The Turquoise Card in Turkey
This article will observe the Turquoise Card in Turkey, its acquisition procedures and its benefits. Of course, Turkish citizenship by investment has been a matter of discussion over the years.
Particularly the Card holders have several privileges, as analyzed below in this paper.
What is the Turquoise Card?
Generally speaking, the Turquoise Card project is an administrative response to a growing demand for work permits by foreigners in Turkey. Pursuant to the Law on International Workforce (No:6735), the Card in Turkey is designed as a “work permit” for the foreigners involved. Besides it is also a “residence permit” for their spouses and dependent children.
The Law on International Workforce (No:6735) is available online here (in Turkish).
Who can get the Turquoise Card?
According to the Regulation on Turquoise Card, below-mentioned aliens may be eligible:
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).
What are the main advantages of the Turquoise Card?
There are several benefits of the Turquoise Card. First privilege is to gain a work permit for the relevant alien.
Secondly, a residence permit for his/her family members are possible. Consequently, Turquoise Card owners enjoy 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, there is no doubt that the aforementioned advantages are long-term opportunities rather than short-term.
Last but not least, under Article 12 of the Law on Turkish Citizenship (No:5901), the Card holders and their family members have an additional priority in acquiring Turkish citizenship. More specifically, no additional legal requirement or documentation is necessary
The Law on Turkish Citizenship (No:5901) is available online here (in Turkish).
What are the rights and obligations of the Turquoise Card holder?
Turquoise Cards holders enjoy the same rights provided by permanent work permit. 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.
Also, owners of the Card exercise educational rights and take advantage of healthcare services in Turkey.
Despite this, they do not have a right to elect and be elected or to enter into public service.
Moreover the Card holders do not have any obligation of compulsory military service.
How is the application procedure of the Turquoise Card?
Candidates should make applications through the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. Also applicants 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 will be sent electronically to the Turkish Ministry of Labor for consideration and evaluation.
What are necessary documents?
The applicants are obligatory to submit documents including:
-copy of passport or the documents that substitute passport,
-certificate of conformity,
-additional documents, enumerated for workforce, investors, researchers and scientists.
In a nutshell foreign researchers, artists, investors, athletes and intellectuals may be eligible for the Turquoise Card in Turkey. There is no time constraint after the 3 years transition period.
Accordingly, extensive legal support and guidance may be very useful for successful outcomes regarding applications for Turquoise Card. Certainly the aforementioned benefits of the Card are worth such effort. Nevertheless every single legal step should be taken carefully for tangible results.
 See Article 3 of the Law on International Workforce (No:6735).
 Article 15 and 18 of the Regulation on Turquoise Card.
 Article 19 of the Regulation on Turquoise Card.
 See Article 6 of the Regulation on Turquoise Card.