May 6, 2020

Residence Permit and Turkish Citizenship 2020 through a Turquoise Card

The Republic of Turkey has introduced a new scheme for immigrants called the Turquoise Card, similar to the US Green Card. This innovative and perhaps revolutionary solution was published in the Official Gazette on March 14, 2017 and continues to be effectively applied in the jurisdiction in 2020, according to the established rules and legislative norms.

 According to the regulations, the Turquoise Card is an official document issued to expatriates who have intention to settle, i.e. work and live in Turkey for a long time, and benefit from rights equal to those granted to the citizens of the country. However, it should be noted that not every foreign citizen is eligible to receive a document with the subsequent right to indefinite work, residence permit and citizenship, which is also enshrined in the legislation of the jurisdiction and requires compliance with certain standards.

In this article we will elaborate on the peculiarities of Turquoise Card of Turkey, the rights and benefits it entails for a foreigner, the eligibility to apply for such a document, as well as will discuss how to obtain Turkish citizenship through the Turquoise Card in 2020 with minimal financial investment and time.  

  • Do you have any questions about immigrating to Turkey?
  • Are you intending to relocate to Turkey for permanent residence or to obtain a work permit?
  • Are you planning to incorporate business on the Mediterranean coast?
  • Do your plans include buying property directly from a developer in Turkey?

If you answered positively to any of the questions above, please be informed that our experts are ready to provide you with a full range of services. 

Email us at: [email protected], ask questions and get the opportunity to become a Turkish citizen today by filling out documents through an authorized person remotely. 

Residence permit and Turkish citizenship through the Turquoise Card: Key requirements, conditions, restrictions

According to the new regulation, the Turquoise Card provides an eligibility to enjoy residence and employment in Turkey for an unlimited period to any foreign national who has fulfilled the conditions of the law. Who can get Turkey’s Turquoise Card (Turkuaz Kart) in 2020?  

Important! Applications for the issuance of a Turquoise Card are considered by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of Turkey, which assesses a foreigner’s eligibility to apply for this residence card.

Residence permit and Turkish citizenship by Turquoise Card   – who has the right to apply

A turquoise card can be issued to foreigners, providing they meet specific qualification requirements and are classified by the following categories:

  • highly qualified/skilled workforce with extensive experience, with an ability to contribute to scientific, technical developments, energy and similar facilities of the Turkish state;
  • top-level investors with a high investment / export potential and scale of activity in the territory of the Turkish jurisdiction and beyond;
  • scientists, researchers and other specialists recognized as strategically important at the international level and ready to continue their activities for the good of the country in such fields as science, technology, industry and so on;
  • globally successful in cultural activities, art or sports, such as athletes and professionals in the artistic field, having demonstrated achievements at the international level;
  • foreigners willing to contribute to the promotion of Turkish culture and carry out their activities at the international level in the interests of Turkey.

In simple words, the above includes any foreign citizen who possesses substantial financial resources to invest in the economy, commerce and other areas of Turkey or who is recognized at a global scale as a top-level professional in one of the most important areas for the country (sports, culture, science, technology, energy and more).

Also, citizens of other countries can obtain Turkish citizenship in one of the scenarios established by the state. This is a marriage, a long-term visa, investment in real estate / economy of the country and company registration with the provision of jobs to Turkish citizens. Read more about Turkish citizenship in 2020 here . 

Residence permit and Turkish citizenship through the Turquoise Card:  application rules

There are three ways to apply for Turquoise card in Turkey:

  1. Personally: this is applicable to citizens residing legally in the country. The application is submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the applicant is taken under consideration and a response is issued accordingly. For those who apply for a Turquoise card having legal grounds, it is not necessary to have a residence permit.
  2. Foreigners residing outside the Turkish state can apply through the Consulate in their country. Information is transmitted to the Ministry through electronic systems, and the applicant can expect a response without leaving his jurisdiction.
  3. It is also quite legal to apply for the Turquoise Card in Turkey through an authorized person or a proxy, which can be accomplished directly in Turkey or through the Consulate in one of the countries of residence of a foreign citizen.

Note! Close relatives of the owner of the Turquoise card are entitled to a residence permit in Turkey, which can be submitted together with the application for the Turquoise card or after receiving it. The main consideration here is to be able to demonstrate the kinship and relationship by supporting it with relevant documents (marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.).

