Turkey to score foreign workers upon qualifications in new system

Turkey to score foreign workers upon qualifications in new system

Hacer Boyacıoğlu - ANKARA
Turkey to score foreign workers upon qualifications in new system

AA photo

Turkey will score foreign workers according to their vocational qualifications, educational background and professional experiences in the planned “turquoise card” system, according to senior officials.

Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said on June 13 that a series of regulations would be introduced to improve the employment conditions of foreigners.

“We will unveil a turquoise card, which will provide qualified foreigners with the opportunity for permanent employment. Short-term foreign workers and interns will also get a permit to work,” he said.

After the draft passes in parliament, the Labor Ministry will be solely responsible for dealing with work permits for foreigners rather than a couple of ministries, he said, adding that the draft would also help Syrian refugees acquire work permits in Turkey.

Turkey will bring about a scoring system for foreign workers in the framework of the new system. Their educational background, language skills, professional experience and other qualifications will be assessed through this scoring system. Foreigners who can pass a predefined threshold will be able to qualify for a turquoise card, according to officials.

Wealthy foreigners will also be assessed in the scope of this system if they plan to reside in Turkey, they added.

Turquoise card holders will be able to bring their families into Turkey without facing any civil service obstacles.

The Migration Policies Board, which was established after the approval of the Migration Law, will actively work in all processes concerning foreign workers. The board, which operates under the chairmanship of the interior minister, is composed of undersecretaries from 10 ministries, including the Labor and Social Security Ministry, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Family and Social Policies Ministry. The board members meet once a year. 

According to the law, the board has the authority to define the rules about foreign employment in seasonal agricultural jobs in line with the views of the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry. In accordance with the recommendations from the Labor and Social Security Ministry, the board is also authorized to set the rules about Turkey’s need for foreign workers.

According to the existing regulations, there is no limitation in offering work permits to foreigners with the exception for foreigners who are banned from entering the country. The Internal Affairs Ministry and the police are however asked whether there is a problem with any foreigner who has applied to take a work permit in daily practice. This could lead to the rejection of a work permit without any reason, according to officials.

“Such cases are brought to the courts. And the courts might decide to annul the rejections. For that reason, a new article will be added to the regulation, stipulating that any foreigner who poses a risk over public health and public safety cannot take a work permit,” said an official.

Foreign property owners

It is still unknown whether foreigners who buy property in Turkey will be offered citizenship through the new package.

Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said in a speech last weekend that the cabinet was set to offer citizenship to foreigners who buy a number of properties in Turkey.

“We will grant residence permit to foreigners who buy a certain number of properties in Turkey. Upon demand, citizenship status will also be offered in a short period of time,” he said.

Turkey offers foreigners who own immovable property in the country a one-year residence permit.