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Turkey Turquoise Card: Eligibility and How to Apply

Ken Grubb

If you have exceptional education, skills, or abilities that the Republic of Turkey needs, you may apply for a program that will allow you to live and work in Turkey on a permanent basis.

What is the Turquoise Card?

The Turquoise Card is a work permit that enables a foreigner to live and work anywhere in Turkey, in a profession which benefits the country. It's given on a case-by-case basis to foreigners who have exceptional education, talent, or skills, have made significant investments in the country, or have promoted Turkey and Turkish culture worldwide.

The Turquoise Card is issued by the Aile, Çalışma, ve Sosyal Hizmetler Bakanlığı (Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services)

Who is Eligible for a Turquoise Card?

Anyone who works in a field that is in high demand in Turkey and whose work would be a significant benefit to Turkey's national interests may apply for a Turquoise Card.

Eligible candidates include:

  • Those with a high level of education, professional experience, and/or a track record of contributions to the fields of science and technology
  • Investors who have made sizeable financial contributions to the fields of science and technology, or who employ a large number of Turkish citizens
  • Scientists and researchers who are internationally recognized and distinguished in the fields of science, industry, and technology
  • Artists, musicians, sports figures or performers who are famous, at least on a national level
  • Those who promote Turkey and Turkish culture internationally

Lifetime Working and Residence Rights

You'll be able to work for any employer, anywhere in Turkey, provided you continue to do the work you agreed to do when you applied. The Turquoise Card also serves as your residence permit, and it gives your spouse and children, if any, the right to obtain residence permits. Your children, if under age 18, may attend Turkish public schools for free.


When you first receive your Turquoise Card, you'll have a three-year transition period, which may be monitored from time-to-time. This period is to make sure you're keeping your commitment to do the work the Turquoise Card was issued for.

Within six months of the end of the transition period, you can apply to make the Turquoise card permanent. After the second application, the Turquoise Card is valid for life.


The Turquoise Card may be revoked if you stop working in your field of expertise for more than one year, or are outside of Turkey for longer than the term specified for you by the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services.

Required Documents

Because the Turquoise Card is given individually, the required documents vary from person to person.

General List of Documents (Everyone Must Provide These)

  • Letter of application
  • Copy of your passport
  • Certificate of Conformity (if you have one) *
  • Diploma(s) proving education in the field you want to work in
  • Certificates proving specialized training or skills
  • CV (resume)
  • Employment contract (if you have one)

* In some cases, the ministry of labor will issue a conformity certificate even before a foreigner applies for a Turquoise Card. It certifies that the ministry has already decided to award the card.


  • Documents showing the amount of investment, number of employees, value of goods exported, financial capacity and potential, business sector, region(s) where your company operates

Scientists and Researchers

  • Documents concerning your current academic career, your title, and your field of study
  • Information on research papers you've published
  • Awards
  • Documents concerning licenses, trademarks and/or patents

Artists, Musicians, Athletes, and Others who are Successful in Cultural Activities

  • Documents relating to awards, national and international fame, performance and audience numbers

Those Who Promote Turkey and Turkish Culture

  • Any documents that show the impact of your international activities in promoting Turkey and Turkish culture
  • Documents concerning articles or books written, films produced, or other artistic works you've done
  • Documents concerning publicity you've created for Turkey

How Can I Apply for the Turquoise Card?

Turquoise card applications are made through the Ministry of Labor's Foreign Application, Assessment, and Monitoring System.

Applying for a Turquoise Card in Turkey

If you're in Turkey, you can apply at a local office of the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services.

Applying for a Turquoise Card While Outside of Turkey

If you're outside of Turkey, you can apply at any Turkish embassy or consulate.

Turquoise Card Fees

There are no fees for applying or processing the application or for printing the Turquoise Card.

Turquoise Card Law

The Turquoise Card is issued according to the Law on International Labor Force number 6735.

Assistance and Support

The Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services: They also have a national customer service number, which, from within Turkey, is 170. From outside of Turkey, call +90 216 170 1122. It has an English option.

Work Visa and Permit Forums: If you have questions about work permits, search our work permit forums, or open a topic.

Ken Grubb, author.

As a special investigator for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and teacher for the University of Maryland, Ken Grubb has lived and worked in Turkey since 1997. He now lives in Antalya, where he researches and writes guides to help others live skillfully in Turkey.


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