2023 Turkey Citizenship Guide
Turkey has become an increasingly popular destination for foreign investors seeking citizenship by investment. With a thriving economy, strategic location, and attractive lifestyle, Turkey offers a unique opportunity for those looking to obtain Turkish citizenship through investment in 2023.
Advantages of Turkish Citizenship by Investment
The Turkish citizenship by investment program presents a host of compelling advantages:
- Expedited Citizenship: This is a significant advantage for applicants who need Turkish citizenship quickly. For example, businesspeople may need Turkish citizenship to set up a business in Turkey or to take advantage of trade agreements between Turkey and other countries.
- Family Unity: This is an important advantage for applicants who want to bring their families with them to Turkey. All family members will have access to the same benefits as Turkish citizens, including healthcare, education, and social security.
- Streamlined Schengen Visa Application: This is a great advantage for applicants who want to travel to Europe frequently. Schengen visas allow holders to travel freely within the Schengen Area, which includes 26 European countries.
- Access to E2 Visa in the US: This is a valuable opportunity for applicants who want to live and work in the US. E2 investor visas are granted to citizens of countries with trade treaties with the US.
- No Residency or Language Requirements: This is a major advantage for applicants who are unable or unwilling to reside in Turkey or learn the Turkish language.
- Dual Citizenship Privileges: This is a great option for applicants who want to retain their original nationality while also becoming Turkish citizens.
- Lucrative Investment Options: Applicants can choose from a variety of investment options, depending on their financial goals and risk tolerance.
- Visa-Free Travel: Turkish citizens have visa-free access to a large number of countries, making it easy to travel the world.
Eligibility Criteria for Turkey Citizenship by Investment
To be eligible for the Turkey citizenship by investment program, the primary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Age Requirement: The main applicant must be at least 18 years old.
- Legal Residence: The applicant must have never resided illegally in Turkey, ensuring a lawful stay in the country.
- Financial Obligations: The applicant is responsible for covering the taxes and costs associated with the citizenship application process.
Investment Routes for Turkish Citizenship by Investment
To initiate the process of obtaining Turkish citizenship through investment, applicants can choose from various investment routes, including:
- Real Estate Acquisition: One of the options is to invest in real estate in Turkey. By purchasing property with a minimum value set by the government, applicants can become eligible for Turkish citizenship.
- Creation of Jobs: Another pathway to Turkish citizenship is through job creation. By providing employment opportunities for Turkish citizens, applicants can contribute to the economy and fulfil the requirements for citizenship.
- Capital Transfer: Applicants can also opt for the capital transfer route, involving the transfer of a specified amount of capital to Turkish banks or investments in Turkey. Meeting the financial criteria set by the government through this method can lead to Turkish citizenship.
Required Documents for Turkish Golden Visa Application
When applying for the Turkish Golden Visa, applicants must provide a set of essential documents to support their application:
- Birth Certificates: Birth certificates for all applicants must be included.
- Passports: Copies of passports for each applicant are necessary for the application.
- Proof of Residence: Recent utility statements or other suitable residence proof documents should be provided.
- Biometric Passport Photos: Colored, biometric passport photos for each applicant are required.
- Marriage Certificate (Optional): If applicable, a marriage certificate can be included in the application.
- Death or Divorce Certificate of Spouse (Optional): In cases of death or divorce, the relevant certificates can be included as optional documents.
- Criminal Record Clearance: Applicants must demonstrate that they have a clean criminal record.
- Health Insurance Proof: Proof of health insurance coverage valid in Turkey should be included.
- Investment Proof: Evidence of a certain amount of investment in a bank account or lawyer's client account is a crucial component of the application.
- Turkish Tax ID Number: A Tax ID number is necessary for the application process.
Investment Requirements for Turkish Golden Visa
The Turkish government offers a variety of investment options to applicants for the Golden Visa program. This allows applicants to choose the investment option that best suits their financial goals and risk tolerance.
- Fixed capital investment: This option requires applicants to invest a minimum of amount in a business venture in Turkey. The business venture must be approved by the Ministry of Industry and Technology.
- Property purchase: This option requires applicants to purchase property in Turkey valued at least the amount that is provided. The property must be held for a minimum of three years.
- Job creation: This option requires applicants to create job opportunities for at least 50 individuals in Turkey. The jobs must be created within one year of submitting the Golden Visa application.
- Bank deposit: This option requires applicants to deposit an amount in a Turkish bank account. The deposit must be held for a minimum of three years.
- Government bond purchase: This option requires applicants to purchase government bonds worth at least $500,000. The bonds must be held for a minimum of three years.
- Investment fund investment: This option requires applicants to invest in shares of a real estate investment fund or venture capital investment fund in Turkey. The shares must be held for a minimum of three years.
It is important to note that all investments must be made from a foreign bank account. Investments made from a Turkish bank account will not be considered valid.
Eligibility Requirements for Turkish Citizenship by Investment
In order to qualify for a Turkish Investment Visa, applicants need to satisfy the following eligibility criteria:
- The applicant must be of legal adult age.
- The applicant must possess a clean criminal record with no prior convictions.
