What is TURQUOISE CARD?
Turquoise Card is a revolutionary new application which gives the right of privileged citizenship and indefinite working for foreign scientists, sportsman, artists and the people who purchase a house or make an investment in Turkey and also provides residence permit for the card owner’s spouse and dependent children.
What ıs turquoıse card system?
a new and facilitated employment permit system, called turquoise card, is designed to bring in turkey qualified foreign labor force which will make investments supporting the development of turkey, provide a contribution to the scientific and technological development and innovation with its professional experience and distinguished in any strategic importance field.
turquoise card will be granted in line with the international labor force policy to foreigners whose application will be found appropriate in accordance with the principles and procedures set forth by the ministry and opinions of the advisory board of ınternational labor force policy developed according to their educational background, professional experience, contribution to science and technology, effect of their activities or investments in turkey to national economy and employment rate.
Turquoise card will be given for 3 years as a transition period.
The ministry of labor will, during the said transition period, supervise the process of requesting information and documents related to the activities carried out by the employer or the foreigner.
After the transition period of three years, accordıng to the article 16, the transition card will be transformed to the permanent Tuquoise card. This transform application shall be made within one hundred and eighty days before the transition period expires and in any case prior to the expiry of the transition period. Any application made for removal of the transition period record after completion of such term shall be rejected and the turquoise card will be invalid.
A certificate is granted to the foreigner’s spouse and child(ren) of Turquoise cardholder may be used as residence permit, which shows that the certificate holder is a relative of the foreigner holding a turquoise card.
The foreigner holding a turquoise card is entitled to exercise the rights granted by the permanent right of labor as regulated by this law.
Sources: ınternational labor force law no. 6375
Turquoıse Card Regulatıons
artıcle 1 ‑ (1) the aim of this regulation is to regulate the procedures and principles regarding the application, evaluation and transition period for Turquoise card, the rights granted to the turquoise cardholder and his/her relatives and the use thereof.
artıcle 2 ‑ (1) this regulations includes the foreigners who are in the turquoise card application, evaluation and transition period, turquoise cardholder and his/her relatives.
artıcle 3 ‑ (1) this regulation is based on the articles 11 and 25 of the ınternational labor law dated 28.07.2016 and no 6735.
artıcle 4 ‑ (1) ın this regulation;
- ministry: the ministry of labor and social security,
- general directorate: Directorate general of ınternational labor,
- law: ınternational labor law dated 28.07.2016 and no 6735,
- system: ministry foreigner application, evaluation, and monitoring system,
- turquoise volunteer: the foreigner who is approved by the general directorate to carry out volunteering activities in promotion of turquoise card in the country where he/she lives,
- turquoise card: the document which grants indefinite work and residence permit to the foreigner and residence permit to his/her relatives,
- turquoise card holder’s relatives: foreign spouse of the turquoise card holder and minor or dependent foreign children of the cardholder or his/her spouse,
- foreign delegations of turkey: embassies or consulate general of the republic of turkey,
- certificate of conformity: the certificate to be issued by the related public organizations and institutions specified herein and to be determined by the general directorate which indicates that the foreigner has the qualifications required to have Turquoise card,
- specialist: the personnel assigned by the general directorate to evaluate the turquoise card application and monitor the transition period,
- foreigner: the person who is not a citizen of the republic of turkey,
- foreigner ıdentity number: the identification number given to the foreigners in accordance with the civil registry services act dated 25.04.2006 and no 5490,
- authorized ıntermediary firm: organization or institution qualifications and tasks of which are determined by a regulation and which is authorized by the ministry.
Foreigners Who Are Eligible For Turquoise Card
Artıcle 5 ‑ (1) turquoise card may be given to foreigners who;
- Are evaluated to be highly qualified labor with their education, salary, professional knowledge and experience, contribution to science and technology and similar qualifications;
- Are evaluated to be highly qualified investor with their investment or export level, size of the employment they will provide, contribution in scientific and technological development and similar qualifications,
- Contribute to scientific and technological development or who are scientists or researchers who conduct studies which are considered to be strategic on the international level in terms of the country’s interest in the fields of science, industry, and technology,
- Are successful on the international level in cultural, artistic or sportive activities,
- Contribute to the international recognition or promotion of turkey or the turkish culture and carry out international activities in relation to national interests of turkey.
