Turkey plans to ease work permits for foreigners
Erdinç ÇELİKKAN ANKARA
The Turkish Economy Minister has prepared an action plan to attract more qualified foreign employees and investors.
The Turkish government is considering easing work permit requirements for foreigners with a new program that is aimed to draw more foreign investors and qualified workers to the country.
According to an action plan prepared by the Economy Ministry, the government has put revising work permit and visa requirements onto its agenda as part of its plans to restructure employment incentive schemes to make it more responsive to instant needs.
Foreigners will be subject to a new and “easier” application process that is more sensitive to the education level and the investment amount of the foreigner seeking the working permit, according to the plan.
The new procedures are planned to be designed in a way to allow more space for more individualized application processes and granting permits in different validity durations.
This way, more qualified foreign workers and investors will be able to go through a less complex and faster work permit application process.
Moreover, the applicant foreigner’s spouse and children are aimed to be permitted to benefit from the same rights as other foreigners and given work permits without having to wait for five years.
Loosening citizenship requirements may also be among the possibilities considered by the ministry. One of the plans is granting a permanent work permit, which can be counted as a residence permit, for the foreign investor.
As the first step, the ministry will carry out an impact analysis for employment incentives in cooperation with other ministries and related agencies.
The incentive programs’ results will be observed in order to avoid resource waste and finding a system that uses resources more effectively.
Removing some limitations, such as one-entrance visa, as in the case for maintenance, repair and montage jobs, will also be on the agenda.
Problems experienced by company partners or board members travelling to Turkey frequently for business purposes will be also be sought to be cured by the government.
As part of these efforts, internal regulations and good practice examples from countries drawing brain drain and investment most will be examined.
Some 100,000 foreigners have applied to obtain a work permit in Turkey between 2009 and 2013 and 64,279 of these applications were successful, according Labor Ministry data.
According to the existing Turkish law, a workplace needs to employ five Turkish citizens for every foreign worker, although this rule is not applied in the representative offices of foreign airlines, educational units and housekeeping posts.