- The applicant must not have a history of illegal residency in Turkey.
- A thorough due diligence process must have been conducted concerning the investment.
- The funds utilised for the application must have been obtained through lawful means.
Obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility for Turkey Golden Visa
To obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for the Turkey Golden Visa, applicants must submit their application to the relevant government agency, depending on the type of investment chosen. The relevant agencies are as follows:
- Real estate: Turkish Land Registry and Cadaster of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization
- Capital investment: Incentive Application and Foreign Capital department of the Turkish Ministry of Industry and Technology
- Bank deposit: Department of Financial Consumer Relations of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency
- Government bonds: Turkish Ministry of Treasury and Finance
- Real estate investment fund or venture capital investment fund: Department of the Brokerage Activities of the Capital Markets Board of Turkey
- Company establishment: General Directorate of International Labor of the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services
Consult with a Turkey Citizenship by Investment Expert
They offer comprehensive services and have local offices in Istanbul, Turkey. Their team of legal professionals and licensed real estate experts can assist you throughout the process and provide guidance tailored to your needs.
Turkey Citizenship Scheme Application Timeline
The application timeline is typically three to four months, from the time you submit your residency permit application. You are not required to be physically present in Turkey for interviews or document submissions.
Step-by-Step Guide for the Real Estate Route to Turkish Citizenship
Below are steps for the real estate route to Turkish Citizenship:
Step 1: Start by contacting the Get Golden Visa Team and obtaining new Turkish Tax ID numbers.
A tax ID is a fundamental requirement for legal processes related to property purchases. Once you have your tax number, proceed to open a bank account in Turkey, a process that our experienced team can assist you with.
Step 2: Conduct thorough research to identify the specific property you wish to purchase. This marks the beginning of the paperwork involved in the process.
Step 3: Gather the necessary documents.
For real estate investment, you will need to obtain a certificate of eligibility, which is granted upon qualifying for the Turkey citizenship by investment program. To do this, you must submit an application to the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadaster of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.
Step 4: Obtain your residence permits.
It's essential to be a legal resident to initiate the application process. Therefore, as soon as you've made your investment with the aim of obtaining a Turkish passport, secure your residence permit. Remarkably, this permit can be issued on the same day you submit your application, making it one of the fastest residence processes globally.
Step 5: Submit your paperwork, including all required documents and application forms, to the Provincial Directorate of Census and Citizenship.
Comprehensive Due Diligence for Turkish Real Estate
Due diligence is essential for any real estate transaction, but it is especially important in Turkey, where the property market is complex and there is a risk of fraud. A comprehensive due diligence process should include the following steps:
- Title search: This is to verify that the seller is the rightful owner of the property and that there are no liens or encumbrances on the title.
- Zoning and planning: This is to ensure that the property is zoned for the intended use and that there are no development restrictions in place.
- Construction permits: This is to verify that all necessary construction permits were obtained and that the property was built to code.
- Environmental assessment: This is to identify any potential environmental hazards, such as pollution or structural instability.
- Financial assessment: This is to ensure that the property is financially sound and that there are no outstanding debts or taxes.
It is important to note that due diligence can be a complex and time-consuming process, so it is advisable to hire a qualified real estate lawyer or surveyor to assist you.
Here are some additional tips for conducting due diligence on Turkish real estate:
- Be wary of sellers who ask for a large deposit upfront. A reputable seller should be willing to provide you with all the necessary information and documentation before you commit to a purchase.
- Get everything in writing. This includes the sale agreement, any promises or guarantees made by the seller, and the results of your due diligence checks.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you are unsure about anything, ask the seller or your lawyer to explain it to you in detail.
Tax Implications of Turkish Citizenship
It is important to note that the tax laws in Turkey are complex and can change frequently, so it is always best to consult with a qualified tax advisor to get personalised advice for your specific situation.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about Turkish taxes:
- Capital gains tax: Turkey levies a capital gains tax on the sale of assets, such as real estate and stocks. The tax rate depends on the type of asset and the holding period.
- Inheritance and gift tax: Turkey also has an inheritance and gift tax, which is levied on the transfer of assets from one person to another. The tax rate depends on the relationship between the giver and receiver and the value of the assets transferred.
- Tax treaties: Turkey has tax treaties with many countries, which can help to reduce or eliminate double taxation.
Property Investment in Turkey
Turkey not only ranks among the most sought-after destinations for second citizenship but also boasts an attractive real estate market with substantial return potential.
The diverse array of real estate options, including luxury and affordable properties, new constructions, off-plan developments, renovated apartments, villas, and resale homes, fuels the interest of foreign investors in the Turkish real estate sector.
Property Prices in Turkey
Investing in Turkish real estate can yield substantial returns. In cities like Istanbul, the nominal value of real estate typically doubles every five to ten years. House prices across the country often experience annual growth ranging from five to 20 percent.
Dual Citizenship in Turkey
Turkey upholds a policy of permitting both dual and multiple citizenships, without officially restricting any nationality.
This provision offers a substantial advantage to individuals who desire to maintain their ties and work in their home country while enjoying the benefits of Turkish citizenship.
