WHAT IS TURQUOISE CARD SYSTEM?
A new and facilitated employment permit system, called Turquoise card, is designed to bring in Turkey qualified foreign labor force which will make investments supporting development of Turkey, provide contribution to scientific and technological development and innovation with its professional experience and distinguished in any strategic importance field.
Turquoise card will be granted in line with the international labor force policy to foreigners whose application will be found appropriate in accordance with the principles and procedures set forth by the Ministry and opinions of the Advisory Board of International Labor Force Policy developed according to their educational background, professional experience, contribution to science and technology, effect of their activities or investments in Turkey to national economy and employment rate.
Turquoise card will be given for 3 years as a transition period.
The Ministry of Labor will, during the said transition period, supervise the process by requesting information and documents related to the activities carried out from the employer or the foreigner.
After the transition period of three years, accordıng to the Article 16, the transition card will be transformed to the permanent Tuquoise card. This transform application shall be made within one hundred and eighty days before the transition period expires and in any case prior to expiry of the transition period. Any application made for removal of the transition period record after completion of such term shall be rejected and the Turquoise card will be invalid.
A certificate is granted to the foreigner’s spouse and child(ren) of turquoise card holder may be used as residence permit, which shows that the certificate holder is a relative of the foreigner holding a turquoise card.
The foreigner holding a Turquoise card is entitled to exercise the rights granted by the permanent right of labor as regulated by this Law.
Sources: International Labor Force Law No. 6375
TURQUOİSE CARD REGULATİONS
CHAPTER ONE Aim, Scope, Basis and Definitions Aim ARTICLE 1 – (1) The aim of this Regulations is to regulate the procedures and principles regarding the application, evaluation and transition period for Turquoise Card, the rights granted to the Turquoise Card holder and his/her relatives and the use thereof.
Scope ARTICLE 2 – (1) This Regulations includes the foreigners who are in the Turquoise Card application, evaluation and transition period, Turquoise Card holder and his/her relatives.
Basis ARTICLE 3 – (1) This Regulations is based on the articles 11 and 25 of the International Labour Law dated 28.07.2016 and No 6735.
Definitions ARTICLE 4 – (1) In this Regulations;
a) Ministry: The Ministry of Labour and Social Security, b) General Directorate: Directorate General of International Labour, c) Law: International Labour Law dated 28.07.2016 and No 6735, d) System: Ministry Foreigner Application, Evaluation and Monitoring System, e) Turquoise Volunteer: The foreigner who is approved by the General Directorate to carry out volunteering activities in promotion of Turquoise Card in the country where he/she lives, f) Turquoise Card: The document which grants indefinite work and residence permit to the foreigner and residence permit to his/her relatives, g) Turquoise Card Holder’s Relatives: Foreign spouse of the Turquoise Card holder and minor or dependent foreign children of the card holder or his/her spouse, h) Foreign Delegations of Turkey: Embassies or Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey, i) Certificate of Conformity: The certificate to be issued by the related public organizations and institutions specified herein and to be determined by the General Directorate which indicates that the foreigner has the qualifications required to have Turquoise Card, j) Specialist: The personnel assigned by the General Directorate to evaluate the Turquoise Card application and monitor the transition period, k) Foreigner: The person who is not a citizen of the Republic of Turkey, l) Foreigner Identity Number: The identification number given to the foreigners in accordance with the Civil Registry Services Act dated 25.04.2006 and No 5490, m) Authorized Intermediary Firm: Organization or institution qualifications and tasks of which are determined with a regulation and which is authorized by the Ministry.
CHAPTER TWO General Principles
Foreigners who are eligible for Turquoise Card
ARTICLE 5 – (1) Turquoise Card may be given to foreigners who;
a) Are evaluated to be highly qualified labour with their education, salary, professional knowledge and experience, contribution in science and technology and similar qualifications; b) Are evaluated to be highly qualified investor with their investment or export level, size of the employment they will provide, contribution in scientific and technological development and similar qualifications, c) Contribute in scientific and technological development or who are scientists or researchers who conduct studies which are considered to be strategic on the international level in terms of the country’s interest in the fields of science, industry and technology, d) Are successful on the international level in cultural, artistic or sportive activities, e) Contribute in the international recognition or promotion of Turkey or the Turkish Culture and carry out international activities in relation to national interests of Turkey.
