Turkish Citizenship by Investment Process and Guide
Turkey is a major transcontinental country strategically positioned and bordered by three seas. A popular tourist destination, Turkey’s location facilitates connectivity with key markets via excellent transport links. Although Ankara is its capital, the leading global city of Istanbul is Turkey’s largest and is its main commercial and cultural centre. The citizenship opportunity has become even more attractive as the minimum investment ﬁgures have been further reduced in 2018 and the whole process is usually completed within 2 – 3 months. The citizenship is granted to the dependent family members of the applicant as well, without the requirement for separate investments by family members.
Turkish citizenship by investment program provides the following opportunities to holders:
- Permanent right of residence
- Permanent right of work and investment opportunity in Turkey without any limitations
- Visa-free travel to many countries
- The simple assessment process for visa applications to many countries
After applicants have chosen the qualifying investment option, a residence permit application shall be made on the family’s behalf. The main applicant is then required to open a bank account in Turkey. Once all application documents have been prepared (including applicable certifications and translations), the investment can be completed and the documents submitted to the government. Once the application has been received by the government, the review process will begin and an interview may be requested. Applications are typically approved within six to nine months, following which the citizenship documents are issued. The passport application can then be submitted.
What are the Advantages of Having Turkish Citizenship?
- No minimum residency in Turkey is required.
- Full medical assistance included.
- Pension programs are available.
- Free education and university reimbursement plans.
- Turkey Passport allows visa-free travel to more than 110 countries, 72 countries around the world without a need for a visa, such countries are Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Qatar, and others. About 42 other countries with a visa being issued to the Turkish citizen upon arrival in the destination country, such countries may include Kuwait, Bahrain, and South Africa. Apply for a visa to almost seven countries directly via the Internet (Online), countries are such as Australia and Oman.
- Future access without a visa to EU and Schengen countries.
- A solid investment with rental returns.
How to Apply for Turkish Citizenship by Investment guide
1. Get a Turkish Tax Registration Number
A tax number is the essential ID number for each registration and financial transaction in Turkey. All Turkish citizen’s ID numbers are automatically their tax ID numbers. A Tax Identification Number is a ten-digit number assigned to individuals.
A Tax ID number is helpful for students, visiting faculty, researchers, or family members since their residence permits and some administrative procedures will not be readily available when they arrive. For instance, paying the residence permit card fee requires an official ID number.
It will allow you to open a bank account with some banks, obtain health insurance, and perform various formalities in Turkey.
Once you have a residence permit, you will have your foreign ID number and do not have to use your Tax ID number anymore. There are two options for application
Option one: online application
What do you need?
- A Turkish phone number
- A digital copy of your passport
Option two: in-person application
You need to visit a Tax Office to apply for and obtain a Tax ID number with several documents.
what do you need:
- Your passport
- A photocopy of your passport ID page
- Filled and signed Tax ID Application Form
2. Open a bank account in Turkey
You can open a bank account after receiving your residence permit card. This is because a foreign ID number is an obligation to open a bank account that provides banking services such as credit cards, online shopping, ATM usage, etc. Your foreign ID number is written on your residence permit card.
However, if you urgently need to open a bank account before you receive your residence permit, you can do so at certain banks. In this case, the banks which open accounts without a residence permit card may ask for deposits. This regulation is subject to change from bank to bank. Therefore, we do recommend you wait for your residence permit and then open a bank account. You can open a bank account in any bank near your area, you must bring the following documents with you:
- Your residence permit card
- Your passport
- A housing document (it can be your rental contract, a utility bill in your name, or a document from the Housing Department)
- KU ID card or a Student Enrollment Certificate (Extra, not a must but will expedite the process)
When you are at the bank, please get a queue number from the ticket dispenser which has an English option.
3. Find a property worth at least 250,000 USD
It is necessary to register with a minimum of USD 250,000 or a different foreign currency or Turkish Lira equivalent, provided that an explanation that it cannot be sold for a minimum of 3 years is put into the land registry. In the contract to be drawn up at the notary, after the foreign person has purchased or established a condominium or condominium servitude and paid at least USD 250.000 or the amount equivalent to a different foreign currency or Turkish Lira in cash, it should be committed that the property cannot be transferred or abandoned for a (three) years. The explanation to the registry must be determined by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.