Documents required for obtaining a Turquoise Card in Turkey

To become the owner of the Turquoise card, which gives an unlimited right to work in Turkey, a foreigner should prepare the following documents together with the application:

  • Application in the prescribed form.
  • Copy of the individual’s identity card or passport.
  • Certificate of conformity, if available.
  • For foreign applicants with qualifications in one of the niches mentioned above, the official documents on the Turquoise Card must be supplemented with the following supporting information:
    • a diploma of education, an employment contract, an official letter of appointment, as well as other documents recognized at the international level, which contain information about the expatriate’s experience, level of knowledge of foreign languages ​​and professional skills;
    • for investors, it is necessary to provide documents confirming the size of investments in Turkey, export volume, financial viability, occupation and level of employment; 
    • for scientists and qualified specialists in a certain field – a diploma, academic education certificate, proof of career records and titles, as well as a trademark, patent and other certificates, for scientists/scientific researchers;
    • those engaged in cultural and sports spheres will be required to demonstrate certificates of achievement at the international level;
    • certificates of volunteer, literary, and artistic activity at the international level, including their contribution to the promotion of Turkey or the culture of the Turkish state, are no less important.

Based on the submitted documents, the foreign applicant is evaluated for compliance with the criteria that are suitable for the Turquoise Card holders in Turkey.

Note! Work permit and residence permit in Turkey for Turquoise card holders and their relatives are issued free of charge.

Scoring system applied for issuing a Turquoise Card to a foreign citizen

What are the criteria for a foreigner’s assessment of eligibility to receive a Turquoise Card in Turkey in 2020? You can be considered eligible to Turquoise Card if the official bodies assess you by the scoring system which will result in sufficient points to provide the applicant with a Turquoise Card for a transition period (3 years), followed by an unlimited extension.

Scoring for issuing a Turquoise card is based on the following criteria:

  • level of education of the applicant;
  • status of the educational institution attended;
  • salary at the last place of work/service and desired salary in Turkey;
  • work experience;
  • qualifications and professional achievements;
  • for investors, such indicators as investment, export activity, nature of business, availability of a movable/immovable property in Turkey and others are taken into account;
  • when considering applications for Turquoise Card by scientific researchers, the academic status of the candidates, their particular achievements and participation in international institutes and domestic organizations are considered, together with patents, trademarks or licenses;
  • innovation activity, etc.

Also, when calculating the scoring points of the applicant for the Turquoise Card of Turkey, the international achievements of the club, of which the foreign applicant is a member, are also taken into consideration within the scoring.

Reasons for rejection of application for Turkey Turquoise Card 2020

However, not all foreigners are eligible to receive the long-awaited permanent Turquoise card for a number of reasons:

  • The application did not pass the assessment according to the specified criteria;
  • There has been a violation of international labor policy;
  • False information has been identified in the application;
  • There are no grounds for employing a foreigner in Turkey;
  • The application is submitted for a vacancy that is included in the list of occupations with restrictions by the legislation of the jurisdiction;
  • The foreigner is included in the list of persons with a ban on entry into Turkey;
  • The applicant does not have the right to work in the Turkish state, due to the maintenance of public order and the security of the citizens of the country;
  • The foreigner is subject to jurisdiction with which Turkey has not entered into diplomatic relations;
  • Documents submitted in violation of the deadlines.

If a foreigner is lucky to pass the selection stage, then he and his family can safely move to Turkey to live in a residence permit or permanent residence without using investment programs or other reasons for living and working for an indefinite period of time. 

Residence permit and Turkish citizenship by Turquoise Card։ stages of obtaining Turquoise Card by a foreign citizen

Obtaining a permanent Turquoise card is not something that may happen “here and now.” There is a mandatory sequence of steps to be followed to ensure the appropriate paperwork and documentation in Turkey, which is also followed by checking the applicant for compliance with the established requirements during the transition period (3 years). 

How is the issue of the Turquoise card and how the foreigner in Turkey is monitored for compliance in 2020:

  1. After consideration and approval of the application, the foreigner receives a Turquoise card for a period of 3 years. This period is considered a transitional period during which the Directorate General of Jurisdiction oversees the foreigner.
  2. During the transition period, a foreigner is assigned a person appointed by the Directorate General, who is monitoring the activities of the card holder and generating a report every 12 months.
  3. During the first 3 years of owning the Turquoise Card, a foreign citizen must promptly provide the Ministry upon request the documents and information pertaining to his activities, no later than within 15 days from the date of such request.
  4. If any violations or discrepancies are identified, the foreigner will receive a notification from the Ministry. The deadline for solving the issues identified is 3 months, after which a second round of monitoring is carried out. If the deficiencies identified have not been eliminated, then a decision may be made to terminate the transition period and cancel the Turquoise card.

