International Labour Force Law No. 6735 ("Law No.
6735 "), which regulates, among others, work permit
applications for foreign nationals has become effective through its
announcement in the Official Gazette of 13.08.2016 numbered 29800.
Save for the exception which shall apply throughout the transition
period as further explained below, Law No. 6735 has repealed and
replaced the Law No. 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners dated
27.02.2003 ("Abrogated Law") and
re-arranged the work permit application process and the assessment
criteria. According to Law No. 6735, Turkish Ministry of Labour and
Social Security ("Ministry"), which is
in charge of assessing and deciding on work permit applications
will set up international labour force policies which shall be
taken into account in assessing whether an applicant is eligible
for working in Turkey. In determining international labour force
policies, the Ministry will take into consideration the decisions
of the International Labour Force Consultancy Committee, which is
yet to be established and the Immigration Policies Committee, as
well as factors, such as regional developments, industrial and
economic changes, and social, cultural and economic relations
between Turkey and the applicant's country of origin. Law No.
6735 defines three types of work permits namely, (i) ordinary work
permit, (ii) freelance work permit and (iii) permanent work permit
subject to the satisfaction of the respective statutory conditions.
In addition to the foregoing permits, the concept of
"Turquoise Card" has been introduced which shall
be issued, subject to the prior approval of the Ministry and the
Labour Force Consultancy Committee, exclusively to highly
qualified, resourceful foreigners whose level of education,
professional experience, contribution to science and technology,
and to foreign investors whose investments in Turkey would create
employment and contribute to the development of the Turkish
economy. Turquoise Card holders shall be able to permanently work
in Turkey and also their dependents shall be able to permanently
reside in Turkey.
Certain exceptions shall apply to (a) foreign individuals who i)
seek international protection or, ii) apply for conditional
immigration, and (b) foreign engineers and architects. However,
these exceptions have not yet been determined and are yet to be
announced through secondary legislation.
In the transition period i.e., until detailed secondary
legislation shall be issued to regulate the implementation of the
provisions of Law No. 6735, provisions of the Abrogated Law and its
underlying secondary legislation shall be applicable to the extent
that they do not conflict with the provisions of Law No. 6735.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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