TURKEY: New Foreign Labour Law Takes Effect

Earlier in the month Turkey published a new foreign labour law on international workers, which will come into place with immediate effect.

The guidance on the implementation of the new law is yet to be published so the full implications of the changes are not yet known.

What is in the new law?

  • A new category called ‘Turquoise Card’ will be given to foreign nationals after evaluation of their educational level, professional experience, their contribution to science and technology, and the impact of their investments in Turkey. Turquoise Cards will be issued with indefinite term following a three-year conditional period without the need for a sponsoring employer. Foreign nationals granted a Turquoise Card will have the same rights accorded to Turkish citizens. Their dependents are also granted residence permits.
  • Health and Academic Sectors: Foreign nationals employed in the medical or academic sectors requiring professional competence must first obtain ‘interim permission’ from the relevant authorities prior to adjudication of their work permit with the MOL.
  • Engineers/Architects: Foreign nationals holding engineering and architecture diplomas issued from an engineering or architecture faculty of a Turkish university or from a foreign university recognised by the Higher Education Council (YÖK) in Turkey, will be able to apply for work permits in order to work as engineers or architects under a project or short term assignment without proving the equivalence of their diploma. If they need to work in Turkey for more than a month, they must be registered with the relevant Chamber of Engineering.
  • Work Permit Exemptions: Under specified conditions a foreign national may apply to the MOL or to a Turkish consular post to be exempted from a work permit. Foreign national non-resident board members of joint-stock companies that are founded pursuant to Law No. 6102, non-executive partners of other companies and cross-border service providers whose in-country activities do not exceed 90 out of 180 days will be considered for work permit exemption. Note that it is not yet certain whether this exemption will apply to both service providers working for a client in Turkey and intra-company transferees working at a Turkish subsidiary of their employer.

Some changes to NGO-sponsored work permits and those for students, Temporary Protection Status, appeal rights, inspection, social security obligations, and penalties are also covered in the new law.

Our advice

You should expect that changes will come into place in the coming months regarding work permit systems in Turkey. We will ensure to keep you updated with any changes.

In the meantime, if you require any additional information regarding Turkish immigration please contact us at enquiries@newlandchase.com.

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