Will the ‘turquoise card’ mean easier employment for foreigners in Turkey?


There has been a number of press reports recently surrounding the implications of the proposed new ‘turquoise card’ system. According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli announced on June 13th that a “series of regulations would be introduced to improve the employment conditions for foreigners”. These may, or may not, include the chance of citizenship for those with property in Turkey.

Government to make it easier for foreigners to gain employment in Turkey. 

According to reports, under the proposed new system foreigners will be scored according to their educational background, qualifications, language skills and professional experience. Applicants that reach a set criteria will be granted the card (as yet the level one must reach has not been announced). Canikli is quoted, “We will unveil the the turquoise card, which will provide qualified foreigners with the opportunity for permanent employment. Short-term foreign workers and interns will also get a permit to work”.

At present foreign work applications are dealt with by a couple of ministries. It is a timely process involving lengthy paperwork and bureaucracy. If the proposed system is employed, the Labor Ministry would be solely responsible hopefully making applications far more straightforward.  At present the Migrations Policies Board oversee all processes concerning foreign employees and set the rules about Turkey’s need for foreign workers. At it stands they have the right to refuse the right to work if they wish. This has led to claims that people have been rejected a permit for no reason. The new rules would stipulate that “any foreigner who poses a risk over public health and safety cannot take a work permit” an official is quoted as saying, but generally it appears that those that meet the criteria will be entitled to the card. Once granted, the families of the card holders will be also able to join them “without any civil obstacles” so it is said.

A turquoise card for the wealthy and those with property in Turkey?.

“Wealthy foreigners will also be assessed in the scope of the system if they plan to reside in the country”, the Hurriyet reports. Although they do say that it is unclear as to whether the owners of property in Turkey will be granted citizenship or the ‘turquoise card’. As it stands, Turkey simply offers those with a property a one-year residency.

So are things on the change again? It will be interesting to see what the minimum criteria is for a foreigner to be eligible for the turquoise card. We will keep you posted. What are your thoughts?
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