Turquoise card application
Artıcle 6 ‑ (1) turquoise card application can be submitted directly to the system in the country or through the foreign delegation of turkey in the country where the foreigner is a citizen or is legally present.
- Information and documents regarding the applications abroad are submitted to the ministry in the electronic media by the foreign delegation of turkey.
- The foreigner who is legally present in turkey can apply directly on the system with his/her foreigner identity number in the country.
- Turquoise card application may also be submitted by an authorized intermediary firm on behalf of the foreigner in the country or abroad.
- The application is completed when the information and documents regarding the foreigner and his/her relative determined by the general directorate are entered in the system during turquoise card application.
Residency permit application for turquoise cardholder’s relative
(1) ıt is essential that the residency permit application for turquoise card holder’s relative is submitted to the ministry in accordance with the turquoise card application procedure and at the same with this application. However, in turquoise card applications from abroad, the applications of these foreigners can be submitted to the ministry within maximum ninety days after their entry to turkey, provided that it does not exceed their visa or visa exemption period, if the information required for residency permit application for turquoise card holder’s relative is not available.
(2) ın the residency permit application for turquoise card holder’s relative, the marriage certificate for the spouse and the certificates indicating the parenthood or dependency for the child are enclosed in the application.
1) following documents are uploaded to the system during application:
- Application form,
- Copy of the passport or equivalent document of the foreigner,
- Certificate of conformity taken from related public organization or institution, if any,
- or the foreigners specified in the article 5 herein, documents published on the official web site of the general directorate to be determined among the following:
1) diploma, labour contract, cv, assignment or appointment letter, internationally accepted documents specifying professional experience and foreign languages other than the native language for the foreigners who are evaluated to be qualified labour,
2) documents specifying the size of investment, employment level, export amount, financial competence and area, sector and line of work for the foreigners who are evaluated to be qualified investor,
3) diploma, documents specifying academic career and title, academic studies or license, trademark or patent certificates for scientist or researchers,
4) certificates of achievements for the foreigners who became successful on national and international level in cultural, artistic or sportive activities,
5) certificates on activities carried out on the international level as turquoise volunteer, literary and artistic works, certificates regarding promotion activities containing information such as duration, sustainability, continuity and impact area for the foreigners who contribute in recognition and promotion of turkey or turkish culture.
2) general directorate is authorized to determine the required documents, including additional documents or change these documents for each foreigner group in terms of the foreigners listed in the article 5. Regulations in this scope shall be published on the official web site of the general directorate.
3) for the applications of the foreigners who are legally present in turkey to be submitted in the country, valid residence permit is not required for the foreigner.
Evaluation of Turquoise card application
(1) ın evaluation of turquoise card application, the scoring system created within the scope of criteria determined by the general directorate in accordance with the international labor policy.
(2) The applications which get the adequate score within the scope of scoring system are evaluated as positive.
(3) In the evaluation of the applications submitted for the foreigners specified in (b), (c) and (d) paragraphs of the article 5, the certificate of conformity taken from related public organization or institution, if any, may be included in the scoring.
(4) In evaluation of the applications submitted for the formal education students who are in the last year of their undergraduate education or who are having graduate education who have outstanding success in their field with their high skills, potentials or academic studies and research, the opinion of the institution they are studying at and the faculty members who work there as well as the opinions of the related organizations and institutions may be taken.
Certificate of Conformity
(1) certificate of conformity may be issued by related public organizations or institutions for the foreigners specified in (b), (c) and (d) paragraphs of the article 5 indicating that they are eligible for turquoise card based on their qualifications.
(2) form and content of the certificate of conformity are determined by the general directorate separately for each foreigner group by taking the opinion of the related public organizations or institutions.
(3) The general directorate is authorized to determine, change or add related public organizations or institutions to be authorized to issue certificates of conformity.
(4) certificate of conformity does not grant any acquired right in relation to approval of the turquoise card application.
(1) The scoring system is prepared in accordance with the determined criteria for the foreigners listed in article 5 based on their qualifications.
