CitizenshipTurquoise Card

The Turquoise card is one of the innovations Turkey has introduced in terms of work permits for foreigners. Law No. 6735 on International Labor Force introduced a new work permit system called turquoise card for qualified foreigners who will contribute positively to the economy and employment of our country. This article examines the turquoise card, how and by whom it can be obtained, and the rights and obligations of the turquoise card holder. The most important of the rights granted to the holder of the Turquoise card is to be granted Turkish citizenship in an exceptional way.

Turkish Citizenship Law, Law on Private International Law and Procedural Law, Turkish Civil Code

What is a turquoise card?

The Turquoise card goes beyond the usual procedures and allows foreigners to work in the country with certain privileged rights. The turquoise card, which is envisaged for the employment of skilled labor, is a new application that entered our lives with the International Labor Law.

Employment of foreigners in Turkey

For the purposes of the International Labor Law, a foreigner is defined as “a person who does not have citizenship ties with the Republic of Turkey”. In this sense, a foreigner can be a citizen of another state, an international protection holder or a stateless person.

Work permit principles

Foreigners wishing to work in Turkey are obliged to obtain a work permit in accordance with the ILC. The Law provides for prior authorization for certain lines of work.

The types of work permits listed in the law are: temporary work permit, indefinite work permit, independent work permit, Turquoise card, and discretionary work permit. This article will examine the turquoise card.

Turquoise card is defined in Article 11 of the International Labor Law:

“(1) In line with the international labor policy, a Turquoise Card shall be issued to foreigners whose applications are deemed appropriate based on their educational level, professional experience, contribution to science and technology, the impact of their activities or investments in Turkey on the national economy and employment, and the recommendations of the International Labor Policy Advisory Board and the procedures and principles determined by the Ministry.

(2) Turquoise Card shall be issued with a transition period for the first three years. The Ministry may request information and documents from the employer or foreigner regarding the activities carried out during the transition period. The transition period record on the Turquoise Card that is not canceled in accordance with Article 15 within the transition period shall be removed upon the application of the foreigner and the Turquoise Card shall be issued indefinitely. This application shall be submitted as from one hundred and eighty days before the expiry of the transitional period, in any case before the expiry of the transitional period. After this period expires, the application for removal of the transitional period registration is rejected and the Turquoise Card becomes invalid.

(3) The spouse and dependent children of the Turquoise Card holder foreigner, according to the provisions of the legislation, shall be given a document showing that they are relatives of the Turquoise Card holder and replacing the residence permit.

(4) The foreigner holding a Turquoise Card shall benefit from the rights provided by the indefinite work permit regulated in this Law.

(5) In the Turquoise Card application; those who have internationally recognized studies in the academic field, those who have come to the forefront in a field considered strategic for our country in science, industry and technology, or those who make or are envisaged to make a significant contribution to the national economy in terms of export, employment or investment capacity shall be considered as qualified foreigners.

(6) The provisions of this Article shall not apply to foreigners under temporary protection.”

What are the conditions for obtaining a Turquoise card?

If the conditions that must be met in order to apply for a turquoise card should be examined;

  • Temporary protection holders will not be able to obtain a turquoise card. Refugees, conditional refugees, subsidiary protection holders and stateless persons will be able to obtain a turquoise card.
  • Turquoise cards will be issued to “qualified foreigners” as defined in the law.
  • Turquoise card application must be made with the documents in Article 8 of the Turquoise Card Regulation.
  • Turquoise card applications will be evaluated according to the scoring system determined by the General Directorate.

What are the documents required when applying for a Turquoise card?