Most asked questions about Turkish citizenship by obtaining a property
- Does a foreigner who owns more than one Turkish property totalling ($250,000) have the right to apply for Turkish citizenship?
Yes, a foreigner who owns real estate with a total value of more than ($250,000) is entitled to Turkish citizenship under the latest amendments. It is not required to be a single property.
- Is citizenship granted only to the owner of the property or to him and his family?
Turkish citizenship is granted to the owner of the property and all members of his family who are under (18) years of age.
- Is there a specific currency required to buy a property in Turkey and get Turkish citizenship?
The decision states that the purchase of a property must be worth ($250,000) or it is equivalent in foreign currency.
4. Buy the property in Turkey
In 2018, foreigners from many countries purchased 40,000 homes in Turkey. This trend has continued through to 2019 and shows no signs of letting down with industry insiders predicting annual sales of 50,000 homes. Buying property in Turkey is a good investment, but assess each region to understand what is driving sales and how much future potential there is to maximise your financial portfolio. Here you can read more about ( best cities to live in turkey)
What are the steps to owning property in Turkey?
- Communicate with a well-known real estate company and understand the details of the new decisions accurately. Here we can help you with that
- Discuss the details of the property that fits your budget and needs.
- Ask for advice about the property features you are looking for in Turkey.
- Go on a field trip to preview the project in reality.
- Follow up on legal matters with your real estate company.
Finding the right property is very important, Here you can find our options.
5. Obtain a Certificate of Conformity
a certificate of Conformity is given to exporters or importers to show that the services purchased meet the required standards of a given country. This document is usually required to be presented during customs clearance. The main reason for these certificates to be solicited is to comply with a legal requirement to obtain permission to carry an activity or to close a business transaction. They are very common in the real estate business and in public utility services.
When applying for citizenship through the purchase of real estate, you must apply to the Directorate of Land Registry, which is linked to the Ministry of Environment and Urban Development
Documents required for real estate certificate of conformity are
- Bank receipts showing that the sale price of the real estate has been transferred to the seller
- Real estate valuation report
- The commitment “will not be sold for 3 years”, must be written on the title deed.
6. Apply for Turkish Residency
A Turkish Residence Permit is an authorization to remain in Turkey for longer than three months in half a year, under purposes as settlement, working or studying.A residence permit enables you to live in Turkey, study, get married, convert to a Turkish drivers’ license, get a tax number, open a bank account, purchase property, make investments, and much more. If your purpose of moving to Turkey is working, you will only need a work permit, which also serves as a residence permit.
Depending on the visa type you hold, the purpose of application and the intended period of residence in Turkey, you can apply for one of the following residence permits:
- Short-term residence permit
The Turkish short-term residence permit is the most sought after among all other residence permits. You can get this residence permit for any of the following purposes:
- for scientific research
- to establish commercial connections or business
- to participate in an in-service training program
- for educational or similar purposes in the framework of student exchange programs;
- for tourism purposes
- to receive medical treatment given that you do not carry one of the diseases which are considered as a threat to public health
- to attend Turkish learning courses
- You are a citizen of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
- Family residence permit
A family residence permit can be granted to the foreign spouse of a Turkish national, his/her minor children and his/her dependent foreign child. The sponsor must have enough income to support those applying for a residence permit for them to get the permit.
- Student residence permit
You can get a student residence permit if you are in Turkey to enrol in primary or secondary education. If you already have a family residence permit you will not need this one.
- Long-term residence permit
If you have resided in Turkey for at least eight years uninterruptedly, under a residence permit issued by the Turkish authorities, then you can apply for a Turkish long-term permit that has an indefinite validity.
- Humanitarian residence permit
You can apply for this residence permit if you are in Turkey without a valid visa or residence permit, but no deportation decision has been taken against you, you are waiting for your deportation, or you cannot return to your country of residence due to emergency reasons.
