The Regulation on Turquoise Card (the “Regulation”) drafted on the basis of Articles 11 and 25 of the International Labour Force Law No. 6735 (the "Law") has been published in the Official Gazette on 14.03.2017 and entered into force on the same date. Accordingly, the principles of the Turquoise Card practice brought with the Law has been determined with the Regulation. However, as also mentioned under the Regulation, it is seen that the operating procedure will be amended in the following days since the technical infrastructure with respect to the application has not been prepared yet. Notwithstanding, the current practice with the principles brought by the Regulation take place in our below analysis.
What is Turquoise Card?
Turquoise Card is a document providing work and residence right to foreigners and residence right to his/her family for an indefinite period.
The family to be granted with Turquoise Card is defined under the Regulation as the foreign spouse of the Turquoise Card owner and minor or dependent foreign children of the Turquoise Card owner or his/her spouse.
The Turquoise Card may be granted to the foreigners who are;
a) Evaluated as high-level labour force due to education level, salary, occupational knowledge and experience, contribution to science and technology and similar qualifications,
b) Evaluated as high-level investors due to the level of investment and export, substantiality of employment opportunity to be provided, contribution to scientific and technological development and similar qualifications,
c) Scientists and researchers contributing to scientific and technological development or conducting works and researches accepted as internationally strategic in terms of country’s interest in the areas of science, industry and technology,
d) Successful at an international level in terms of cultural, artistic or sportive activities,
e) Contributing for international recognition or advertisement of Turkey or Turkey’s culture, conducting activities at an international level with respect to matters related to Turkey’s national interests.
Benefits of Turquoise Card
Apart from the indefinite period work permit, the foreigners who own of the Turquoise Card;
a) Are exempted from military service liability in Turkey.
b) Cannot benefit from the right to elect and be elected, appointment to public services.
c) Are subject to regulations under legislation for usage of social security rights while the vested rights are already reserved.
d) Are obliged to act in line with the legislation applicable for Turkish nationals with respect to the matters related to residence, travel, work, investment, commercial activity, inheritance, acquiring and assignation of movable and immovable in Turkey.
The below mentioned documents for application shall be recorded into the system;
• Application form,
• The copy of the foreigner’s passport or document substituting for the passport,
• Conformity certificate obtained from public institutions and organizations, if any (provided by the relevant public institutions and organizations to be determined by the International Labour Force General Directorate), and
• The other supporting documents for the applicant in conformity with the above mentioned categories.
The applications for Turquoise Card will be made as similar to work permit applications via e-State from Turkey or abroad until the required technical infrastructure is completed. Furthermore, residence permit for the close relatives of one to be provided with the Turquoise Card will be provided by Provincial Immigration Authority until the required technical infrastructure is completed.
The Turquoise Card is provided on condition that the first three years are transition period. Within the transition period, a specialist who shall observe the foreigners’ activities and prepare a report, shall be appointed by General Directorate. The transition period record on Turquoise Card of the foreigner whose Turquoise Card is not cancelled within the transition period and whose request of removal of the transition period record is approved, shall be abolished and accordingly the Turquoise Card becomes indefinite.
The legal fee for work permit and residence permit of the foreigner with the Turquoise Card and the legal fee for the residence permit of the close relatives of the ones who are provided with the Turquoise Card shall be collected.
Foreigners with the Turquoise Card and the employers who employ foreigners shall continue to fulfil the obligations arisen from social security legislation.