Turkish Citizenship by Investment: Process and Guide

Turkey is a transcontinental country with a strategic location. Its position allows it, not only to be an extremely important touristic destination but also to be a major connection between Eastern and Western markets through the excellent transportation links available. Turkey, in addition to standing out with its strategic location, important trade centers, and opportunities, as well as advanced modern technology and international connection, is also well known for its excellent investment in citizenship programs. Many foreigners are attracted to the idea of acquiring Turkish citizenship due to the numerous benefits that are associated with being a citizen.

The Republic of Turkey has issued new laws and made regulations for foreigners who want to become Turkish citizens. To get more information about the advantages of Turkish citizenship and how to become a Turkish citizen, Realty Group’s experienced team will support you in your journey to achieving this investment and facilitating you every step of the way.

What are the Ways to Obtain Turkish Citizenship by Investment?

The most common way to acquire Turkish citizenship is by investment. Foreigners have the opportunity to become Turkish citizens by investing in the country. This privilege gives the investor the right to apply for Turkish citizenship by submitting certain documents and following a certain legal procedure through designated authorities.

Any foreigner who meets the specified conditions can acquire citizenship by filing a proposal to the Ministry and waiting upon the decision of the Council of Ministers within the scope of the law.

The methods of  obtaining Turkish Citizenship by investment are listed below:

1. Purchasing a Property Worth at Least $400,000

Purchasing an immovable property for $400.000 or more and making an annotation stating that this immovable will not be sold for 3 years to be issued from the title deed registry office.

2. A Capital Investment Worth at Least $500,000

One of the most common ways to comply with Turkish Citizenship application regulations is to make a capital investment of $500,000 or more.

3. Create at Least 50 Employment or Start a Firm with a Capital of $500,000

It has been determined by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security that if a foreigner creates employment for at least 50 people then the investor is eligible to obtain citizenship through their investment.

4. $500,000 or Equivalent Deposit in a Turkish Bank Account

The person who deposits $500,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency or TL in Turkish banks, provided that they do not withdraw it for at least 3 years, has the same opportunity.

5. Buy the Internally Held Public Debt At Least Worth $500,000

Securities traded by qualified investors with the least risk and often with the assurance of the government are called debt instruments. The determination regarding the purchase of government debt instruments amounting to $500.000 or more is made by the “Ministry of Treasury and Finance”.

6. Real Estate Investment Fund Participation Share or Capital Investment Fund Participation Share

A person who buys real estate investment fund participation shares or venture capital investment fund participation shares of at least $500.000 or equivalent in foreign currency or TL and undertakes to keep them for at least 3 years also acquires the right of citizenship within this scope.

Documents Required for Turkish Citizenship by Investment

Specific documents are required to become a Turkish citizen by investment. Accordingly, the following documents must be completed before the application:

  • Application form containing the relevant application path,
  • Identity document obtained from the applicant’s home country,
  • If the foreigner is married, the spouse’s identity document, if they have children under the age of 18, their identity documents,
  • Documents proving family ties with family members (marriage certificate, etc.),
  • Passport photos of other family members,
  • Birth certificate,
  • If the spouse or other relatives of the foreigner applying are Turkish citizens, their IDs’ photocopies and residence information,
  • Documents, receipts, etc. regarding the payment made before the application.

Apart from these documents, there are also other documents required for the process of real estate purchase by foreigners. The documents are listed below:

  • Passport and photocopy of the foreign person who will buy the immovable, together with its Turkish translation,
  • Real estate value certificate obtained from an authorized real estate appraisal company,
  • If the immovable property is a residence or workplace, a compulsory earthquake insurance policy,
  • One biometric photo of the person selling the real estate, 2 biometric photos of the buyer,
  • If the foreigner does not speak Turkish, a certified public translator must be available.
  • If the sale of real estate is made by a proxy, the original copy of the power of attorney. If the power of attorney is not issued in Turkey, it’s Turkish translated by a sworn translator.

After finalizing the real estate purchase, an application for a short-term residence permit is required. The documents required for a short-term residence permit application are as follows:

  • Application form containing residence permit request,
  • The original passport and a photocopy of the relevant pages provided that the validity of the passport should exceed the requested duration of the residence permit by at least 60 days period,
  • 4 biometric photographs taken within the last 6 months,
  • A valid health insurance policy to cover the requested residence period,
  • Application fees payment receipt and necessary valuable papers,
  • The title deed registration document of the purchased real estate.

What are the Other Ways to Obtain Turkish Citizenship by Investment?

Turkish Citizenship Law clearly states that citizenship can be obtained in two ways; by birth or by later acquirement. Being a Turkish citizen by birth is a situation related to the person’s birthplace or citizenship bond with his mother and father.

Other than that, the way to acquire citizenship is to win later. Post-acquisition can also take various forms. Accordingly, it is possible to rank the ways of earning later as follows:

  • Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship by the decision of the competent authority
  • Acquiring Turkish citizenship through marriage
  • Acquiring Turkish Citizenship through adoption

To briefly touch on other ways of earning:

  • The possibility of regaining Turkish citizenship has been arranged for people who have somehow lost their Turkish citizenship.
  • In the way of choice, there is a right granted to people who lose their citizenship rights due to the citizenship change of their parents. According to this, people who have renounced Turkish citizenship against their will return to Turkish citizenship by using the method of election.
  • In addition, some important personalities, people with certain characteristics can be naturalized exceptionally, even if they do not meet the general conditions for naturalization.

