Turkish Citizenship by Investment – Is It My Best Choice?
You have many reasons for looking into a second citizenship. How do you find the best opportunity? Which country will give you the most value for your second passport?
In the last three years, almost 20,000 people have found Turkish citizenship by investment to be an attractive option. Find out how the Turkish citizenship by investment process works and if it’s the best choice for you.
How to Get Turkish Citizenship
The Turkish government established a program in 2017 to encourage foreign investment in the country. They will grant citizenship to people who invest a certain amount of money through one of several pre approved investment methods.
Several countries in the world offer this type of citizenship by investment (CBI) program. However, the rules for getting citizenship by investment in Turkey are some of the easiest.
The president of Turkey started the CBI program as a way to boost the economy. Turkey suffered an economic downturn in 2016 following several terrorist attacks and an attempted coup d’etat. Foreign investment dropped significantly, and the country faced a massive budget deficit.
When the Turkish government first launched the CBI program, the investment thresholds were high. You had to buy at least $1 million in real estate or invest at least $3 million. Few people were interested. In 2018 the government lowered the rates to a fraction of what they had been, and now the program attracts thousands of investors a year.
The CBI program in Turkey is open to all foreigners except citizens of Armenia, Cuba, Nigeria, North Korea, and Syria.
Citizenship by Investment in Turkey
The law regulating the citizenship by investment process in Turkey offers three ways to get your Turkish passport. Since the amendment to the original law passed, the minimum amounts required are lower than those of many other countries.
Buying Turkish Real Estate
You can get Turkish citizenship by buying property. You need to invest at least $250,000 in real estate. Unlike other citizenship by investment countries who require you to purchase property only in pre designated developments, Turkey allow you to purchase property in virtually any location; this includes city properties in Istanbul or beach and holiday locations such as Izmir and Bodrum.
This option is the most popular because Turkey’s currency, the lira, is weaker than the dollar or euro. Real estate is affordable, and it generally increases in value over time. You can rent out the property for an immediate return on your investment.
Turkish law doesn’t restrict what you can buy. Houses, apartments, or land are all eligible. However, you can’t buy more than 10% of any single administrative district. Your purchase can’t be larger than 30 hectares (approx. 74 acres), and it can’t be in a military security zone.
If you want to buy multiple properties that will combine to make an investment of $250,000 or more, the properties must be in the same neighborhood. You have to register all of them on the same day.
You must hold the property for at least three years.
Turkey offers several ways to get citizenship by making a capital investment. The minimum investment is $500,000. You can deposit the money in a Turkish bank. You can also buy government bonds. Another option is to buy real estate or venture capital investment fund shares. Finally, you can invest directly in a Turkish business.
You need to keep the investment for at least three years.
Even if you’re depositing into a Turkish bank, you don’t need to make the deposit in lira. The lira is a volatile currency and has lost a lot of value in the last few years. Making your capital investment in a more stable currency like dollars or euros is safer than using lira. You just need to be sure that the amount is equivalent to $500,000.
A third option is to start a business that creates jobs in Turkey. When the CBI program started, you needed to employ at least 100 people. The changes in 2018 lowered the number of employees to 50.
This method is more complicated than the others. You need to navigate the laws and regulations that apply to businesses in Turkey. If you already have a business and would like to operate in a country with lower labor costs or if you want to start a business in another country, this option may be worth considering.
Getting Turkish citizenship by creating jobs may be a good option if you plan to establish a legitimate, long-term business in Turkey.
Turkish Citizenship by Investment Application
The application process for citizenship by investment in Turkey usually takes three to four months. You aren’t required to live in Turkey, and you don’t need to learn Turkish. Turkey doesn’t have a formal interview process.
Your spouse and any children under the age of 18 can also get citizenship if you meet the application requirements.
Application Process for Turkish Citizenship by Property Investment
The process to get Turkish citizenship by buying property has several steps. First, you need to find and buy the real estate. Buying property in Turkey as a foreign investor has various administrative requirements like getting a tax registration number and opening a Turkish bank account.
After you buy the property, you need to get a Certificate of Eligibility. This certifies that you fulfilled the requirements of the law with your investment. The General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadaster, part of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, handles applications for these certificates.
Next, you need a temporary residency permit. Investors typically enter Turkey on a valid visa and then apply for the short-term residency permit. When the application is part of a CBI process, you can get the permit within 10 days of applying online.
Once you have your Certificate of Eligibility and residency permit, you can submit your application for citizenship. The application requires a long list of supporting documents that you’ll need to have translated into Turkish. Some documents require notarization and/or an apostille.
After you submit your application to the Provincial Directorate of Census and Citizenship, you can fly home and wait to receive your Turkish passport in the mail.
Why Choose Turkish Citizenship?
Turkish citizenship by investment gives you many advantages. The process is faster and more straightforward than some other countries. The initial investment is competitive too.
Turkey has various tax incentives that minimize your tax burden and help you maximize the return on your investment. Inheritance laws protect your heirs so you can pass your property on to them.
With a Turkish passport, you can travel to more than 110 countries without a visa. With Turkish Citizenship you can apply for an E-2 investor visa to live and work in the US.
You and your family are eligible for Turkey’s public health care system. You can access the system free of charge.
Getting Your Turkish Passport
When you’ve decided that Turkish citizenship by investment is right for you, you need to find the right partner to work through the process. Second Citizenship has been helping clients achieve their economic citizenship goals since 2008. We’ll simplify the process and help ensure that your application is approved. We have a full legal team on the ground in Istanbul Turkey to work with you throughout the process.
Contact us to schedule a consultation. We look forward to working with you.