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    Sevcan Gökalp İraz

The Turquoise Card in Turkey


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1. Introduction

The Turquoise Card in Turkey and its acquisition procedures will be observed in this article. Turkish citizenship by investment has been a matter of discussion over the years.

For more detailed information regarding this matter, see our article on “Turkish Citizenship By Investment”. 

The Card holders have several privileges, as analyzed below in this paper.

2. What is the Turquoise Card?

The Turquoise Card project is developed as a response to a growing demand for work permits by foreigners in Turkey. Pursuant to the Law on International Workforce (No:6735), the Turquoise Card in Turkey is designed as a “work permit” for the foreigners involved. Besides the Turquoise Card is also a “residence permit” for their spouses and dependent children.

 The Law on International Workforce (No:6735) is available online here (in Turkish).

3. Who can get the Turquoise Card?

According to the Regulation on Turquoise Card, the Card may be granted to foreigners who are;

a) assessed as qualified workforce due to their educational level, wage, professional experience, contribution to science and technology and similar qualifications,

 b) assessed as qualified investor due to their contribution to science and technology, their level of investment or export value, volume of employment they provide and such like qualifications,

c) scientists and researcher who have internationally recognized studies in the academic area, and those distinguished in science, industry and technology, areas of which deemed strategic from the point of the Republic of Turkey,

d) internationally reputed for their successes in cultural, artistic or sports activities,

e) contributing the recognition or publicity of Turkey or its culture internationally, acting in favor of matters concerning Turkey’s national interests.

The Regulation on Turquoise Card in question is available online here (in Turkish).

4. What are the main advantages of the Turquoise Card?

There are several benefits of the Turquoise Card. First privilege of the Turquoise Card is to gain a work permit for the relevant alien.

Second one is a residence permit for his/her family members. Consequently, Turquoise Card owners are granted the right to work and the right to permanent residence. 

Thirdly, after the observation of a specialist on the Card Holders’ commitments and activities during three years, the Turquoise Card may become permanent. Consequently, the aforementioned advantages should be regarded as long-term opportunities rather than short-term.

For more detailed information regarding short-term residence permit,  see our article on “Short-Term Residence Permit in Turkey”. 

Fourtly, under Article 12 of the Law on Turkish Citizenship (No:5901), the Turquoise card holders and their family members have an additional priority in acquiring Turkish citizenship. No additional legal requirement or documentation is needed.

The Law on Turkish Citizenship (No:5901) is available online here (in Turkish).

5. What are the rights and obligations of the Turquoise Card holder?

Turquoise Cards holders enjoy the same rights provided by permanent work permit. In this context, processes related to residence, travelling, investment, commercial activities, inheritance, acquisition of movable and immovable properties will be carried out in accordance with current legislations applied to Turkish citizens.

 Owners of the Turquoise Card exercise educational rights and take advantage of healthcare services in Turkey.

They do not have a right to elect and be elected or to enter into public service.

 However, the Card holders do not have any obligation of compulsory military service.

6. How is the application procedure of the Turquoise Card?

Applications may be brought through the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. Applicants also have an opportunity to institute an application from their home country or country of residence through the Turkish Embassies or Turkish Consulate Generals  in the foreigner’s country of citizenship or legal stay. In that situation, the application concerned will be sent electronically to the Turkish Ministry of Labor for consideration and evaluation.

7. What are necessary documents?

 The applicants are needed to submit documents including:

-application form,

-copy of passport or the documents that substitute passport,

-certificate of conformity,

-additional documents, enumerated for workforce, investors, researchers and scientists.

8. Conclusion

In the final analysis, it is worth reiterating that foreign researchers, artists, investors, athletes and intellectuals may be found eligible for the Turquoise Card in Turkey.  There is no time constraint after the 3 years transition period.

Accordingly, extensive legal support and guidance is needed for successful outcomes regarding applications for Turquoise Card. The aforementioned benefits of the Card are worth such effort. Every single legal step should be taken carefully for tangible results.  

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