GUIDE: How can citizens of Pakistan obtain residence and work permits in Turkey?

Turkey, a country that lies partly in Asia and partly in Europe, is a popular tourist destination. Several ex-pats also prefer relocating to Turkey.  However, the relocation process requires ticking off a long list of things to do. If you too intend to move to Turkey, this guide may help you understand everything you need to know; from visas to work permits, we’ve got everything covered.

How to obtain a Visa for Turkey?

To obtain a visa, you need to decide the purpose of your visit to Turkey. Depending on it, there will be a different form of invitation and the procedure for its completion. Following are the main types of visas and travel purposes:

  • Tourist Visa – tourism
  • Business Visa – conferences, business meetings;
  • Work Visa – work in a Turkish company.

Pakistani citizens who are willing to visit Turkey could get a tourist visa in 2 ways. One of them is by getting an e-visa online. Another option is to apply documents to the Turkish Consulate in case if 1st option could not apply to this category of people.

To get an e-visa online, the applicant should meet the following requirements:

  • Have a valid passport, which will cover the period that the applicant will be staying in Turkey.
  • Have valid supporting Documents (valid visa OR valid residence permit from one of the Schengen Countries, USA, UK, or Ireland.

In case if the applicant is unable to meet the criteria for an e-visa application, they can apply for a tourist visa via the Turkish Consulate in Pakistan. The following list of required documents must be submitted to the Turkish Consulate in Pakistan for this process:

  1. İnvitation letter / İncome status
  2. Biometric photo
  3. Flight itinerary reservation
  4. Hotel booking
  5. Bank statement

Once the foreigner attains a tourist visa, they can visit Turkey and stay there legally for a certain period.

How to extend your Visa?

If a Pakistani citizen intends to extend their visa, they have a right to apply for a short-term residence permit. The application for this must be completed while the visa is still valid. Once the visa expires, the foreigner cannot apply for a residence permit in Turkey. The short-term residence permit will allow the Pakistani to stay in Turkey legally, but it doesn’t give them any right to work in Turkey legally.

How to apply for a work permit?

The residence permit could be transferred to a work permit later if the foreigner has a job offer from an employer. Please note that a foreign employee cannot apply and get a work permit by himself; only the employer can get a work permit for the employee. Employers should apply for a work permit to the Ministry of Labour. Generally, the application process and evaluation take 30 working days. The initial work permit is granted for 1 year and subsequently is renewable further.

Applications for a work permit are made through the e-Government portal of Turkey ( The automated work permit application system enables the users to fill the online work permit application form and upload necessary documents into the system. Online application is made through the e-government portal. Duly applications are finalized by the Ministry at most thirty days. Once the decision is made, the ministry informs the applicant through e-mail. Foreigners residing outside Turkey can make their work permit applications through the Turkish representative offices in their home countries. In the existence of a residence permit valid for at least 6 months, foreigners residing in Turkey can make their applications directly to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

1. Foreigners residing outside of Turkey

Foreigners residing outside of Turkey are subject to apply for a work permit from the representative offices of Turkey in their own countries. Pursuance to work permit application of foreigner, within 10 working days, the employer should process the application online to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in Turkey. Once the approval from the Ministry is granted, foreigners are required to apply for a work visa to the Turkish representative office within 90 days.

As per new rules on residence permits, valid working permissions will now be used as residence permits. Thus, the work permit validity requirement of residence permit application within 30 days upon obtaining the work permit (for consulate applications, 30 days was starting upon arrival of work permit holders) will be outlawed. On the other hand, the same work permits, “Work Permit Exemption Certificates,” will also be used as residence permits.

2. Foreigners residing inside Turkey

Foreigners with a residence permit valid for at least 6 months may make their applications to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security internally. Internal applications are made by the employer directly to the Ministry. Once the online application is completed and signed by electronic signature, there is no need to send any documents to the Ministry.

3. Work permit extension applications

Extension application of the work permit period is made to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. As they are Internal applications, after completing and signing with e-signature online applications, there is no need to post any documents to the ministry. The application extension could begin 2 months before the expiry date of the work permit. After the expiry date of the work permit, the applicant can no longer request for an extension, and the application is regarded as an initial application.

Story originally published in Expat Guide Turkey 

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