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When can you legally start working/geting paid? (Istanbul)

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I have a question about the timeline involved with applying for a work permit/getting the work permit/getting paid.

HR at my university (which has very little experience working with foreigners) says that the school cannot start a contract until the work permit is actually in hand. However, I know that schools like Bilfen hire tons of new natives every summer and start paying them at the end of August/beginning of September, even if the actual work permits are not received until October.

Can anyone confirm that schools can legally pay you after they have submitted the paperwork for your work permit but before the permit has been received?

Thanks!

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