The Turquois card allows you work in Turkey

The Turquoise card lets you work in Turkey permanently!

Turkey has become an increasingly popular destination for skilled professionals looking to relocate from abroad. To attract global talent, Turkey launched the Turquoise Card scheme in 2017

– a long-term residence permit allowing highly qualified foreign nationals to work and settle in Turkey permanently. A lot like the U.S Green card.

The Turquoise Card effectively functions as a combined work and residence permit for foreign applicants meeting certain salary, education and expertise criteria. Approved cardholders can then reside and seek employment opportunities in Turkey without needing to secure separate work authorisation.

Key benefits of the Turquoise Card include permission for dependent family members to also gain resident status, access to public healthcare, advantageous tax returns, and a potential expedited pathway to Turkish citizenship within just 3 years of arrival for those demonstrating exceptional contributions professionally or academically.

For skilled migrants who can fulfill the card’s selection indicators demonstrating valuable human capital, the Turquoise Card offers a superior alternative to standard employment visas and work permits through its augmented provisions. This article will explore the Turquoise Card’s eligibility factors, application process, usage conditions and privileges in depth for those considering relocating.

Turquoise Card Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the Turquoise Card long term residence permit, main eligibility requirements consist of:

Minimum Salary Level: Applicants must demonstrate and sustain a monthly income worth at least three times the gross minimum wage in Turkey, which currently equates to ₺16,253 TRY per month.

Education Attainment OR Exceptional Talent: Candidates need to either hold at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited academic institution, OR showcase exceptional achievements in fields like sciences or technology through original contributions and renown.

Turkish Language Proficiency: All candidates must evidence at least a basic conversational grasp of the Turkish language at A2 CEFR level, with higher demonstrated fluency earning more points during selection. However certain applicants can be exempted from this requirement conditional upon specialty.

Per Country Application Quotas: Annual application slots are capped per country based on factors like reciprocal visa agreements and security status, ranging from 500 openings per year for nations like the UK, U.S. and France down to just 50 places annually for Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Meeting all core Turquoise Card criteria verifies international skilled worker status for simplified access to long-term Turkish residency without requiring additional employment sponsorship.

Applying for the Turquoise Card

If you are eligible for a turquoise card, you can apply for one and the application process varies depending on if you’re applying by yourself or through an agent or on if you’re already in Turkey or out of Turkey when you apply.

Overview of online application process:

  • For applicants in Turkey, applications must be submitted online through the Turquoise Card Application System of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. Create an account and fill out the required forms.
  • You will need to provide personal and contact information, education and work experience details, Turkish language level proof, and confirm you meet the salary threshold.
  • The system allows you to save a draft application to complete later before submitting. Make sure to review carefully before submitting.
  • Processing time is around 60 days after submission. You can login to track application status. Approved applicants are issued an online pre-approval letter.

Documents required for submission:

  • Valid passport copy
  • Bachelor’s degree certificate or equivalent qualifications
  • Transcripts and Turkish language certificate if applicable
  • Recent biometric photo
  • Employment contract showing offered salary in Turkey or overseas income statements
  • For exceptional talent criteria – documentation of international achievements

Validity period and renewal rules:

  • Initial Turquoise Cards are valid for 3 years before needing renewal.
  • To renew, you must still meet initial eligibility criteria such as minimum salary and have resided in Turkey for at least 180 days in the prior year.
  • Renewal applications should be submitted online 60 days before existing card expiration. Renewed cards are then issued for a longer 5 year validity period.

Perks of Holding the Turquoise Card

Compared to holding the normal Turkish Resident Card (Ikhamet), there are some additional benefits that come to you if you have the Turquoise card.

Ability to work in Turkey without separate permit

  • Turquoise Cardholders are granted an open-ended work permit allowing employment and self-employment across all sectors in Turkey.
  • No need to secure a separate work authorization or employer sponsorship. This provides greater flexibility in the job search.

Health insurance coverage options

  • As a Turquoise Cardholder, you can enroll in Turkey’s General Health Insurance scheme which provides low-cost access to medical care and hospitals.
  • Alternatively, employment-based private health insurance may be available depending on your job. Many tech and multinational companies offer health coverage.

Residence rights for family members

  • Your spouse and children under 18 can apply for dependent status on your Turquoise Card with access to long-term residency permits.
  • Dependent family members also then have authorization to reside and access employment or education opportunities in Turkey.

Path to Turkish citizenship

  • Turquoise Cardholders meeting certain criteria can be eligible for Turkish citizenship within just 3 years instead of the normal 5 year minimum.
  • Those with exceptional achievements in fields like science, technology, industry or education are prioritized for fast-track naturalization.

The Turquoise Card certainly brings a wide range of advantages and conveniences for skilled foreign migrants and their families looking to live and work in Turkey long-term.

Frequently asked questions

Can freelancers or remote workers qualify?

  • Yes, self-employed freelance workers can still meet the Turquoise Card salary criteria through overseas client invoices and income statements. Turkey wants to attract location-independent talent.

Do physical presence rules exist to maintain?

  • Cardholders must reside in Turkey for at least 180 days each year in order to renew. Brief overseas trips are permitted. This aims to prevent absentee approval.

What if my work ends – does the card get cancelled?

  • No, loss of employment alone is not grounds for Turquoise Card cancellation as it acts as a residence permit. You would just need to evidence meeting salary criteria again when renewing.

Can family join me in Turkey before my card approval?

  • No, family dependents can only apply after the primary cardholder has been approved and physically resides in Turkey first. Parallel applications are not allowed.

Turkey’s Turquoise Card presents a worthwhile opportunity for qualified global skilled workers able to offer valuable economic human capital. Card perks like indefinite work rights, insured healthcare, accelerated naturalization and relaxed dependent visas compare favourably against standard work permits.

For those meeting eligibility criteria around salary, credentials and language – the streamlined Turquoise Card application process marks an efficient gateway to thrive in Turkey long-term alongside family without employer restraints. Make sure to assess if your profile suits all requirements before proceeding to apply online.

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