Legal Status of Blue Card Holders

In accordance with Article 28 of the Turkish Citizenship Law (Law No. 5901, “TCL”), Since 1995, there has been a Blue Card enforcement with its current name.

It is not possible to apply for a Blue Card for people who have renounced their citizenship for any reason other than getting a permit. For instance, people who have been ejected their citizenship can be given as an example.

Blue Card holders can benefit from most of the rights granted to Turkish citizens. To express some of the rights granted to Blue Card holders, they can be listed as follows:

·        The card holder can use it in Turkey by getting a local license plate for the vehicle he/she bought from abroad.

·        He/she may work as an employee or a covenanted employee in public institutions.

·        He/she can perform professions that foreigners cannot perform in Turkey, such as a doctor and a lawyer.

Blue Card holders do not need to obtain work permit. Blue Card holders can work in Turkey without obtaining work permit.

There are no restrictions on the acquisition of immovable property by Blue Card holders in Turkey. Blue Card holders acquire immovable property just like a Turkish citizen.

Blue Card holders;

Ø  Residence,

Ø  Purchasing or transferring movable and immovable (real estate),

Ø  Engaging in commercial activities,

Ø  Investing,

Ø  Working,

Ø  Inheritance rights,

Ø  Travel,

can benefit such rights. These rights, which are not limited availability, are primarily stated in the regulation.

What are the Rights of Blue Card Holders?

Blue Card holders, who renounced their Turkish citizenship by obtaining permission from the Ministry of Internal Affairs after gaining Turkish citizenship by birth, are subject to similar treatment to Turkish citizens.

Blue Card holders do not have four rights. These are

1.      Rights to vote and to be elected.

Blue Card holders cannot stand as candidates in general or local elections, nor can they vote. Both in our constitution and in the election law, a person must be a citizen of the Republic of Turkey in order to both participate in the elections and be a candidate.

2.      Rights and obligations regarding military service. 

According to Article 72 of the Constitution, military service is the right and duty of every Turkish citizen. The constitution regulates military service as a right and duty for every Turkish citizen, but men can only do military service, which is their homeland duty but for sure, women also have the right to do military service, which is a profession, as well as being a military officer, non-commissioned officer and covenanted employee in the Turkish Armed Forces.

3.      Right to import exempted vehicles and household goods.

Some Turkish citizens can bring their vehicles and household goods into Turkey from abroad without paying customs duty. This is called importing vehicles and household goods into the country exempt from customs duty. Blue Card applications started in 1995 for the first time with a different name back then, afterwards started to be called the Blue Card over time, and this application still continues even in 2022 because the rights granted to those who lost their Turkish citizenship by obtaining a permission to leave are regulated in the 28th article of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901, which entered into force in 2009.

4.      Right to be employed as a civil servant.

In order to become a civil servant, there is a provision in article 48 of the Civil Servants Law No. 657; It says that the individual must be a Turkish citizen. Individuals registered in the Blue Card Holders Registry cannot hold primary and permanent civil service assignments based on a staff and subject to the public law regime. However, they can be employed as employee either temporary or on contractual basis in public institutions and organizations.

Beyond these rights, Turkish citizens and Blue Card holders have the same rights in all other rights, they do not have to obtain a visa when entering Turkey, they do not have to obtain a residence permit while living in Turkey and they do not have to obtain work permit while working in Turkey. Who have renounced their citizenship permit not only himself/herself, but also his/her descendants up to the third degree, that is himself/herself, his/her children and grandchildren, are also covered and a Blue Card is given.

Where and How to Apply for a Blue Card?

Blue Card; is regulated by foreign representatives (embassy or consulate) or by provincial civil registry directorate within the borders of Turkey.

The documents required when applying for a Blue Card are:

        A petition stating the request for a Blue Card,

                  •     Two photographs (photos taken within the last six months are valid),

    •      Identity document or passport showing that you are a foreign citizen

        20 Turkish Liras Blue Card fee for 2022 (payment is made at the time of application.) in addition to this, there may be additional file and paper costs to the card fee. On the other hand, external costs may arise due to different circumstances depending on the circumstances of the concrete case.

Blue Card holders whose extract of civil registry are kept, obliged to notify population events such as birth, marriage, divorce, their residential address and changes in them. Upon notification, necessary actions are taken by the civil registry directorate and these changes are recorded in the Blue Card Holders Register.

The Blue Card Holders Register is kept in the digital environment, therefore non special register is kept. Moreover, there are two different opinions on keeping state register. Some say, “Records kept electronically are sufficient.” while others say, “The registers are also a presumption and it would be beneficial to keep them until everything is digitized in the future and to be used as a supporting document.” There is no physical register keeping for Blue Card holders, only electronically, but other registers are kept both physically and electronically.

How to Keep a Register of Blue Card Holders?

The procedures and principles regarding the establishment of the Blue Card Holders register regarding those who are Turkish citizens by birth but lost their Turkish citizenship by obtaining permission to leave and their descendants, and the keeping of the declared population events is called the “Keeping the Blue Card Holders Register“.

From the records of people who are Turkish citizens by birth registered in the Central Civil Registration System (“MERNİS”) database but lost their Turkish citizenship by obtaining permission to leave, the Blue Card Register is created without changing the ID number. A link is established between the family registers and the records in the Blue Card Registers. Information such as province, district, family member serial number, volume number are not included in the Blue Card Register. A link is established between family information with the identification number. If they apply up to their third-degree relatives (lower descendants) who are not Turkish citizens registered in the Blue Card Holders Register, they will be also registered in the Blue Card Holders Register. In this registration process, since they did not have Turkish citizenship before, it is possible to register them with a foreign identity number.

In which cases is the Blue Card Register Closed?

In case of death, absence or re-acquiring Turkish citizenship, Blue Card holders records in the Blue Card Register are closed. However, if there is a reason to re-open the registration, it can be re-registered.