How to Get Turkish Citizenship for Spouse and Children?

Your spouse (husband or wife) and dependents (children under the age of 18 at the time of application) are eligible for citizenship. Same-gender marriages, polygamy, and other forms of relationships are illegal in Turkey. As a result, a spouse must be of the opposite sex, and the pair must be lawfully married. In addition, only one of a man’s wives is eligible for Turkish citizenship if he has more than one.

How Long Does it Take to Obtain Turkish Citizenship by Investment?    

By purchasing real estate of US$400,000 or more, the right to apply for Turkish citizenship is provided over a period ranging between 2-4 months at the latest. Depending on the situation, this period may be even shorter. If the documents required for citizenship applications must be complete, the process is completed within a reasonable time. Otherwise, missing information and documents are obtained from the concerned legal entities, and the finalization of the transaction will vary according to the procurement period.

Do I Need to Learn Turkish to Get Turkish Citizenship?

There is no requirement to learn the Turkish language while applying for Turkish citizenship.

What are the Advantages of Obtaining Turkish Citizenship?

According to the Henley Passport Index, Turkish citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 110 countries and territories as of January 5, 2021. However, many nations need a visa but give it to Turkish residents on lenient terms.

In the context of the negotiations and international agreements between Turkey and the EU, it is expected that if Turkey joins the EU, Turkish citizens will have significant advantages in obtaining a Schengen visa to enter European countries, which could lead to future negotiations to grant Turkish passport holders visa-free access to European countries.

What are the Advantages of Investing in Turkey?

Direct foreign investors may benefit from the same privileges available to local nationals. Direct investment is made through establishing branches, businesses, or partnering with existing enterprises.

However, there is no incentive to purchase stock or bonds. As a result, only long-term direct investors may utilize the state services. The advantages of investing in Turkey are listed below.

  • An improved and thriving economy: Turkey’s GDP, the country’s most important metric, increased from 231 billion to 820 billion dollars over the past period.
  • The Increase Rate of Youth Population: When it comes to investing in a place that requires skilled youngsters and trained workers, Turkey’s youthful population surpasses other European nations. Moreover, Turkey is Europe’s most populated country, this ensures that any investor launching a business in Turkey would not face labor shortages.
  • Flexibility of the investment atmosphere in Turkey: The Investment atmosphere in Turkey is conforming in a way that encourages different types of investors. This provides positive flexibility for those investors. This flexibility is guaranteed by legal regulations. Many nations face hurdles in conducting foreign investments, but Turkey, a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), started taking control over such barriers in 1997. Turkey has recently reached a point where a business is established every six days, and the government treats all investors equally, fostering a competitive atmosphere.
  • The investment infrastructure: One of the most important motivations for foreign investors to invest is to offer the required infrastructure for investment and low transportation costs. Consequently, Turkey’s fundamental infrastructure has boomed, attracting foreign investment.
  • The perfect geographical location: Turkey, due to its geographic location, acts as a natural link between Asia and Europe and has an important place between the two continents. Therefore, it has welcomed numerous business connections between the East and the West.
  • Largest power plant and terminal in Europe: Turkey is a prominent actor in the Asia-European energy trade sector. It participates in the transmission of energy and cash movement from west to east.
  • Low costs of taxation in Turkey: The institutional profit tax on foreign investors has been cut from 33% to 20% as a way to encourage them to invest in Turkey. Foreigners may be exempted from this tax in several cases. Investors can also engage in other state initiatives like land distribution and incentive schemes.
  • Membership in the European Customs Union: The European Customs Union always aims to expand Economic possibilities and activities. Turkey has been a member of this customs union since 1996, and the members of the association have signed 20 free trade agreements. Through the signing of new contracts, these commercial connections are growing every day.

Fees and Other Expenses Required During the Process of Acquiring Turkish Citizenship by Investment

In the sale of real estate, there is a title deed fee payment that varies according to the value of the real estate. In addition, there is a revolving fund fee and a service fee paid to the Land Registry Directorate.

As we mentioned above, this process is not a one-step process. Whichever investment method is preferred, many applications are required and the number of transactions to be made increases accordingly. However, in general, we can talk about the existence of the following expense items:

  • Service fee paid to the State before all these applications,
  • Costs of measurement evaluations made by the Capital Markets Board,
  • Compulsory earthquake insurance fee,
  • Certified translation and notary expenses,
  • Amounts paid for documents received from different authorities.

Realty Group Assistance While Obtaining Turkish Citizenship

Realty Group has a reliable image in the real estate market. Our company is proud to say that more than 85% of its new customers are gained from existing investor referrals, this resulted from our reputation built upon customer satisfaction. The professionalism and success we have gained in this sector, which we have been serving since 2009, continues to grow exponentially on daily basis. We have established a multilingual- experienced team including more than 30 highly skilled and well-trained sales consultants in Arabic, English, French, Russian, Persian, Azari, and Turkish languages. Despite the diversity of their fields and experiences, they are running our mission with a passion for sharing their knowledge and abilities to fulfill all the expectations of our clients, and real estate investors.

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