The Law on International Labor Force
The Law on International Labor Force numbered 6735 (“Law”) published in the Official Gazette dated 12.08.2016 and numbered 29800 has entered into force on its publication date. This article prepared by Moral Law Firm aims to provide brief information on the procedures and principles regarding work permit and work permit exemption that will be granted to foreigners.
1. Scope of the Law
According to Article 2 of the Law, foreign natural and legal persons who; (i) apply to work in Turkey, (ii) already work in Turkey, (iii) apply to get employer-provided vocational training, (iv) already getting vocational training by an employer, (v) apply for internship, (vi) already are having their internship, (vii) offer cross border services aimed to provide temporary services in Turkey , (viii) employ foreign employees or (ix) apply for employing foreign employees are within the scope of this Law.
2. A New Authority: International Labor Force Policy Consulting Committee
International Labor Force Consulting Committee (“Committee”), established for the first time under Ministry of Labor and Social Security (“Ministry”), comprised of various other Ministry undersecretaries. The aim of the Committee is to follow regulatory development works, national and international developments and applications, to inform Ministry about sectoral and regional economic priorities of Turkey. It is also aimed to gather other public institutions, national/international institutions and nongovernmental organizations with the Committee by the meeting of the Committee that shall be conducted at least once a year.
3. What is International Labor Force Policy?
Another concept that the Law brings is international labor force policy. The policy is a new system for Committee’s (stated in Article 4 of the Law) number two aim although it is not defined in the Law. Thus, work permits shall be evaluated upon certain special criteria and even point scoring system. The work permits that are against this policy shall be rejected.
4. Prior Authorization for the Ones Who Will Work on Health and Education Fields
With Article 8 of the Law, prior authorization is brought for the foreigners to have work permit on health and education services, which require professional competence. Prior authorization serves the administrative authorities to determine the applicant’s professional sufficiency and whether the applicant has the required qualifications or not. For health services, Ministry of Health and for education services, Board of Higher Education are authorized by law to empower foreigners to work at these mentioned fields thereby foreigners may obtain work permit.
5. Implementation of Turquois Card
Turquois Card, which is stated in Article 11 of the Law aims to maintain men power which is prominent in specific fields such as technological and scientific improvement for national economy and employment. Therefore, foreigners who are in conformity with the criteria can obtain work permit readily. At the end of three-year transition period, Turquois Card will be given and the card will provide work and residence permit for an indefinite period of time. Also Turquois Card may be arranged for foreigner’s spouses and children.
6. Foreigners Who Obtain Work Permit in Exceptional Matters
Even the work permit application is not qualified enough, some exceptions may be provided to the foreigner who have one of conditions stated under Article 16 of the Law as stated below to obtain or cancel work permit:
(i) Education level, salary, work experience,
(ii) People who are considered as qualified labor force because of their contribution in science, technology etc. and who are considered as qualified investors,
(iii) Employed by the employer for a definite period in a project that is carried out in Turkey
(iv) Declared as having Turkish origin by the Ministry of Interior or Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
(v) Citizen of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,
(vi) Citizen of the countries that are a member of the European Union,
(vii) A person who has applied for international protection, conditional refugee, provided temporary protection or stateless person or trafficking victims benefit from period of victim support,
(viii) Foreigners who are married with a Turkish citizen and live in Turkey with their spouses,
(ix) Working without diplomatic immunity in foreign states and international organizations’ representatives in Turkey,
(x) As it has distinguished themselves at international level with success in the field of scientific, cultural, artistic or sportive purpose coming to Turkey
(xi) Cross-border service provider.
Also detailed regulations are also stipulated with respect to foreigners under international protection, foreigners who will work at free zones, foreign students, foreign engineers and architects.
7. Objection against the Decisions taken within the scope of the Law
Within the scope of the Law, resolutions regarding the rejection of working permission or working permission exemption and cancellation of issued documents are notified to the employer of foreigners or to foreigners who have independent work permit or work permit for an indefinite period of time or having Turquois Card in accordance with the Notification Law numbered 7201. The relevant parties may object to the decision of the Ministry under the Law within thirty days from the date of notification and may apply to administrative justice in case of refusal of objection by the Ministry.
8. Obligations and Inspection
Employers that employ foreigners and foreigners having independent work permit or work permit for an indefinite period of time are obliged to inform the statuses regarding the starting and termination date of employment within the scope of work permit or work permit exemption, or the situations that require the cancelation of work permit or work permit exemption to the Ministry within fifteen days. Whether foreigners and employers within the scope of the Law fulfill their obligations or not is inspected by the labor inspectors from Ministry and inspectors and auditors of from Social Security Institution.
9. Regulation and Structure of Work Permit and Work Permit Exemption
Work permit and work permit exemption is given before sixty days from the validity term of the foreigner’s passport or of the certificate that substitutes a passport. These periods are provided differently for every foreigner.
Terms of application, procedure and conditions regarding work permits and work permit exemptions in addition to their scope, type and duration, foreigners to be exempted from work permit and their working areas, information and documentation to be requested from the foreigner or employer, and other aspects shall be arranged in the regulation issued by Ministry pursuant to Article 25 of the Law.
10. Transition Provisions
Temporary Articles of the Law regulate that work permits are given before the enforcement of the Law will be valid until the end of their expiration date unless the work permit becomes invalid in case of cancellation or termination of work permit due to Article 15 of the Law.
Work permit applications that have been made prior to the enforcement of the Transition Provisions the procedures of which are still ongoing; the provisions of the legislation (prior to such amendments made by the Law) that are in favor of the applicant shall be taken into consideration. Also, provisions of the existing regulation which are not contrary to the Law shall continue to be applied as regulated in transition provisions.
Bilge Binay Kanat & Barış Börekçi & Eylül Gümüş