New Regulation For Refugees


Foreigners who have the status of “Refugee” or “Subsidiary Protection” will be allowed to work without a work permit, however the “Applicants of International Protection” and “Conditional Refugees will still be under the obligation of obtaining a work permit to work independently or be employed.
“THE REGULATION ON WORKING PROCEDURES OF INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION APPLICANTS AND HOLDERS OF INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION STATUS,” based on the Law on Foreigners and International Protection, No. 6458, and determining the procedures and principles governing the employment of the applicants or the beneficiaries of international protection status, has been issued in Official Journal No. 29695, dated 26 April 2016.

Types of International Protection

The “Law on Foreigners and International Protection, No. 6458” defines different types of international protection status;

– Refugee: A person from Eu­ropean countries or stateless person under certain condition.
– Subsidiary Protection: A person outside European countries under certain condition.
– Conditional Refugee: A person or a stateless person, who neither could be qualified as a refugee nor as a conditional refugee but nevertheless needs protection for certain reasons.
– Applicants of International Protection: A person applied for the international protection status but not yet qualified for it.

and these are treated differently with respect to access to the labor market. (You can find the full definitions at the end of the article.) 

The Refugees or the Subsidiary Protection Benefi­ciaries

These are the persons who are granted refugee or subsidy protection status and may work independently or be employed, upon being granted the status.
The identity certificate of a refugee or a subsidiary protection beneficiary will substitute for a work permit and this in­formation shall be written on the document.

Working right of the persons who lost the above mentioned status for any reason will be cancelled.

Applicants and Conditional Refugees

The applicants or conditional refugees must apply for work permit before they start to work. Those whose applications assessed as appropriate will be granted work permit by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. However, having a valid work permit cannot grand these persons the absolute right of staying in Turkey.

Condition of Work Permit Applications are as follows;

  • Applicants and conditional refugees must have valid identity certificate showing their application or the statue obtained from competent authority.
  • Work permit application will be made online to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security through “e-devlet,” after six months as of the date of application for international protection.  Renewal of permit is subjected to same procedure and should be made before expiration date of the permit. In case the employer changes renewal application will be rejected.
  • Applicants of work permit renewals can work in the same workplace until the application finalized.

Application for work permit exemption:

Seasonal working refugees in agriculture and stockbreeding field will be within the scope of work permit exemptions. Exemption application should be made to Provincial Directorate of the Labor and Employment Agency where the protection is issued. Labor Ministry may place restriction as to the province and quota in these fields.

Duration of work permit:

In case the duration of work permit is longer than the duration of identity certificate, Provincial Directorates of Migration Management will extend the duration of identity certificate as to match the work permit duration.

Vocational training

Applicants or conditional refugees who will go through vocational and on-the-job training in a workplace within the scope of Turkey Employment Agency training course and programs, and the employer of these foreigners can apply to Labor Ministry to work in the same workplace after the training ended.

Applicants or conditional refugees cannot be paid under the minimum wage.

For definitions click here.


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