Turquoise Card Regulation

on .

Official Gazette No. 30007, Date 14 March 2017

SECTION ONE

Purpose, Scope, Legal Foundation and Definitions

      Purpose

            ARTICLE 1 - (1) The purpose of this Regulation is to regulate the procedures and principles related to application, assessment and transition period of Turquoise Card, and the rights provided for Turquoise Card holders as well as exercising of the rights.  

      Scope

           ARTICLE 2 - (1) The provisions of this Regulation apply to foreigners who are in the process of Turquoise Card application, assessment and transition period, Turquoise Card holders and relatives of Turquoise Cards owners.

           Legal Foundation

           ARTICLE 3 - (1) This Regulation is prepared based on Articles 11 and 25 of the International Workforce Law No. 6735, dated 28 July 2016.

           Definitions

            ARTICLE 4 - (1) For the purposes of this Regulation, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

            a) Ministry: Ministry of Labor and Social Security,

            b) Directorate General: Directorate General of International Workforce,

            c) Law: International Workforce Law No. 6735, dated 28 July 2016,

            ç) System: Ministry Foreign Application, Assessment and Monitoring System,

            d) Turquoise Card Volunteer: Foreigner, whose voluntary activities as regard to publicity of Turquoise Card in their country are found appropriate by Directorate General,

            e) Turquoise Card: Document that grants foreigner the right of reside and work permanently in Turkey, and the right of residence his relatives.

            f) Relative of Turquoise Card owner: Turquoise Card owner’s foreign spouse, and under age or dependent foreign children of himself of his spouse,

            g) Turkey’s foreign mission: Embassies or consulate generals of the Republic of Turkey,

            ğ) Certificate of conformity: Document stating that foreigner found eligible for Turquoise Card, and that may be drawn up by the state institutions and organizations stated in this Regulation and determined by Directorate General,

            h) Expert: Personnel assigned by Directorate General to asses Turquoise Card application and follow transitory period.

            ı) Person who does not have citizen­ship bond with the Republic of Turkey,

            i) Foreigner ID Number: ID Number granted to foreigners in line with Civil Registry Services Act No. 5490, dated 25 April 2006,

            j) Authorized Intermediary: Institution and organization whose qualifications and framework of task determined by regulation and authorized by the Ministry.

SECTION TWO

General Principles

Foreigners who may be granted Turquoise Card

ARTICLE 5 - (1) Turquoise Card may be granted to foreigners who are;

a) assessed as qualified workforce due to their educational level, wage, professional experience, contribution to science and technology and such like qualifications,

      b) assessed as qualified investor due to their contribution to science and technology, their level of investment or export value, volume of employment they provide and such like qualifications,

      c) scientists and researcher who have internationally recognized studies in the academic area, and those distinguished in science, industry and technology, areas of which deemed strategic from the point of our country,

      ç) internationally reputed for their successes in cultural, artistic or sports activities,

      d) contributing the recognition or publicity of the Turkey or its culture internationally, acting in favor of the matters concerning Turkey’s national interests.

Turquoise Card application

ARTICLE 6 - (1) Turquoise Card application in Turkey shall be made directly through the system, and the applications abroad shall be made to the Turkey’s foreign mission in the foreigner's country of citizenship or legal stay.

(2)The information and documents related to applications made abroad shall be transferred to Ministry electronically by Turkey’s foreign mission. 

(3) Foreigner legally staying in Turkey may directly apply through the system by using his Foreigner ID Number.

(4) Turquoise Card applications can also be made by authorized intermediary on behalf of foreigner both in the country and abroad.

(5) Application will be completed by entering the information and documents belong to foreigner and its relative into system during the Turquoise Card applications.

Residence permit application of Turquoise Card owner’s relative

ARTICLE 7 – (1) As a rule, residence permit application of Turquoise Card owner’s relative shall be made in line with the same procedure, and at the same time of Turquoise Card application. However, in the application abroad, in case the information required for residence permit application of Turquoise Card owner’s relative doesn’t exist, these applications can be made to Ministry within ninety days as of entering into Turkey, providing that not exceeding visa or visa exemption periods.

(2)  For residence permit application of Turquoise Card owner’s relative, documents related to marriage bond with respect to foreigner’s spouse and guardianship and dependency status concerning child will be attached to application.

Application Documents

ARTICLE 8 – (1) Following documents shall be uploaded to system in the application:

a) Letter of application,

b) Copy of foreigner’s passport or the documents that substitute passport,

c) Certificate of conformity, if any.

