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iWorld / Blog / Turkey

Turkish passport by investment

Alexey Nosovsky

Alexey Nosovsky

A representative of the Legal Department at iWorld. Author of articles on Migration Law.

October 13, 2021

14 minutes read

Passports on the Turkish flag symbolize Turkish citizenship by investment

Citizenship by investment is one of the fastest ways to obtain a Turkish passport. Foreigners, wishing to become Turkish citizens, have the opportunity to achieve their desired goal by investing in the capital of a commercial enterprise, creating jobs for 50 people or transferring money to a deposit in a local bank. The applicant for Turkish citizenship can also buy real estate, government bonds, or a share in an investment or venture fund. The amount of money to be spent on the migration program ranges from $250,000 to $500,000, depending on the type of investment.

The government is quite supportive to applicants for Turkish citizenship by investment, it does not impose any requirements neither to gender, nor language skills or qualifications of applicants. The registration procedure on average takes from three to six months - during this period, the investor is issued a passport and becomes a citizen.

The benefits of citizenship are as follows

  • Living in a country that ranks 17th in the world in terms of economy, has a mild climate, an abundance of beaches, as well as a rich culture.
  • The right to work, run your own business, free education for children, and health care for all family members.
  • Access to relatively inexpensive, but high-quality medicine of the European level.
  • The opportunity to apply for an E2 investor visa in the United States as a Turkish citizen.
  • Visa-free travel to 110 countries and the potential for Turkey's membership in the EU.
  • No need to declare income.
  • The ability to get anywhere in the world easily, thanks to the developed transport system.
  • Permission for dual citizenship and residence outside of Turkey.

The benefits of the investment program

  • Opportunity to return the investment in 3 years after receiving the passport.
  • The purchase of affordable real estate, which is constantly increasing in value.
  • Receiving a stable income.
  • No requirements to age, gender, citizenship and qualifications of the applicant.
  • Obtaining a Turkish passport in 3-6 months after application.
  • No need to pass the language exam (for some types of investments).
  • The possibility of obtaining citizenship remotely.

Requirements for obtaining Turkish citizenship

Among the basic requirements for obtaining Turkish residence permit, the following are outlined.

Requirements for investors

  • 18 years over;
  • undergoing due diligence successfully;
  • no criminal record and no problems with the law;
  • having official sources of income;
  • positive visa history;
  • no infectious diseases that pose a threat to citizens. (COVID-19, HIV, tuberculosis etc.)

Each candidate is also subject to a number of requirements related to the type of investment with which they have decided to obtain Turkish citizenship.

Required documents

Personal

  • 2 copies of the application for Turkish citizenship by investment;
  • birth certificates of the applicant and all family members indicated in the application;
  • notarized translation of the passport;
  • certificate of family composition;
  • marriage certificate (if applicable);
  • confirmation that the applicant is still married (if applicable);
  • certificates of no criminal record for the investor and all adult family members.

Financial

  • a statement of the amount of income received;
  • proof of fulfillment of financial investment obligations;
  • an agreement with a bank, if the investment is carried out with a loan;
  • a proof of payment of the state duty.

Other documents may also be required for the candidate's dossier - their list is determined by the method of investment used to acquire citizenship.

Investor signs an investment agreement to obtain Turkish citizenship by investment

Investment options for obtaining a Turkish passport

There are several different ways to invest, allowing a foreigner to obtain a Turkish passport for an investment - a short list of them is given in the table below.

Investment option Minimum amount Time to obtain citizenship
Investment in the capital of a Turkish company 500 000 USD 3—6 months
Purchase of residential or commercial real estate in Turkey 250 000 USD
Creating 50 jobs The financial threshold is not specified in the law
Deposit in a Turkish bank 500 000 USD
Purchase of government bonds 500 000 USD
Acquisition of an interest in a real estate investment fund or venture capital fund 500 000 USD

Investment in the capital of a Turkish company

A cash contribution to the share capital of a Turkish company is the best investment option for entrepreneurs, who plan to conduct active commercial operations in the country. The size of the investment must be at least 500,000 USD or the equivalent amount in another foreign currency or liras. Before making the investment, the candidate must be approved by the Turkish Ministry of Industry and Technology.