- Residence permit for victims of human trafficking
If you are a victim of human trafficking, and you are in Turkey, you can apply for this residence permit
To apply for a Turkish Residence Permit you need to follow several procedures. The first thing you should know is that you must apply for a residence permit within a month of arrival in Turkey.
Decide for which type of residence permit you want to apply for, and then complete the online application at the website of the Turkish Ministry of Interior https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr/. You will have to give your name and surname, date of birth, parents’ names, nationality and contact info.
Then you should go to the “Central Appointment System” website and make an appointment at the nearest office of the Directorate General of Migration Management. You will need to complete a form, with your information and address in Turkey.
Then you will be presented with the address of the nearest DGMM office and the list of the required documents, the available dates and times for the appointment and the application and card fee that you ought to pay.
Document required for Turkish Residency
- Residence permit application form.
- Four biometric photographs.
- Original passport.
- Notarized copy of the passport or travel document.
- Proof of sufficient and sustainable financial resources for the duration of the stay. You must prove you have in your bank at least €500 for each month you spend in Turkey, or present proof that you will receive that amount monthly.
- Evidence of Health Insurance.
Note that according to your situation, the type of residence permit you are applying for and your nationality, you may have to submit additional documents. Make sure you submit them all on time, as required.
7. Apply for the Turkish Citizenship by Investment guide
Turkey citizenship by investment was announced in 2016. Late in January 2017, the Turkish government launched the program to trigger foreign direct investment and improve its real estate sector. Under this program, the investor is free to decide from the various means he wants to contribute to Turkish society.
To qualify for Turkey citizenship by investment program, the principal applicant
- Has to be at least 18 years old.
- Must have never stayed illegally in Turkey.
- Paying the taxes and costs for the process.
Besides, the individual requires the following documents to be eligible for the program.
- Birth certificates of all the applicants
- Passports of each applicant
- Residence Proof (Recent utility statement)
- Biometric, coloured passport photos of each applicant
- Marriage certificate (optional)
- Death or divorce certificate of spouse (optional)
- Proof that all the applicants have a clean criminal record
- Proof of Health Insurance (valid in Turkey)
- Proof of investment of $250,000 into a Turkish bank account or lawyer’s client account
- Turkish Tax ID Number (necessary)
Note: You can have your spouse, dependent children below the age of 18, and children of any age with disabilities.
Documents needed for Turkish Citizenship?
1. Marital Status
Marital status is the legally defined marital state. There are several types of marital status: single, married, widowed, divorced, separated and, in certain cases, registered partnership. Never married persons are persons who never got married in concordance with valid regulations.
Questions about civil status appear on questionnaires for quantitative research, such as census forms and market research instruments. In a person’s medical history, civil status is considered to have both quantitative and qualitative significance. A government records the civil status of its citizens using a civil registration system. Historically, inquiries into marital status have appeared on applications for employment, loans, and credit.
2. Copy of Birth Certificate
A birth certificate is a vital record that documents the birth of a person. The term “birth certificate” can refer to either the original document certifying the circumstances of the birth or to a certified copy of or representation of the ensuing registration of that birth. One of the documents needed for Turkish citizenship is a birth certificate or any official document showing the date and place of birth, such as a copy of the civil registry translated and certified by the Turkish Consulate or a notary.
3. Biometric photos
The following are the requirements for a biometric photo:
- It has to be no more than one month old.
- It has to be in full colour.
- It must be printed on plain white photo paper without borders, four biometric photos are required.
5. Receipt of Wire Transfers
A wire transfer is sent by the billing party when they request a bank wire to be sent for a specified amount of funds. The invoice will specify the amount due from the products or services delivered and request that payment is made via a wire transfer. The transfer notice should be made with the amount of 250,000 USD or more and from the personal buyer account directly to the seller’s account, avoiding any delegations or mediation. Taking into consideration that the bank account holder’s name is identical to the property owner’s name, If not, you must make sure to request a document clarifying the relation between the two names (in case of having a landowner different from the construction company which the sale is made through).