It's important to note that foreign citizens holding dual citizenship may be exempt from certain Turkish obligations, such as mandatory military service.
Visa-Free Travel with a Turkish Passport
Turkish citizenship comes with a plethora of benefits, including the ability to travel to a significant number of countries without the need for a visa or by obtaining a visa upon arrival. Holders of a Turkish passport can enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to nearly 110 countries worldwide.
These countries encompass diverse regions, including the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and South America. Some of the notable countries offering such privileges include Qatar, Singapore, Tunisia, Jordan, Iraq, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Belarus, Bosnia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Georgia, Paraguay, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand, Northern Cyprus, Ukraine, Uruguay, Morocco, Brazil, Argentina, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, and a majority of African nations.
Alternative Pathways to Obtain Turkish Citizenship
In addition to obtaining Turkish citizenship through investment, there exist alternative routes to acquiring Turkish citizenship, including:
- Marriage: If you are married to a Turkish citizen, you become eligible for citizenship after a three-year period.
- By Birth: Qualification for Turkish citizenship is granted if one of your parents is a Turkish citizen.
- Employment: After working in Turkey for a minimum of five years under a formal employment contract, you become eligible for citizenship.
- Naturalisation: Residing in the country for a continuous period of five years can make you eligible for Turkish nationality.
- Special Merit: Exceptional achievements in fields such as science, sports, or culture may lead to the grant of Turkish citizenship as a recognition of your outstanding contributions.
Alternative Routes to Attain Citizenship in Various Countries
In addition to the Turkey citizenship by investment program, several other European countries have introduced their own citizenship programs, attracting a substantial number of investors and contributing to the growth of their economies.
Here are some of the renowned citizenship by investment programs:
1.Portugal Golden Visa
- Capital transfer in Portugal
- Establishment of a company employing at least 10 Portuguese individuals
- Purchase of real estate property
- Investment in Portugal Golden Visa funds
- Second residence and passport security
- Access to the European education system
- Eligibility for Portuguese citizenship after residing for five years
- Family members can join and access public services.
- Spain Golden Visa
- Investment in real estate
- Eligibility for the whole family to obtain the visa and access other services in Spain
- Right to access healthcare and education systems
- Opportunity to apply for permanent residency after five years
- Possibility to apply for citizenship after ten years of residency.
- Greece Golden Visa
- Purchase of real estate property.
- Capital contribution in a Greek-registered company
- Acquisition of shares or corporate bonds.
- Deposit a certain amount in a Greek bank.
- Visa-free travel to the Schengen zone
- No residency requirement in Greece
- Eligibility for citizenship after seven years of residency
- Access to the Greek education and healthcare system for the individual and their family.
- Malta Citizenship by Investment
- Proof of residence in Malta for 36 months
- Purchase of residential property
- Signing of a rental contract with an annual rent for five years
- Donation to a registered cultural, scientific, philanthropic, or artistic non-governmental organisation.
- Passport issuance for the entire family and indefinite residency rights
- Visa-free travel within the Schengen zone
- Freedom to travel, reside, work, or study throughout the European Union
- Tax efficiency.
Immigration Opportunities from Pakistan to Turkey
The government has implemented this program to attract foreign investment and boost the country's economy. It has proven to be a popular option for Pakistani families, who are drawn to Turkey's favourable business environment, high quality of life, and cultural affinity with Pakistan.
There are many benefits to investment-based immigration to Turkey for Pakistani families. These include:
- Access to high-quality education: Turkey has a well-developed education system, with both public and private schools offering excellent instruction. Pakistani children can attend Turkish schools for free, and there are also many English-medium schools available.
- Affordable healthcare: Turkey offers a universal healthcare system that is accessible to all citizens. This means that Pakistani families can receive high-quality healthcare at a fraction of the cost of what they would pay in Pakistan.
- Vibrant culture and diverse population: Turkey is a multicultural country with a rich history and heritage. Pakistani families can enjoy a vibrant and diverse culture in Turkey, and their children will have the opportunity to learn about different cultures and religions.
- Strong economic ties between Turkey and Pakistan: Turkey and Pakistan have strong economic ties, with bilateral trade between the two countries exceeding $1 billion annually. This means that Pakistani families can easily find business opportunities in Turkey and enjoy a comfortable life in the country.
Can I get Turkish citizenship by buying a house?
Yes, you can become a Turkish citizen by purchasing a house. This is one of the most popular routes under the Turkish citizenship by investment program.
Is there a Turkey residency by investment scheme?
Turkey does not have a separate residency by investment program. You can directly apply to the citizenship program and, upon approval, automatically gain residency in the country.
Do I have to speak Turkish if I get citizenship through investment?
No, knowledge of the Turkish language is not a requirement to obtain citizenship through investment, unlike many other programs.
What are the stay requirements?
There are no stay requirements, meaning you can travel freely in and out of the country without restrictions.
Can I include my family in my application?
Yes, you can include your spouse and children under the age of 18 as dependents in your citizenship application.
Can I sell the house after a while?
You must retain ownership of the property for a minimum of three years. After this period, you are allowed to sell your property in Turkey if you wish.