For those who believe that Turkish citizenship through the Turquoise Card is overly challenging process to undergo, you have other options to use the less demanding immigration program in Turkey for investment. You can obtain comprehensive assistance and get recommendations to choose the best solution for you. For that, you need to contact our experts by writing to the address: [email protected].   

How to obtain a permanent Turquoise card in Turkey?

In order to qualify for a permanent Turquoise card, the applicant should meet two essential criteria:

  • registration of the transitional period was not canceled during the entire period of validity by decision by the Directorate General;
  • activity monitoring did not identify any negative results in the course of activities of a foreign citizen;
  • an application for the removal of the registration period was submitted by the cardholder within the prescribed period – within 180 days before the end of the transition period.

In case of violation of the deadline for filing an application to remove restrictions on the Turquoise card of Turkey, the document becomes invalid.

The time for the transition of the Temporary Turquoise card to the category of Permanent, will take no more than 30 days from the date of application to the Ministry.

In which circumstances can a Turquoise card be canceled or invalidated? 

The turquoise card of a foreign national may be invalidated for a number of reasons:

  • The holder of the Turquoise card has not been present in Turkey within 6 months after the date of receipt of the card;
  • The card holder has not been present in Turkey for consecutively 3 years or more, except in cases of force majeure;
  • The passport of a foreign citizen or other identification card had not been renewed within the prescribed period, with the exception of instances where a relevant permission is granted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • The card holder has engaged in illegal labor activity;
  • Lack of information on the work of a foreigner in Turkey for 1 year;
  • An application for a Turquoise card is developed based on false documents and false information;
  • according to the monitoring report for the transition period, it was discovered that the foreigner is not entitled to the Turquoise card in Turkey;
  • a foreigner is included in the list of persons subject to deportation with a subsequent ban on entry into the country according to the Law on foreigners No. 6458.


Moving to Turkey in 2020, even against the backdrop of a pandemic, continues to be a beneficial solution for many foreigners. You can obtain a Turkish passport, citizenship and residence permit personally and through a proxy, without leaving your jurisdiction until the corresponding official document has been issued.

You are encouraged to read more on the various methods of obtaining  a residence permit in Turkey, as well as many other particular aspects of relocating, doing business, opening a bank account and other information which you will find on our portal or by contacting specialists for free advice by contact phone and email address: [email protected]

How to obtain Turkish citizenship through a Turquoise Card?

In order to receive a Turkish Turquoise Card in 2020, it is necessary to comply with the requirements established by the Ministry of Labor of the Republic of Turkey. You may choose to collect all the required documents confirming the level of qualifications and achievements of you as an applicant and proceed to submitting the package of documents to the Ministry in person, or through an authorized representative, or through the Turkish consulate in your country. After the foreigner has undergone the appropriate screening procedures, he will be provided a temporary Turquoise card, which is valid for 3 years and can be reissued as a permanent card, with the right to obtain a residence permit and work in Turkey.

Who is eligible to obtain the Turquoise Card of Turkey in 2020?

Turquoise Card is a brilliant innovative solution which gives the right of privileged citizenship and unlimited period of right to work to foreign scientists, sportsmen, artists and the people who purchases house or make investment in Turkey. As a new and facilitated employment permit system, Turquoise card, is designed to bring in Turkey qualified foreign labor force which will make investments in support of Turkey’s development, by contribution to scientific and technological development and innovation with professional experience and distinguished in any field considered as strategic importance.

Thus, according to Article 5 – (1) of International Labor Force Law No. 6375, Turquoise Card may be given to foreigners who;

  1. a) Are evaluated as highly qualified labour with their education, salary, professional knowledge and experience, contribution in science and technology and similar qualifications;
  2. b) Are evaluated as highly qualified investor with their investment or export level, size of the employment they will provide, contribution in scientific and technological development and similar qualifications,
  3. c) Contribute in scientific and technological development or who are scientists or researchers who conduct studies which are considered to be strategic on the international level in terms of the country’s interest in the fields of science, industry and technology,
  4. d) Are successful on the international level in cultural, artistic or sportive activities,
  5. e) Contribute in the international recognition or promotion of Turkey or the Turkish Culture and carry out international activities in relation to national interests of Turkey.

What does the turquoise card of Turkey give to a foreigner and his relatives?

The Turquoise Card of Turkey gives the right to permanent residence in the country, both to the applicant and his close relatives. A foreigner receives an unlimited right to work, a residence permit and Turkish citizenship, is exempted from military duties, does not have the right to elect and be elected, and receives full social security at the level of a citizen of jurisdiction.