The transfer notice should include a description of the cause of the transfer (purchase of the real estate). The transfer notice should be certified by the issuing authority (the bank).
6. Proof of Address / Certificate of Residence
The proof of residency letter is an affidavit that is written and signed by someone else that acknowledges a specific person is a resident of the State or a mailing address. This is common when applying for government agencies, insurance programs, or employees to prove that individual lives where they claim.
What documents are acceptable as proof of residence
- Residence permit application form.
- Four biometric photographs.
- Original passport.
- Notarized copy of the passport or travel document.
- Proof of sufficient and sustainable financial resources for the duration of the stay.
- Evidence of Health Insurance.
7. All application forms filled in
What information should I include on an application form?
- Preliminary examination form ( a standard form VAT-4)
- Turkish translation of the passport
- Identity registry copy of the applicant
- Birth certificate of the applicant
- Marital stataus document
- valid residence permit obtained through the process
- Receipt slip for the application service charges made
8. Power of Attorney granted
A power of attorney or letter of attorney is a written authorization to represent or act on another’s behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter. The person authorizing the other to act is the principal, grantor, or donor. Here are many situations in which a power of attorney can be granted in Turkey, among these:
- for various real estate transactions, such as buying, selling or even renting properties.
- for opening a company in Turkey – this way the incorporation procedure is completed much faster.
- for representation in various legal cases related to Civil Law, such as divorce or child custody.
- for making investments, for completing banking transactions or handling various tax matters.
If you are a foreign investor and you are interested in a certain action that requires a power of attorney, one of our Turkish lawyers can represent you before the authorities.
Other ways to receive Turkish Citizenship by Investing?
- Purchase real estate worth( 250,000) USD, you can buy any property.
- A deposit in a bank of (500,000)USD or more.
- Purchase of national securities from (500,000)USD
- Purchase of government bonds in the amount of (500,00)USD with an obligation to preserve assets for three years.
- Open a business with a capital of (500,000)USD or create at least 50 jobs.
What are the Advantages of Investing in Turkey?
The foreign nationals who make the direct investment may equally take advantage of the opportunities delivered to domestic investors. Direct investment is also made by opening branches, companies in Turkey or becoming a partner to an existing company. However, as regards the indirect investments realized through purchasing stock or bonds, no incentive exists. For this reason, only the foreign nationals who make long term and direct investments may use the facilities offered by the state.
The Advantages are
- Improved and Thriving Economy
Turkey has entered a new millennium with an almost collapsed economy, but since 2002 the country’s economy has begun to improve rapidly. During this period, GDP, the country’s most important measure, jumped from 231 billion dollars to 820 billion dollars.
- The Increase Rate of Youth Population
When investing in a place requires the presence of qualified youth and skilled manpower, Turkey’s young population is very large compared to European countries. Turkey is the most populous country in Europe and more than half 30, which means that any investor who opens a project in Turkey will not suffer from the problem of employment and labour.
- Skilled and Competitive Workforce
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, Turkey has 29 million young people, including skilled and qualified workers. About 200 universities annually graduate 600,000 young people and about 700,000 graduates from secondary schools, institutes, and vocational schools. Those qualified for work, creating a competitive environment that drives workers towards creativity and mastery of work.
- The flexibility of the Investment Atmosphere in Turkey
It is known that in many countries there are barriers to identifying foreign investments, but Turkey, a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has begun to raise such obstacles to foreign investors starting in 1997. Today Turkey reached a stage where a company is established every 6 days, and the State deals with all investors to equality, creating a competitive environment between them.
- The Infrastructure
One of the main reasons for foreign investors to invest somewhere is to provide the necessary infrastructure for investment and to reduce the cost of transportation. If we look at the basic infrastructure, such as transport, communications, energy, and technical infrastructure, Turkey has seen a boom which has made Turkey a centre for attracting foreign investors.
