Visa Information

Faculty (Academic Work Permit)

If you are eligible to obtain a touristic visa without visiting a Turkish consulate in your home country, we advise you to do so and enter Turkey as a tourist. Beside exceptions, you have the right to stay in Turkey for up to 90 days as a tourist. Since your work permit will be issued in Turkey and will be ready before your employment date, as long as you remain in lawful status, you can begin employment with a work permit. This means that faculty members can enter Turkey with a touristic visa and begin their employment with the work permit that was obtained on their behalf. The International Community Office will keep faculty members posted about their work permit statuses.

For country specific information, please visit the official website of the Turkish Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Visa Information for Foreigners.
Please note that “ordinary visa” refers to a regular touristic visa that students and non-students can obtain to enter Turkey.

e-Visa

International students and non-students can enter Turkey with an e-Visa. An e-Visa is a touristic visa that anyone can use to enter Turkey and that does not require an in-person visa application at a consulate. The e-Visa module will also state whether an individual is exempt from touristic visas and if he/she can enter Turkey with a valid passport. Nationals of some countries can travel to Turkey with a valid passport. We recommend that everyone use the e-Visa module to check the visa requirements for Turkey.

Employment and Residence

Faculty and Staff Residence

​International faculty and staff working at KU first become residents, then begin employment. Their work permit process is completed before their employment start date. Faculty and staff work permits are also residence permits in the form of a picture ID card. Faculty members receive an academic work permit issued by the Higher Education Council of Turkey (YÖK). International staff are issued a work permit by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

Application Process

When a prospective applicant is offered and accepts employment, the Human Resources department notifies the ICO and we begin the work permit process following receipt of specific data about the faculty via our webform. ICO handles the whole process and faculty members are notified when the work permit application is approved. Work permit approval is followed by the delivery of the work permit ID card to Koç University. We keep your work permit ID until you arrive at the university and can collect it from our office. Since the work permit is at the same time as your residence permit in Turkey, you can travel outside Turkey and come back by presenting this ID card to the customs security officer upon entry. When your work permit expires you must follow the regular entry rules. ICO receives advice from Human Resources regarding the renewal status of each work permit for each international employee. Therefore, we will contact employees and their dependents, if any, to inform them about the next steps depending on their work permit renewal status. Faculty members, staff and post-doc researchers can contact Human Resources staff or respective faculty administrator about their employment contract renewal status for detailed information. ICO is solely entitled to facilitate the work/residence permit acquisitions of foreign employees and provide accurate and timely advise to them about maintaining their legal immigration status in Turkey.

Functions of the Work Permit

With recent regulation updates, Labor Department, Migration Authorities and the Higher Education Council have switched to combine work permits with residence permits for employees. Therefore, a faculty work permit is both a Turkish ID, Residency Card (residence permit) and Work Permit; all in one card. Work permits can be used for international traveling, banking, e-government registration, obtaining a driver’s license, taxation, mobile phone registration, and more.

Health Insurance

As a KU employee, you receive a comprehensive private health care coverage plan by default. This is in addition to mandatory Social Security (SGK in
Turkish) Health Insurance. Your health insurance is effective from the first day of your employment. Adding family members onto your plan is optional. When added, your family member is entitled to same coverage as you. Please contact your faculty administrative assistant in order to have any of your family members added to your health insurance plan. Human Resources payroll staff will arrange an individual appointment with you to go over your private and government insurance and other benefits on the first days of your employment. You can ask all your questions at this meeting.

Private Insurance Policy & ID Card

When your private health insurance policy and ID card arrive at HR office, they will notify you, so you can collect them. Please note, if your employment officialy began at KU, you DO NOT need a policy or ID card to receive health care in Turkey. For both SGK and Allianz insurance, you can simply use your Foreigner ID Number (FIN) that begins with 99.. This number can be found on the front side of your work permit. Same applies to your dependents when they have health insurance.