Turquoise Card Application
ARTICLE 6 – (1) Turquoise Card application can be submitted directly on the system in the country or through the Foreign Delegation of Turkey in the country where the foreigner is a citizen or is legally present. (2) Information and documents regarding the applications abroad are submitted to the Ministry in the electronic media by the Foreign Delegation of Turkey. (3) The foreigner who is legally present in Turkey can apply directly on the system with his/her foreigner identity number in the country. (4) Turquoise Card application may also be submitted by an authorized intermediary firm on behalf of the foreigner in the country or abroad. (5) The application is completed when the information and documents regarding the foreigner and his/her relative determined by the General Directorate are entered in the system during Turquoise Card application.
Residency Permit Application for Turquoise Card Holder’s Relative
ARTICLE 7 – (1) It is essential that the residency permit application for Turquoise Card holder’s relative is submitted to the Ministry in accordance with the Turquoise Card application procedure and at the same with this application. However, in Turquoise Card applications from abroad, the applications of these foreigners can be submitted to the Ministry within maximum ninety days after their entry to Turkey, provided that it does not exceed their visa or visa exemption period, if the information required for residency permit application for Turquoise Card holder’s relative is not available.
(2) In the residency permit application for Turquoise Card holder’s relative, the marriage certificate for the spouse and the certificates indicating the parenthood or dependency for the child are enclosed in the application.
ARTICLE 8 – (1) Following documents are uploaded to the system during application:
a) Application form, b) Copy of the passport or equivalent document of the foreigner, c) Certificate of conformity taken from related public organization or institution, if any, d) For the foreigners specified in the article 5 herein, documents published on the
official web site of the General Directorate to be determined among the following:
1) Diploma, labour contract, CV, assignment or appointment letter, internationally accepted documents specifying professional experience and foreign languages other than the native language for the foreigners who are evaluated to be qualified labour, 2) Documents specifying the size of investment, employment level, export amount, financial competence and area, sector and line of work for the foreigners who are evaluated to be qualified investor, 3) Diploma, documents specifying academic career and title, academic studies or license, trademark or patent certificates for scientist or researchers, 4) Certificates of achievements for the foreigners who became successful on national and international level in cultural, artistic or sportive activities, 5) Certificates on activities carried out on the international level as Turquoise volunteer, literary and artistic works, certificates regarding promotion activities containing information such as duration, sustainability, continuity and impact area for the foreigners who contribute in recognition and promotion of Turkey or Turkish culture. (2) General Directorate is authorized to determine the required documents, include additional documents or change these documents for each foreigner group in terms of the foreigners listed in the Article 5. Regulations in this scope shall be published on the official web site of the General Directorate. (3) For the applications of the foreigners who are legally present in Turkey to be submitted in the country, valid residence permit is not required for the foreigner.
Evaluation of Turquoise Card Application
ARTICLE 9 – (1) In evaluation of Turquoise Card application, the scoring system created within the scope of criteria determined by the General Directorate in accordance with the international labour policy. (2) The applications which get the adequate score within the scope of scoring system are evaluated as positive. (3) In evaluation of the applications submitted for the foreigners specified in (b), (c) and (d) paragraphs of the article 5, the certificate of conformity taken from related public organization or institution, if any, may be included in scoring. (4) In evaluation of the applications submitted for the formal education students who are in the last year of their undergraduate education or who are having graduate education who have outstanding success in their field with their high skills, potentials or academic studies and research, the opinion of the institution they are studying at and the faculty members who work there as well as the opinions of the related organizations and institutions may be taken.
Certificate of Conformity
ARTICLE 10 – (1) Certificate of Conformity may be issued by related public organizations or institutions for the foreigners specified in (b), (c) and (d) paragraphs of the article 5 indicating that they are eligible for Turquoise Card based on their qualifications. (2) Form and content of the certificate of conformity are determined by the General Directorate separately for each foreigner group by taking the opinion of the related public organizations or institutions. (3) The General Directorate is authorized to determine, change or add related public organizations or institutions to be authorized to issue certificates of conformity. (4) Certificate of Conformity does not grant any acquired right in relation to approval of the Turquoise Card application.
ARTICLE 11 – (1) Scoring System is prepared in accordance with the determined criteria for the foreigners listed in article 5 based on their qualifications.