(2) In preparation of the scoring system, following are taken as basis;
- for the foreigners who are evaluated to be qualified labour; their educational background, the reputation of the higher education institution where they studied, their salary level, professional experience as senior manager in high qualification jobs which require specialization, compliance of education and occupation, foreign languages other than native language and other similar criteria which show other qualifications,
- for the foreigners who are evaluated to be qualified investor; documented or contracted investment, export or employment level, qualification of the sector, area and work to be invested in, immovable and movable properties owned in turkey and intellectual property rights and similar criteria which show other qualifications,
- for scientists or researchers; academic title, experience in internationally recognized higher education institutions or organizations which stand out in science and technology, patent, trademark or license registered by national or international organizations, innovation activities, experience in significant positions in r&d or strategic sectors such as ıt, defence, mining or energy and similar criteria which show other qualifications,
- for foreign athletes; individual or club license in their branch, achievements in national or international individual or team competitions, national or international achievements of the club as well as its legal status, national athlete status in their own country and similar criteria which show other qualifications,
- for foreigners who have literary and artistic works; recognition of their works, national or international awards and similar criteria which show other qualifications,
- for foreigners who contribute in recognition or promotion of turkey or turkish culture; promotion activities including information such as duration, sustainability, continuity and impact area, literary and artistic works, activities carried out on the international level as
(3) Turquoise volunteer and similar criteria.
general directorate is authorized to amend the scoring system or determine different scoring systems based on region, province, sector, field of activity or occupation and publish thereof in six month periods.
Rejection of turquoise card application
Artıcle 12 ‑ (1) as a result of the evaluation, turquoise card applications which:
- fail to meet the evaluation criteria determined by the ministry,
- fail to comply with international labour policy,
- contain false or misleading information and documents,
- fail to provide adequate reason in relation to employment of foreigners,
- are submitted for the jobs and occupations restricted for turkish citizens in other laws,
- are submitted to the foreigners who are notified by the ministry of ınterior to be included among the foreigners who are not allowed to enter into turkey, have visa or will be deported within the scope of related articles of the foreigners and ınternational protection law dated 04.04.2013 and no 6458,
- are submitted to the foreigners who are not allowed to work in turkey for public order, public security or public health concerns,
- are submitted to the foreigners who are citizen of countries which are not recognized or established diplomatic relations by the republic of turkey, except for the approval of the ministry of foreign affairs,
- are not submitted or completed in legal time period shall be rejected.
Taking the opinion of relevant authorities
(1) the ministry may take opinions from relevant authorities when evaluating the turquoise card applications.
(2) relevant authorities shall submit their opinions to the ministry within 15 days at the latest or request time extension when required provided that it does not exceed 15 days.
(3) opinions which are not submitted within specified time period shall be considered as positive by the ministry provided that matters related to national security and public order are reserved.
Charging a fee
Artıcle 14 ‑ (1) ın accordance with the charges law dated 02.07.1964 and no 492, work permit and residency permit fee is not charged to the turquoise card holder and residency permit fee is not charged to the turquoise card holder’s relative.
(2) turquoise card to be granted to the foreigner and the turquoise card holder’s relative card to be given to his/her relative shall be issued as valuable paper in accordance with the valuable papers law dated 21.02.1963 and no 210.
(1) turquoise card is granted provided that first three years are transition period.
(2) the general directorate assigns a specialist to monitor the activities and commitments of the turquoise card holder within the transition period.
(3) monitoring report, the form and content of which will be determined by the general directorate, shall be drawn up by the specialist in twelve month periods.
(4) the foreigner is obliged to submit all kinds of information and document required for the monitoring report to the ministry within fifteen days. It is essential that the information and documents are submitted through the system, but the general directorate my allow using all kinds of communication means including registered electronic mail.
(5) deficiencies identified in accordance with the specialist’s report are notified to the foreigner and three month time is granted for completing the deficiencies. If the deficiencies are not completed at the end of this period, it may be decided that the transition period is terminated and turquoise card is cancelled.
(6) within the transition period, the general directorate may investigate the domestic and international activities of the foreigner.
Authorized Intermediary Firm
(1) reports including all kinds of information, document and data requested from the foreigner by the general directorate for monitoring and evaluation during transition period may be drawn up by the authorized intermediary firm.
(2) the authorized intermediary firm is obliged to submit the reports drawn up for the turquoise card holder to the general directorate within the fifteen days following the completion of twelve month periods.
(3) correction requests regarding the form and content of the reports are notified to the foreigner and the authorized intermediary firm by the general directorate on electronic environment. If the specified amendments are not made within thirty days, the reports shall be invalid.