The documents required for applying for a Turquoise Card are set out in Article 8 of the Turquoise Card Regulation;

(1) The following documents are uploaded to the system during the application:

  1. a) Application petition,
  2. b) A copy of the foreigner’s passport or passport substitute document,
  3. c) Certificate of conformity obtained from the relevant public institution and organization, if any,

ç) For foreigners listed in Article 5 of this Regulation;

1) For foreigners who are considered as qualified labor force, diploma, employment contract, curriculum vitae, letter of appointment or assignment, professional experience, internationally recognized documents showing foreign languages other than mother tongue and similar documents,

2) For foreigners who are considered as qualified investors, documents showing the size of investment, employment level, export amount, financial competence, region, sector and business, etc,

3) For a scientist or researcher, a diploma, a document showing academic career and title, academic studies or licenses, trademarks or patents and similar documents,

4) For foreigners who have been successful at national or international level in terms of cultural, artistic or sportive activities, documents showing that they have been successful and similar,

5) For foreigners who contribute to the recognition or promotion of Turkey or Turkish culture: Documents related to the activities carried out at the international level as a Turkuaz volunteer, documents related to promotional activities including information such as works of ideas and art, duration, sustainability, continuity and impact area, and the like,

documents determined by the General Directorate and published on the official website of the General Directorate.

(2) The Directorate General is authorized to determine the necessary documents for each foreigner group separately for the foreigners listed in Article 5, to add new documents or to change these documents. Regulations made within this scope are published on the official website of the General Directorate.

(3) The requirement that the foreigner has a valid residence permit shall not be sought for the domestic applications of foreigners who are legally in Turkey.”

What are the consequences of obtaining a Turquoise card?

Turquoise card holders can take a look at the rights that foreigners can benefit from;

  • Turquoise card holders will benefit from the rights provided by an indefinite work permit.
  • They are exempt from military service in Turkey.
  • They cannot benefit from the rights to elect and be elected and to hold public office.
  • Their vested rights regarding social security are reserved and they are subject to the provisions of the relevant legislation in the use of these rights.
  • Their residence, travel, work, investment, commercial activity, inheritance, acquisition and transfer of movable and immovable property in Turkey shall be carried out by the relevant institutions and organizations in accordance with the legislation applicable to Turkish citizens.
  • If Turkish citizenship is required by special laws for the exercise of these rights and obligations, Turquoise Card holders cannot claim to benefit from these rights.
  • Within the scope of subparagraph (b) of the first paragraph of Article 12 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901 dated 25/9/2009 and numbered 5901, the Turquoise Card holder and his/her relative may acquire Turkish citizenship if offered by the Ministry, provided that there is no obstacle in terms of national security and public order and the transitional period record is removed.

How long does it take to get a Turquoise card?

The Ministry of Justice has set target times for the judiciary. These periods are determined in accordance with the subject and nature of the case, and the Appeal and Court of Cassation stages are not considered within this period. Looking at practical applications;

  • Petitions must be complete and complete
  • Notification periods
  • Letters from relevant institutions and organizations
  • Processes such as hearing witnesses, if any, vary according to the content of the case, work and transaction.

However, finalizing an application or a case in the shortest possible time is closely related to following the case closely. A good file follow-up prevents unnecessary prolongation of the case, business and proceedings.

How to find the best immigration lawyer?

A lawyer specialized in citizenship law provides all necessary legal support to his/her client in resolving disputes between the parties. Within the framework of the dispute in question, the lawyer’s duty is to carry out the necessary work within the scope of the file in order to prevent the person he/she represents from losing his/her rights and to act in the direction of obtaining a positive result from the lawsuits. For this reason, it will be in your favor to work with an expert inheritance lawyer in order to prevent irreversible and irreparable damages and to ensure that there is no doubt that all provisions in your favor are applied.

What is the importance of a lawyer in applying for Turkish citizenship?

Your lawyer will provide you with legal counseling and advocacy services at the point of obtaining the necessary documents for the application you will make, drawing the legal road map, and will ensure that you achieve your goal in the fastest and most cost-effective way.

How much is an immigration lawyer’s retainer fee?

The attorney’s fee is determined on the basis of the proceedings and the case against you. As it is known, every year the Union of Turkish Bar Associations The “Minimum Fee Tariff for Attorneys” prepared by the Ministry of Justice shall enter into force upon enactment. The attorney’s fee in cases under citizenship law cannot be determined as an amount below the fee specified in this tariff. Therefore, the attorney’s fee for a naturalization lawyer is not always fixed and certain. However, it may be possible to set an attorney’s fee above the minimum fee tariff specified by the Bar Association

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