(2) In preparation of the scoring system, following are taken as basis;
a) For the foreigners who are evaluated to be qualified labour; their educational background, the reputation of the higher education institution where they studied, their salary level, professional experience as senior manager in high qualification jobs which require specialization, compliance of education and occupation, foreign languages other than native language and other similar criteria which show other qualifications, b) For the foreigners who are evaluated to be qualified investor; documented or contracted investment, export or employment level, qualification of the sector, area and work to be invested in, immovable and movable properties owned in Turkey and intellectual property rights and similar criteria which show other qualifications, c) For scientists or researchers; academic title, experience in internationally recognized higher education institutions or organizations which stand out in science and technology, patent, trademark or license registered by national or international organizations, innovation activities, experience in significant positions in R&D or strategic sectors such as IT, defence, mining or energy and similar criteria which show other qualifications, d) For foreign athletes; individual or club license in their branch, achievements in national or international individual or team competitions, national or international achievements of the club as well as its legal status, national athlete status in their own country and similar criteria which show other qualifications, d) For foreigners who have literary and artistic works; recognition of their works, national or international awards and similar criteria which show other qualifications, e) For foreigners who contribute in recognition or promotion of Turkey or Turkish culture; promotion activities including information such as duration, sustainability, continuity and impact area, literary and artistic works, activities carried out on the international level as
Turquoise volunteer and similar criteria. (3) General Directorate is authorized to amend the scoring system or determine different scoring systems based on region, province, sector, field of activity or occupation and publish thereof in six month periods.
Rejection of Turquoise Card Application
ARTICLE 12 – (1) As a result of the evaluation, Turquoise Card applications which:
a) Fail to meet the evaluation criteria determined by the Ministry, b) Fail to comply with international labour policy, c) Contain false or misleading information and documents, d) Fail to provide adequate reason in relation to employment of foreigners, e) Are submitted for the jobs and occupations restricted for Turkish Citizens in other laws, f) Are submitted to the foreigners who are notified by the Ministry of Interior to be included among the foreigners who are not allowed to enter into Turkey, have visa or will be deported within the scope of related articles of the Foreigners and International Protection Law dated 04.04.2013 and No 6458, g) Are submitted to the foreigners who are not allowed to work in Turkey for public order, public security or public health concerns, h) Are submitted to the foreigners who are citizen of countries which are not recognized or established diplomatic relations by the Republic of Turkey, except for the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, i) Are not submitted or completed in legal time period shall be rejected.
Taking the Opinion of Relevant Authorities
ARTICLE 13 – (1) The Ministry may take opinions from relevant authorities when evaluating the Turquoise Card applications. (2) Relevant authorities shall submit their opinions to the Ministry within 15 days at the latest or request time extension when required provided that it does not exceed 15 days. (3) Opinions which are not submitted within specified time period shall be considered as positive by the Ministry provided that matters related to national security and public order are reserved.
Charging a Fee
ARTICLE 14 – (1) In accordance with the Charges Law dated 02.07.1964 and No 492, work permit and residency permit fee is not charged to the Turquoise Card holder and residency permit fee is not charged to the Turquoise Card holder’s relative. (2) Turquoise Card to be granted to the foreigner and the Turquoise Card holder’s relative card to be given to his/her relative shall be issued as valuable paper in accordance with the Valuable Papers Law dated 21.02.1963 and No 210.
ARTICLE 15 – (1) Turquoise card is granted provided that first three years are transition period.
(2) The General Directorate assigns a specialist to monitor the activities and commitments of the Turquoise Card holder within the transition period. (3) Monitoring report, the form and content of which will be determined by the General Directorate, shall be drawn up by the specialist in twelve month periods. (4) The foreigner is obliged to submit all kinds of information and document required for the monitoring report to the Ministry within fifteen days. It is essential that the information and documents are submitted through the system, but the General Directorate my allow using all kinds of communication means including registered electronic mail. (5) Deficiencies identified in accordance with the specialist’s report are notified to the foreigner and three month time is granted for completing the deficiencies. If the deficiencies are not completed at the end of this period, it may be decided that the transition period is terminated and Turquoise Card is cancelled. (6) Within the transition period, the General Directorate may investigate the domestic and international activities of the foreigner.
Authorized Intermediary Firm
ARTICLE 16 – (1) Reports including all kinds of information, document and data requested from the foreigner by the General Directorate for monitoring and evaluation during transition period may be drawn up by the authorized intermediary firm.
(2) The authorized intermediary firm is obliged to submit the reports drawn up for the Turquoise Card holder to the General Directorate within the fifteen days following the completion of twelve month periods. (3) Correction requests regarding the form and content of the reports are notified to the foreigner and the authorized intermediary firm by the General Directorate on electronic environment. If the specified amendments are not made within thirty days, the reports shall be invalid.
Removing the Transition Period Registration
ARTICLE 17 – (1) The request for removing the transition period registration is made within the one hundred and eighty days before the expiration of transition period and in any case before the expiration of transition period. If application is not submitted within this period, Turquoise Card shall be invalid. Applications after the period expired shall be rejected. (2) Transition period registration shall be removed by the General Directorate within thirty days after the request of the Turquoise Card holder, provided that the final report to be drawn up by the specialist is positive. (3) In the event that the final report to be drawn up by the specialist is negative, the General Directorate shall determine whether to extend the transition period or cancel the Turquoise Card as a result of its evaluation.
