In 2017 Turkey established another form of work
permit program called the Turquoise Card. Similar to the USA’s Green Card
Program, the Turquoise Card offers highly skilled workers the opportunity to
work and live in Turkey. The card allows the holder to initially stay in Turkey
for three years with the possibility of an extension and automatic residency
grant for their spouse and children.
Turquoise Card Selection Process
The Turquoise Card is a selective program, accepting only those who have exceptional qualifications. Potential holders of the card could fall under the following categories and skills:
- One’s level of education, the salary they earn, professional experience, and special consideration is given to those with contributions to science and technology
- Their potential to invest in Turkey through export schemes, the potential to hire local employees, scientific and technological contributions, etc.
- Researchers and Scientists who will contribute to Turkey’s development at an international level
- Top-level cultural, athletic, and artistic individuals who have shown success at the international level
- Those who contribute to the recognition and promotion of Turkey and its culture abroad
How To Apply for a Turquoise Card?
There are two ways to make your initial application: directly through the Ministry of Labor and Social Security or to apply from abroad at the Turkish Embassy / Consulate in your country of residence. You can give power of attorney to a third party to handle the application for you.
Once your application is received, it is evaluated based on the Directorate General of International Workforce’s assessment framework. You will be supervised regularly by a specialist who will continue to track your achievements. If the supervisor is unsatisfied with your performance, the holder is given three months to correct any issues.
Other bases for cancelation include are;
When the cardholder does not arrive in Turkey in the first six months of being granted a card or if they leave Turkey for two years consecutively, if any law is broken or documents falsified, and if the holder does not work for at least a year continuously.
Duration of Turquoise Card
The first issued card is only valid for three years. The cardholder must apply for a permanent card 180 days before their existing card expires if they plan to stay longer.
Rights of a Turquoise Card Holder
- They are not allowed to vote, work in the government, or work in the public sector.
- They are exempt from military service and can participate in Turkish social security schemes, and are subject to local laws.
- They have the same rights as Turkish citizens but cannot become permanent Turkish citizens. The Turquoise card holders must continue to renew their cards.