Turkey – Turquoise Card Regulations Released

What has changed

On March 14, 2017, the regulations regarding the Turquoise Card, a new category of permanent residency for Turkey, were published. Selected foreigners who are assessed as “high level work force” and their dependents will be eligible for an indefinite work permit, or a Turquoise (Turkuaz) Card. Foreigners will be evaluated for “high level work force” status based on their level of education, professional experience, their contribution to science and technology, and/or the impact of their investments in Turkey. Previously, only foreigners who had completed eight (8) years of continuous residency – or six (6) years of legal work experience in Turkey would be eligible for an indefinite work permit. Dependents were not included.

Who is affected?

  • Foreigners assessed as ‘high level work force’ i.e. successful scientists, investors, exporters, persons with high level of education and high income
  • Dependents of ‘high level work force’ foreigners

What to expect

The system for filing for Turquoise Cards is not yet online. It has been communicated to us that a Panel of Experts within the Work Permit Directorate who will adjudicate Turquoise Card cases. Additionally, a new system within the Ministry of Labor database will be implemented, that will very likely include a completely new specialized application form(s). At this time, we do not know when this program will be “online.”

Once the system is online, Turquoise Cards are expected to be issued with indefinite term following a three (3) year conditional period. Those foreigners granted a Turquoise card will generally have the same rights accorded to Turkish citizens (exemptions apply). Their dependents also are granted residence permits. Turquoise Cards will be cancelled if the holder remains outside of Turkey for more than six (6) months, unless the holder can prove force majeure, or for more than two (2) years regardless of extenuating circumstance.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.