ç) For the foreigners specified in article five of this Regulation, the documents chosen amongst the following and published in Directorate General’s website; 

1) For the foreigners assessed as qualified workforce; diploma, employment contract, CV, letter of appointment or assignment, internationally recognized documents and the like showing professional experience, foreign languages other than native language,

2) For the foreigners assessed as qualified investor, documents showing the level of investment, volume of employment, export value, financial capability, field of operation, region, sector and business,

3) For scientists and researchers, diploma, documents concerning academic career and title, documents and the like related to academic study, license, trademarks or patents,

4) For the foreigners who are successful at the national and international level in cultural, artistic or sports activities; documents and suchlike showing their successes,

5) For the foreigners contributing the recognition or publicity of Turkey or its culture internationally, documents related to activities performed internationally as a Turquoise Volunteer, documents showing literary and artistic works, publicity activities and its duration and sustainability,

(2) Directorate General is authorized to determine, add on and partially change the required documents for the foreigners specified in article 5 separately for each group of foreigners. The changes are published in Directorate General’s official website.

(3) For legally staying foreigner’s Turquoise Card application in Turkey valid residence permit is not required.

Assessment of Turquoise Card application

ARTICLE 9 – (1) In the assessment of Turquoise Card application, a point-based system based on the criteria determined by Directorate General of International Workforce will be used.

(2) Foreigners who get sufficient point will be assessed positively.

(3) In the application of foreigners specified in the first paragraph  of article 5 / (b), (c),(ç)  (For investors, scientists and researcher, artists and sportsmen), a certificate of suitability, if any, received from public institutions and organizations will be included in the points achieved.

(3) Opinion of the schools or academician may be obtained for the applications filed by successful student in formal education.*

 Certificate of suitability

ARTICLE 10 – (1) With regard to qualification of foreigners specified in the first paragraph of article 5 / (b), (c), (ç), a certificate of suitability may be issued as regard to their eligibility to Turquoise Card by relevant public institutions and organizations determined by Directorate General.

            (2) Format and contents of the certificate of suitability shall be prepared separately for each group of foreigners by Directorate General depending upon the opinion of relevant public institutions and organizations.

            (3) Directorate General is authorized to determine and change the public institutions and organizations as regard to preparation of certificate of suitability.

            (4) Certificate of suitability does not grand any vested right for the acquisition of favorable opinion in the assessment of application.

Point-based system

ARTICLE 11 – (1) Point-based system shall be prepared on the basis of qualifications determined for the foreigners who are specified in article 5 in line with the criteria stated in the second paragraph.

(2) In the preparation of point-based system the following criteria will be taken as a base;

(a) For the foreigners assessed as qualified workforce; educational level, prestige of higher education institution, wages, and the professional experience, foreign languages other than native language and the like showing qualification as a senior executive in high-graded jobs that requires expertness or in R&D fields,

(b) For the foreigners assessed as qualified investor, documented or promised level of or investment, volume of employment or export value, characteristics of field of operation, region, sector and business. Acquired movable and immovable properties, intellectual property rights and the like,

(c) For scientists and researchers; academic title, and study and professional experience in nationally or internationally known higher education institution or in the prominent institutions of science and technology, patent trademark or license, innovation activities registered by national or international organizations. Study or professional experience engaged important tasks in R&D fields or in the information, defense, mining, energy sector which are deemed strategic from the point of national country,

(ç) For foreign sportsmen; achieved individual grades or rewards in national or international, individual or team competitions, his/her sport club’s legal status and national or international achievements,  and whether the sportsmen is a national sportsman in his/her country.

(d) For the foreigners who have literary and artistic works; recognition level of their work of art, national or international awards.

(e) For the foreigners contributing the recognition or publicity of Turkey or its culture, activities involving information of publicity activities and their duration and sustainability, activities performed internationally as a Turquoise Volunteer and suchlike criteria.

(3) Directorate General is authorized to make changes in point-based system, and publish them biannually.

Rejections of Turquoise Card application

ARTICLE 12 - (1) Turquoise Card Applications that shall be rejected as a result of assessments are as follows;

Where the application;

      a) fails to satisfy the criteria determined by the Ministry,

      b) does not comply with the international workforce policy,

      c) contains false or misleading information and documents,

      ç) relates to foreigners, whose reason for being employed is found insufficient,

      d) made for occupations and professions confined exclusively to Turkish citizens in other laws,

                  e) relates to foreigners notified by the Ministry of Interior as being in the scope of Law No. 6458, Article 7, 15 and 54

      f) lodged by foreigners whose working in Turkey is ob­jectionable for public order, public security or public health reasons

      g) save for the presence of favorable opinion Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made for the citizens of a country that is not recognized officially by Republic of Turkey or has no diplomatic relations,

      ğ) not made or completed within the legal period of time

Taking the opinion of proper authorities

ARTICLE 13 – (1) Ministry may take the opinion of relevant authorities.

(2) The relevant authorities deliver their opinion to the Ministry within 15 days, or may demand additional time not exceeding 15 days in force majeure.

(3) Without prejudice to matters related to national security and public order, opinions not submitted in due time shall be deemed as favorable.

      Fees

      ARTICLE 14 – (1) No work permit and residence permit fee will be charged from Turquoise Card holder, and no residence permit fee will be charged from relative of Turquoise Card holder.

