Turkey’s Turquoise Card Regulation Issued

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Implementation Regulation on Turquoise Card, the new introduced type of work permit that enables qualified foreigner to work in Turkey for an unlimited period of time, and grants the right of residence to his/her spouse and dependent children has been issued in Official Gazette No. 30007, dated 14th March 2017.

Turquoise Card owners will have the same rights as accorded to Turkish citizens after 3 years of transition period, excluding right to elect and be elected, or to enter into public service. And they will have no obligation of compulsory military service.

Applicants will be assessed by a point-based system based on the criteria determined by Directorate General; and a “certificate of suitability” will be required for some specific foreigners

Foreigners who may be granted Turquoise Card

Turquoise Card may be granted to foreigners who are;

  • assessed as qualified workforce due to their educational level, wage, professional experience, contribution to science and technology and such like qualifications,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • internationally reputed for their successes in cultural, artistic or sports activities,
  • 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

Turquoise Card application in Turkey will be made directly through the system, and the applications abroad will be made to the Turkey’s foreign mission in the foreigner's country of citizenship or legal stay.  The information and documents related to applications made abroad shall be transferred to Ministry electronically by Turkey’s foreign mission. 

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

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

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 relatives will be made at the same time of Turquoise Card application. In case the required information 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.  Documents related to marriage bond with respect to foreigner’s spouse and guardianship and dependency status concerning child will be attached to application.

Work permit applications can also be made by authorized intermediary.

Required Documents

Following documents shall be uploaded to system in the application:

  • Letter of application,
  • Copy of foreigner’s passport
  • Certificate of suitability, if any.
  • Required documents with respect to qualification of the applicants such as diploma, employment contract, and letter of appointment, trademark, licenses or patents will be published in Directorate General’s website.

Point-based system

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; foreigners who get sufficient point will be assessed positively.

For investors, scientists and researcher, artists and sportsmen a certificate of suitability, if any, received from public institutions and organizations will be attached to application.

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

Rejections of Turquoise Card application    

Turquoise Card application may be rejected where the application,

  • fails to satisfy the criteria determined by the Ministry,
  • contains false or misleading information and documents,
  • made for occupations and professions confined exclusively to Turkish citizens in other laws,
  • lodged by foreigners whose working in Turkey is objectionable for public order, public security or public health reasons,
  • made for the citizens of a country that is not recognized officially by Republic of Turkey or has no diplomatic relations,
  • not made or completed within the legal period of time.

Transition period

Turquoise Card is granted on condition that its first three years will be transition period, during which an expert will be assigned to follow the Turquoise Card owner’s activities and commitments and to prepare follow up reports in twelve months periods.

Foreigner is obliged to submit the required information and documents to the Ministry within 15 days.

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.

The transition period reservation will be removed upon foreigner's application and he/she shall be granted permanent Turquoise Card. This application 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.

Rights and obligations

Turquoise Card owners;

  • will benefit from the same rights as accorded to Turkish citizens with the exception of the provisions in laws regulating specific areas,
  • 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.
  • have no right to elect and be elected or to enter into public service. And they have no obligation of compulsory military service.

Turquoise Cards owner's spouse and children

who are dependent in line with governing legislation shall be given a document that substitutes the residence permit and shows that they are relatives of Turquoise Cards owner.

Cancellation of Turquoise Card

Apart from the reason of holder’s own claim, Turquoise Card will be cancelled in the case of foreigner;

  • does not arrive at Turkey within six months as of the date of Turquoise Card validity starts, or stays outside of Turkey longer than 6 months for reasons other than force majeure
  • 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,
  • is found working in contradiction of the provision of Law, or work informally
  • is found not working uninterruptedly 1 year
  • whose work permit application is found afterwards as made by false and misleading information and documents,
  • has not submitted the required information and documents in the period of transition, or has lost his/her qualifications.
  • is notified by Ministry of Interior as being in the scope of Law No. 6458, Article 7, 15 and 54.
  • 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

Holders of Turquoise Card must fulfill their obligation stipulated by social security legislation in accordance with the provisions of Social Security and General Health Insurance Law No. 5510. The provisions of security agreements to which Turkey is party are reserved.

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