- The Perfect Geographical Location
Turkey’s central location linking Asia and Europe has historically made it a natural bridge connecting the two continents. Turkey has, through its location, embraced many commercial routes linking the East and the West.
- Largest Power Plant and Terminal in Europe
Turkey plays an active role in the energy transfer between Asia and Europe. It contributes to the transfer of energy from east to west and the transfer of funds from the west to the east.
- Low Costs of Taxation in Turkey
To encourage investors to invest in Turkey, the institutional profit tax applicable to foreign investors has been reduced by 33% to 20%. In some cases, foreigners are exempt from this tax in whole or in part. Investors are also encouraged in some areas allocated by the State such as land allocation and other incentive policies.
- Membership in the European Customs Union
The European Customs Union, which aims to increase economic activities and offers. Turkey has been a member of this customs union since 1996, and there are 20 free trade agreements between the parties to this union. These trade relations are increasing day by day through the signing of new agreements.
- Large National Markets
According to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute, from 2002 to date, the number of Internet users has increased from 100,000 to 33 million, the number of mobile users from 23 million to 70 million, the number of borrowers from 16 million to 58 million, In addition, the number of mobile users has increased from 33 million to 131 million.
How long does it take to obtain Turkish Citizenship by investment?
Citizenship of Turkey is granted after 3-6 months following the applicant’s investment. The applicant must hold the investment for a minimum of 3 years. Turkey citizenship by investment is the quickest route to obtain Turkish citizenship. After you invest $250,000 in real estate, you are entitled to get your Turkish passport in less than two months from applying.
Do I Need to Learn Turkish to Get a Turkish Passport?
NO, you don’t have to learn the Turkish language to get a Turkish passport, you can take the route of capital transfer to get a Turkish passport, the minimum capital investment amount is $500,000. The transfer can either be completed as a deposit in a Turkish bank, contribution to government bonds, or investment in fund shares.
How many countries can I travel to with a Turkish passport?
As of 5 January 2021, Turkish citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 110 countries and territories, ranking the Turkish passport 53rd in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index. Many countries require the visa but grant it on easy terms to Turkish citizens. In the context of the negotiations and international agreements between Turkey and the EU, in case Turkey accedes to the European Union, it is expected that the Turkish citizen will obtain major facilities to obtain a Schengen visa to enter the European countries, and could result in these negotiations to access to European countries without a visa to the Turkish passport holder in the future.
How to Get Turkish Citizenship for Spouse and Children?
Your spouse (wife or husband) and dependents (your children under the age of 18, on the application date) can get citizenship. Turkish law does not recognize same-sex marriages, polygamy and other types of partnerships. So a spouse should be a person of the opposite sex and the couple should be legally married. If a male applicant has multiple wives, only one of them is eligible for Turkish citizenship.
How long is Turkish citizenship?
To become Turkish citizenship in 5 years is required to purchase any valued property in Turkey (can be anything as long as the Tapu name title stays in your name) and obtain the 2-year Touristic residence permit ID card purpose to stay for real estate ownership, and extend the residence permit consecutive under the same purpose 3 years, and does not require mandatory or continued stay in Turkey. Turkish passport is issued after 5 years.
Does Turkey give permanent residency?
Yes, the permanent residence conditions in Turkey must be taken into consideration before applying for it according to the following regulations:
- The permanent residence permit is granted on Turkish territory with the consent of the Ministry of the Interior to a foreign resident residing on Turkish territory continuously for eight years without interruption.
- Eight years are counted without interruption as stated in Article 38 of the law, where half the duration of the student residence permit is calculated and the duration of the other residence permits is calculated in full.
- Has not received social assistance during the last three years.
- The resident must have sufficient income to secure his living and his family’s livelihood regularly.
- The resident must have valid health insurance.
- Should not pose a threat to public order and public security.
Is it mandatory to live in Turkey to obtain Citizenship?
No, you don’t need to be a permanent resident, you do not have to have lived continuously in Turkey for a certain period to become eligible for citizenship. You can continue to live abroad and apply for citizenship as soon as you get the residence permit.