New turquoise card of Turkey
Sadık Sözer ÇizmeciIn line with Articles 11 and 25 of Law No. 6735 on International Labor Force, rules and procedures on the newly established Turquoise Card System was announced in the new Turquoise Card Regulation on March 14, 2017 in the Official Gazette, numbered 30007 (hereinafter the Regulation). With the introduction of the new regulation, a new term is officially started in the Turkish International Labor Migration System by regulating skilled immigration to Turkey with the aim of better identifying immigrants who will contribute to Turkey in a more effective and objective way.
The regulation defines the Turquoise Card as a document that grants permanent right to work and residency in Turkey to its holder and a residence permit to his/her relatives. As per regulation, the Turquoise Card holder’s relatives are the foreign spouse and minor or dependent foreign children.
As promised by Law No. 6735 on International Labor Force, with the introduction of the new regulation, details about eligibility criteria and a new point-based system as a selective mechanism for the Turquoise Card is put into practice. The new point-based scoring system is established and accepted as a means of regulating the Turquoise Card immigration system within the newly established five categories of skilled foreigners; Highly Skilled Labor, Highly Qualified Investors, Scientists and Researchers, internationally successful foreigners in cultural, artistic or sports activities, and foreigners who contribute in recognition or promotion of Turkey or the Turkish culture. Applicants will need to obtain the required number of points for their application in order to qualify under a particular category.
Accordingly, those considered eligible to obtain the Turquoise Card are; highly skilled foreigners by taking into account their educational background, occupational knowledge and experience by their potential contribution to scientific and technological development; highly qualified investors by their investment or export levels; scientists or researchers by their strategical and internationally recognized studies and researches in the field of science, industry and technology; internationally successful foreigners in cultural, artistic or sports activities by the level of their international achievements; and foreigners by their contributions to the international recognition or promotion of Turkey or the Turkish culture and by their international activities concerning the national interests of Turkey.
Similar to ordinary work permit applications, foreigners residing outside of Turkey might apply for the Turquoise Card through Turkish representative offices. Foreigners who are legally residing in Turkey may apply directly to the Labor Ministry with their Turkish ID numbers. Additionally, Turquoise Card applications might be submitted through authorized intermediary institutions that are authorized by the Labor Ministry.
The Turquoise Card might be granted initially for a transition period, for the first three years. Subject to satisfactory monitoring report of a specialist assigned by the Directorate General of International Labor and provided that the request for removing the transition period registration is made within the 180 days before the expiration of the transition period, and in any case before the expiration of the transition period, the Turquoise Card might be granted for an indefinite period with the approval of the Directorate General of International Labor.