and Communication Technologies Authority.

For applications made outside Turkey the employer must also send copies of the documents to the directorate of the relevant Free Trade Zone, with a petition stating the application was made outside Turkey.

Other notable provisions include:

  • The foreign employee’s original passport (or equivalent document) must be included in the application, having at least 60 days’ validity at the time of application.
  • The foreign employee must work in an executive role, or be deemed to be qualified personnel.
  • If a work permit is granted outside Turkey, the foreign employee must enter Turkey within six months of the issue date.
  • Applications to extend a work permit must now be made sixty days before an existing permit expires.
  • The first extension can be for up to two years, while subsequent extensions can be for three years, provided these extensions involve the same employer.

Please see this link for the full text of the Regulation (only available in Turkish).