February, 13th, 2024

Turkey, like most countries, has a shortage of local workers who are willing to be nannies and caregivers for elders. Many families therefore seek the services of a foreign national to fill these in-home roles to care for children or elderly parents. In Turkey, both foreigners and Turkish nationals often seek to employ a full-time live-in foreign household worker, and contrary to popular belief, work permits are possible. Given that residence permits do not grant work authorization, this article seeks to provide information on obtaining work permits for household employees.

The sponsoring employer who wishes to hire a full-time household employee, must apply for a work permit under their name and their specific residential address where the nanny will be employed. This work permit is exclusive to the designated address, meaning the nanny can not work at another address even if the sponsor employer is the same.

Criteria for Sponsoring a Nanny/Household Worker Work Permit

When considering hiring a nanny or household worker, the sponsor employer should meet the following criteria:

1. E-Signature: Acquiring an e-signature token is mandatory for filing the work permit application. Various e-signature providers in Turkey may provide this token that can be obtained by a Turkish national or foreigner with lawful status in Turkey.

2. Financial Eligibility: The sponsor must demonstrate sufficient financial income or means to support the nanny’s employment.

3. Minimum Salary Requirement: The nanny must be compensated at minimum wage or higher in Turkey, which is subject to periodic adjustments.

4. Purpose of Employment: The employment purpose must align with at least one of the following:

a. Child Care (children must be minors)

b. Elderly Care

c. Patient Care

The employment purpose must be specified in the employment agreement executed with the nanny as well as in the work permit application form. Note there are additional requirements for each purpose to evidence the requirement of a nanny. For instance, if the purpose of employment is to take care of minor children, the sponsor must provide the Turkish/Foreign ID Numbers of the children. Generally, if one of these conditions is well-evidenced in the application and no other negative conditions exist, the Ministry of Labor is quite willing to grant a permit.

Filing of the Work Permit Application

If the foreign nanny candidate in Turkey has a valid residence permit that allows them to legally reside in Turkey six months or more the sponsor can file a work permit application for the nanny domestically in Turkey. Processing time is between 1 – 2 months and once approved, the nanny must update their address registration to the employer’s address within 20 business days if they will be in a live-in position.

If the nanny does not possess a valid residence permit, they must apply for a work visa at the Turkish Consulate in their country of residence or citizenship. The Turkish Consulate will issue a reference number, enabling the sponsor employer in Turkey to file the work permit application. The nanny can enter Turkey to work only after their work permit is approved and they collect their work visa from the Turkish Consulate abroad. The nanny must complete their address registration within 20 business days of arrival.

Social Security Registration

After receiving work permit approval, to conclude the hiring process, the sponsor employer must notify the Turkish Social Security Institution (“SGK”) before the nanny commences employment. Proof of payment of social security premiums is an important step that is needed to renew the permit as well.

In conclusion, navigating the process of hiring a foreign nanny or household worker in Turkey requires careful attention to legal requirements and procedural details. The process as outlined requires obtaining an e-signature, ensuring the sponsor employer meets all necessary criteria, ensuring the applicant has no negative background issues, collecting required documents from both the nanny and employer, executing an employment agreement, filing the work permit in Turkey or from abroad, completing the address registration of the nanny, and finally notifying the social security institution about the commencement of employment. With this procedure, the Turkish  government ensures families have the household staff they need while protecting the employment rights of the domestic employee.

Metin Ertürk
Senior Immigration Manager | [email protected]