For many years, Turkey has contributed to the employment of foreign countries and there has been migration of workers from Turkey to many European countries.
However, in the recent years, both Turkey's economic strength and its geopolitical position have made Turkey the center of foreigners in their migration movements. As a coincidence of the increasing number of foreigners in our country, it has become inevitable not to develop new policies on foreign employment and labor-management for theTurkish authorities. Eventually, these policies have come into force with “International Labor Force Law (“Law”) published by the Labor and Social Security Ministry (“Ministry”). Turkuaz Card (“Card”), which will provide an indefinite permission to foreigners in Turkey has become the agenda for the first time by the Law.
What Is Turquoise Card?
According to the definition of the Card, it provides employment and residency opportunities for the foreigners for an indefinite period of time in Turkey. Also, spouse and children (under eighteen years old) of the Card holder has the right to reside (but not work) in Turkey. However, detailed information about the Card has been presented under the “Regulation on Turquoise Card” (“Regulation”) published in the Official Gazette on 14 March 2017 by the Ministry. The principle and procedures of the Card applications on the Card transition periods and the benefits of the Card to its holders and their relatives are specified in the Regulation.
Who Are Entitled to Own the Card?
The entitlement requirements have been set out in the Regulation to own the Card. According to Article 5 of the Regulation the persons, who are;
i. Regarded as part of the highly qualified labor force according to Article 5 under the Regulation,
ii. Considered highly qualified investors,
iii. Scientists or researchers that contribute to scientific and technological development or who conduct studies and researches accepted strategically in the field of science, industry and technology in terms of the country's interests at the international level,
iv. Internationally successful in terms of cultural, artistic or sports activities, and
v. Contributing Turkey's international recognition or promotion or Turkish culture and who works internationally in matters in favor of Turkey's national interests.
How to Apply for the Card?
The application shall be made via the online system of the Ministry, and for the ones living abroad, the application shall be made through Turkish Foreign Representative. For spouse and children (under eighteen years old) of the Card holder, who will be entitled to reside (but not work) in Turkey shall apply with the same process.
Assessment whether to Issue the Card: Transition Period
The applications of the foreigners applying for the Card are evaluated in accordance with the procedures indicated in the Regulation,based on a scoring system applied by the Generel Director of the Ministry. The foreigner is researched by the General Directorate and the General Directorate may ask for information and/or docuents regarding the work to be carried out. If the assessment ends to the favor of the Card holder, the Card is rendered for a 3 years transition period to the granted foreigner. Under Article 16 of the Regulation, the transition card which is provided for the 3 year interim period, will be converted to permanent Card after the completion of the transition period of 3 years.
When the specifics of foreigners stated in the Regulation are examined, it is clear that this Card is prepared not for every foreigner willing to immigrate to the country, but for ones who would increase the qualified workforce in the country. We believe that the drawn up legislation has been introduced in time and will strengthen the employment force in Turkey and contribute to the growth of the country's economy.
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