      (2) Turquoise Card and Turquoise Card relative cards are prepared as valuable papers in line with Law of Negotiable Instrument No. 210.

Transition period

      ARTICLE 15 – (1) Turquoise Card is granted on condition that its first three years will be transition period.

      (2) An expert may be assigned by Directorate General to follow the Turquoise Card owner’s activities and commitments.

      (3) Follow up reports shall be prepared by the expert in twelve months periods. Format and contents of the reports shall be determined by Directorate General.

      (4) Foreigner is obliged to submit the required information and documents to the Ministry within 15 days. As a rule, information and documents should be transferred through the system, however Directorate General may permit using of every kind of communication channels including registered electronic mail.

      (5) Ministry, in line with expert’s report, may give 3 months for the completion of deficiencies on behalf of foreigner, and may end the transition period and cancel the Turquoise Card in case the deficiencies are not eliminated.

      (6) In-country and abroad activities of the foreigner can be examined by Directorate General during the transition period.

Authorized intermediary

ARTICLE 16 – (1) Work permit applications can also be made by Authorized intermediary.

Removal of transition period reservation

      ARTICLE 17 – (1) Claim for removal of transition period reservation must be lodged starting prior to hundred and eighty days of expire date of transition period or in any case before the date of expire. After expiration of transition period, application for removing transition period reservation shall be refused and Turquoise Card becomes invalid.

      (2) Transition period reservation shall be removed as of 30 days after Turquoise Card holder’s claim, on condition that the expert report is favorable.

      (3) In case the final expert report is not favorable, Directorate General may decide to extend, or terminate the transition period and cancel the Turquoise Card.

      ARTICLE 18 – (1) In case Turquoise Card is not canceled and the claim as regard to removal of the transition period reservation is found appropriate the transition period reservation that put on shall be removed Turquoise Card shall become permanent.

                  Rights and obligation of Turquoise Cards holder

      ARTICLE 19 – (1) Turquoise Cards holder shall benefit from the same rights provided by permanent work permit. Turquoise Card owners;

      (a) have no obligation of compulsory military service,

      (b) have no right to elect and be elected or to enter into public service,

      (c) Without prejudice to acquired rights with respect to social security, subject to governing provisions in benefiting from these rights

      (ç) Processes related to residence, travelling, investment, commercial activities, inheritance, acquisition of movable and immovable properties will be carried out in accordance with current legislations applied to Turkish citizens.

      (2) In case the Turkish citizenship is required for benefiting from these rights in special laws, Turquoise Cards holder shall not claim to benefit from these rights.

      (3) In case they are not objectionable for national security or public order from the point of article 12 of Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901, Turquoise Cards holders and their relatives may achieve Turkish citizenship upon Ministry’s proposal.

Turquoise Card holder’s relative card

      ARTICLE 20 – (1) For Turquoise Card holder’s relative a Turquoise Card holder’s relative Card will be issued.

      (2) This card substitutes the residence permit during the validity period of Turquoise Card.

      (3) In case the Turquoise Card is cancelled this card for relative shall be cancelled by Directorate General.

      Limitation of Turquoise Card

      ARTICLE 21 – (1) Turquoise Card application can be limited or ceased for a certain time as regard to sectors, profession or geographical area.

  Cancellation of Turquoise Card

ARTICLE 22 – (1) Apart from the reason of holder’s own claim, Turquoise Card shall be cancelled in the case of foreigner;

      a) does not arrive at Turkey within six months as of the date of Turquoise Card’s validity starts, or stays outside of Turkey longer than 6 months for reasons other than force majeure  b) whose validity period of passport or the documents that substitutes passport are not extended, save for the presence of favorable opinion of the Ministry of the Interior or   Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

      c) is found working in contradiction of the provision of this Law, or working informally,

      ç) is found not working uninterruptedly 1 year       

      d) whose work permit application is found afterwards as made by false and misleading information and documents,

      e) has not submitted the required information and documents in the period of transition, or has lost his/her qualifications.

      f) is notified by Ministry of Interior as being in the scope of Law No. 6458, Article 7, 15 and 54.

      g) whose working in Turkey notified by relevant state institutions and organizations as objectionable for public order, public security or public health reasons,

      Obligation of social security

      ARTICLE 23 - (1) Holders of Turquoise Card shall fulfill their obligation stipulated by social security legislation in accordance with the provisions of Social Security And General Health Insurance Law No. 5510, dated 31 May 2006, within the prescribed time. The provisions of security agreements to which Turkey is party are reserved.

Transitional provisions

PROVISIONAL ARTICLE (1) Until the technical infrastructure is completed by the Ministry, the application in the scope of this Regulation will be lodged through “Work Permit of Foreigners Automatization” which can be accessed over e-Devlet.

      (2) Until the technical infrastructure is completed by the Ministry, transactions related to residence permit of Turquoise Card relatives will be finalized by Provincial administration Directorate of Immigration.

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