Good news for foreign professionals, academics and investors looking to work in Turkey – last week saw the new Turkuaz Card system published in the Official Gazette. This means it has now been given the go ahead on a trial basis and applications are now being accepted.
What is the Turkuaz Card?
Think of the Turkuaz (Turquoise) Card as similar to the American ‘Green Card’ system. It’s a document issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security allowing foreigners with sufficient qualifications, background and experience beneficial to Turkey, the right to work permanently in the country. In addition, their dependent family (spouse and children) may also be granted the right to reside in Turkey.
Benefits of the Turkuaz Card
Successful applicants will be granted the permanent right to work in Turkey and have the same rights as Turkish employees or those with a permanent work permit. Foreigners will not be required to undergo a term of national service. They will however not have the right to vote or be elected or take a public position. After an initial three years, they may be granted Turkish citizenship.
Who qualifies for a Turkuaz Card?
Foreigners who possess significant education, qualifications and experience in technology, science, investment or finance, are invited to apply. This includes those with internationally recognised academic studies and those whose employment, investment or export capacity provide significant contributions to Turkey’s economy.
As a brief overview, according to Article 5 of the document, a Turkuaz Card may be granted to foreign citizens who:
- Are deemed highly qualified labour in science or technology (or similar) according to their education, salary, knowledge and experience;
- Proved to be a highly qualified investors in Turkey based on their employment, export, financial and investment levels;
- Scientists, developers or researchers deemed as significant international contributors in their industry fields;
- Those with proven success in artistic, sport or cultural endeavours;
- Professionals whose activities have significantly contributed to the international recognition or promotion of Turkey and Turkish culture in line with the interests of the country.
What documents are required and how to apply
Applications can be initially submitted online. In brief, the following (where relevant) is required;
- Completed application form and passport copies;
- Certificate of conformity or equivalent issued by a relevant institution or organisations proving the candidate has a relevant background meeting the criteria;
- Relevant application support documents (these vary according to the basis of the application). These may include degree certificates, diplomas, work contracts, CVs, letters of appointment or work contracts, internationally recognised documents showing relevant training or professional experience, documents proving language abilities etc.
- If applying on an investment basis, documents proving size of investment in Turkey, financial competence, levels of employment, export amounts and the industry sector information is required;
- For academics, scientists or researchers, documents specifying title and career, relevant studies, licences and trademarks or patent certificates are necessary.
The Decision Process
Decisions will be made via a point system according to a strict criterion drawn up by the General Directorate in line with international labour policy. Those who meet the minimum or above will be granted the card.
If you believe you meet the criteria above and would like to know more or apply, please see the government’s information on the official website (This information is in Turkish at present but should be translated in due time).
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