Removing the transition period registration
(1) the request for removing the transition period registration is made within the one hundred and eighty days before the expiration of transition period and in any case before the expiration of transition period. If application is not submitted within this period, turquoise card shall be invalid. Applications after the period expired shall be rejected.
(2) transition period registration shall be removed by the general directorate within thirty days after the request of the turquoise card holder, provided that the final report to be drawn up by the specialist is positive.
(3) ın the event that the final report to be drawn up by the specialist is negative, the general directorate shall determine whether to extend the transition period or cancel the turquoise card as a result of its evaluation.
Granting turquoise card for an ındefinite period
(1) the transition period registration on the turquoise card which is not cancelled within the transition period shall be removed if the request to remove the transition period registration is approved and the turquoise card becomes indefinite.
Rights and liabilities of the turquoise card holder
(1) The turquoise cardholder shall benefit from the rights granted by an indefinite work permit. Turquoise cardholders;
- are exempt from military duty obligation in turkey.
- they cannot benefit from the right to elect and be elected and assigned in public positions,
- their acquired rights regarding social security are reserved, but they are subject to the provisions in related legislation when using these rights.
- transactions of these people in relation to residency, travel, work, investment, commercial activity, inheritance, acquiring and renouncing from movable and immovable, etc. Are carried out by the related organizations or institutions in accordance with the legislations that apply to turkish citizens.
(2) ıf it is required to be a turkish citizen for using such rights and obligations in special laws, turquoise card holders cannot demand to benefit from such rights.
(3) within the scope of (b) paragraph in the first clause of the article 12 of turkish citizenship act dated 25.09.2009 and no 5901, turquoise card holder and his/her relative may be granted turkish citizenship upon the suggestion of the ministry provided that they do not have a situation which may constitute an impediment for national security and public order and transition period registration is removed.
Turquoise card holder’s relative card
(1) turquoise card holder’s relative card is issued for the turquoise card holder’s relatives.
(2) this card replaces residency permit within the validity period of the turquoise card.
(3) ıf the turquoise card becomes invalid, this card issued by the card holder’s relative shall be cancelled by the general directorate.
Restricting the turquoise card
(1) turquoise card applications and evaluation may be restricted with agriculture, industry or service sectors, certain occupation, line of work or administrative or geographical area for a certain time or suspended by the ministry in accordance with the international labour policy.
Cancelling the turquoise card
(1) apart from the foreigner’s request, the turquoise card shall be canceled if;
- The cardholder does not come to turkey within six months after the effective date of the turquoise card or stays abroad continuously for longer than two years except for force majeure,
- His/her passport or equivalent travel document is not extended except for the approval of the ministry of ınterior or ministry of foreign affairs,
- If it is determined that he/she is employed in contradiction with the provisions of law or illegally,
- If it is determined that the foreigner did not work continuously for at least one year,
- If it is determined later that turquoise card application is made with false or misleading information and documents,
- If the information and documents requested within transition period are not submitted in due time or if it is understood that the foreigner is no longer eligible for turquoise card according to monitoring report,
- If it is notified by the ministry of ınterior that the foreigner is included among the foreigners who are not allowed to enter into turkey, have visa or will be deported in accordance with law no 6458,
- If it is notified by related public organizations or institutions that the foreigner is not allowed to work in turkey for public order, public security or public health concerns.
(2) the turquoise card is no longer valid after being canceled.
Social security liability
(1) provided that the provisions of the social security agreements in which turkey is a party are reserved, turquoise card holders and employers who employ foreigners are obliged to fulfill their obligations arising from social security legislation in due time in accordance with the provisions of the social ınsurance and general health ınsurance law dated 31.05.2006 and no 5510.
(1) ın case of situations for which there are no provisions in this regulations, the provisions in the law and other legislation shall apply.
(2) general directorate may carry out all kinds of regulatory transaction provided that they are not in contradiction with the provisions of the law and this regulations.
Provısıonal artıcle 1
(1) until the necessary technical infrastructure is competed by the ministry, the applications within this regulations are submitted to the work permit automation of foreigners which is accessible on the e-government gateway. If required by the general directorate, the documents submitted to the system shall be submitted to the ministry in hard copies.
(2) until the necessary technical infrastructure is competed by the ministry, the residence permit shall be granted to the turquoise card holder’s relative by the provincial directorates of migration management.
(1) this regulations shall take effect as of the publication date.
(1) the provisions of this regulations are executed by the minister of labour and social security.