Granting Turquoise Card for an Indefinite Period
ARTICLE 18 – (1) The transition period registration on the Turquoise Card which is not cancelled within the transition period shall be removed if the request to remove the transition period registration is approved and the Turquoise Card becomes indefinite.
Rights and Liabilities of the Turquoise Card Holder
ARTICLE 19 – (1) Turquoise Card holder shall benefit from the rights granted by indefinite work permit. Turquoise Card holders;
a) Are exempt from military duty obligation in Turkey. b) They cannot benefit from right to elect and be elected and assigned in public positions, c) Their acquired rights regarding social security are reserved, but they are subject to the provisions in related legislation when using these rights. d) Transactions of these people in relation to residency, travel, work, investment, commercial activity, inheritance, acquiring and renouncing from movable and immovable, etc. are carried out by the related organizations or institutions in accordance with the legislations that apply to Turkish citizens.
(2) If it is required to be a Turkish citizen for using such rights and obligations in special laws, Turquoise Card holders cannot demand to benefit from such rights. (3) Within the scope of (b) paragraph in the first clause of the article 12 of Turkish Citizenship Act dated 25.09.2009 and No 5901, Turquoise Card holder and his/her relative may be granted Turkish Citizenship upon the suggestion of the Ministry provided that they do not have a situation which may constitute an impediment for national security and public order and transition period registration is removed.
Turquoise Card Holder’s Relative Card
ARTICLE 20 – (1) Turquoise Card Holder’s Relative card is issued for the Turquoise Card holder’s relatives. (2) This card replaces residency permit within the validity period of the Turquoise Card. (3) If the Turquoise Card becomes invalid, this card issued by the card holder’s relative shall be cancelled by the General Directorate.
Restricting the Turquoise Card
ARTICLE 21 – (1) Turquoise Card applications and evaluation may be restricted with agriculture, industry or service sectors, certain occupation, line of work or administrative or geographical area for a certain time or suspended by the Ministry in accordance with the international labour policy.
Cancelling the Turquoise Card
ARTICLE 22 – (1) Apart from the foreigner’s request, the Turquoise Card shall be cancelled if;
a) The card holder does not come to Turkey within six months after the effective date of the Turquoise Card or stays abroad continuously for longer than two years except for force majeure, b) His/her passport or equivalent travel document is not extended except for the approval of the Ministry of Interior or Ministry of Foreign Affairs, c) If it is determined that he/she is employed in contradiction with the provisions of law or illegally, d) If it is determined that the foreigner did not work continuously for at least one year, e) If it is determined later that Turquoise Card application is made with false or misleading information and documents, f) If the information and documents requested within transition period are not submitted in due time or if it is understood that the foreigner is no longer eligible for Turquoise Card according to monitoring report, g) If it is notified by the Ministry of Interior that the foreigner is included among the foreigners who are not allowed to enter into Turkey, have visa or will be deported in accordance with Law No 6458, h) If it is notified by related public organizations or institutions that the foreigner is not allowed to work in Turkey for public order, public security or public health concerns.
(2) Turquoise Card is no longer valid after being cancelled.
Social Security Liability
ARTICLE 23 – (1) Provided that the provisions of the social security agreements in which Turkey is a party are reserved, Turquoise Card holders and employers who employ foreigners are obliged to fulfil their obligations arising from social security legislation in due time in accordance with the provisions of the Social Insurance and General Health Insurance Law dated 31.05.2006 and No 5510.
CHAPTER THREE MISCELLANEOUS
Legal Clauses ARTICLE 24 – (1) In case of situations for which there are no provisions in this Regulations, the provisions in the Law and other legislation shall apply.
(2) General Directorate may carry out all kinds of regulatory transaction provided that they are not in contradiction with the provisions of the Law and this Regulations. Transition Provisions PROVISIONAL ARTICLE 1 – (1) Until the necessary technical infrastructure is competed by the Ministry, the applications within this Regulations are submitted to the Work Permit Automation of Foreigners which is accessible on the e-Government Gateway. If required by the General Directorate, the documents submitted on the system shall be submitted to the Ministry in hard copies.
(2) Until the necessary technical infrastructure is competed by the Ministry, residence permit shall be granted to the Turquoise Card holder’s relative by the Provincial Directorates of Migration Management.
Enforcement ARTICLE 25 – (1) This Regulations shall take effect as of the publication date.
Execution ARTICLE 26 – (1) The provisions of this Regulations are executed by the Minister of Labour and Social Security.