With the certificate, authorizing the financial investment, the investor transfers the funds into the company's share capital. Then the candidate applies for a residence permit at the foreign Turkish mission or one of the civil registry offices. After obtaining a residence permit, the foreigner applies for Turkish citizenship. There are no requirements to the applicant other than financial, but the applicant must pass a due diligence. A mandatory condition for granting an investor Turkish citizenship is to keep the investment for 3 years.

Purchase of residential or commercial real estate in Turkey

The easiest and most financially affordable way for Russians to apply for Turkish citizenship is the purchase of local real estate. To apply, an applicant can buy any number of residential or commercial properties for an amount of 250,000 USD and use them at their discretion. Foreigners, who concluded a contract of sale before September 18, 2018, have the right to apply for Turkish citizenship when buying real estate only if its value is more than 1,000,000 USD. Legislation allows investments both in already completed facilities and in projects awaiting construction.

Prior to applying for the Migration Program, applicants must contact the Ministry of Environment and Urban Development to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility. After the purchase of the property, the applicant applies for a residence permit at the Civil Registry Office or a Turkish overseas representative office. After obtaining a residence permit, the foreigner applies for citizenship.

The legislation requires the investor to maintain ownership of the property for 3 years after its purchase. One of the important advantages of this investment option is the ability to obtain at the same time with citizenship housing, as well as a stable passive income from the rental of real estate objects.

Investing in new jobs

A foreigner, who has financed the creation of 50 jobs, is entitled to apply for Turkish citizenship. The candidate has to apply to the General Directorate of International Workforce under the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services in order to be approved. After investing in the employment of 50 people, the candidate applies for a residence permit at the Turkish consulate abroad or at the Civil Registry Office in the country. After obtaining the resident status, the investor applies for citizenship.

Deposit in a Turkish bank

A citizen of another country can become a holder of a Turkish passport by depositing an amount of 500,000 USD in one of the banks of the country. The applicant should first submit a request to the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA) to obtain a certificate of compliance. After depositing the money in the bank account, the applicant submits an application for a residence permit to the Turkish consulate or the Civil Registry Office. Having received a residence permit, the foreigner applies for Turkish citizenship. The legislation obliges an investor applying for a Turkish passport not to withdraw money from the deposit within 3 years.

Purchase of government bonds

In order to obtain Turkish citizenship, a foreigner can buy government bonds worth 500,000 USD or more, provided that he/she will keep them for 3 years. Before making the investment, the candidate applies to the Ministry of Finance to obtain a certificate of compliance. After purchasing the bonds, the applicant issues a residence permit in Turkey and then applies for citizenship.

Acquisition of an interest in a real estate investment fund or venture capital fund

A foreigner, whose stake in a real estate investment fund or venture capital fund exceeds 500,000 USD, is eligible to apply for a Turkish passport. In order to participate in the immigration program, the applicant must seek approval from the Capital Market Board. Before obtaining citizenship, the investor applies for a residence permit. As a resident of Turkey, the candidate applies to the authorities of the country for citizenship.

Coast of a Turkish city where you can obtain Turkish citizenship by investment

At what point does an investor acquire Turkish citizenship

  • Evaluating the chances of obtaining a Turkish passport and choosing an investment option
    The applicant collects information about the Turkish citizenship program, examines the requirements for applicants and determines whether he or she meets them. After the analysis, the candidate chooses the best investment option for obtaining a Turkish passport.
  • Obtaining a certificate of compliance
    The alien applies to the authorized department in order to obtain an investment permit to participate in the economic citizenship program.
  • Making investments and collecting documents
    With a certificate of compliance from an authorized public service, the foreigner makes an investment in the previously chosen option and forms a dossier to apply for citizenship.
  • Obtaining a temporary residence permit
    According to the legal requirements, only a resident of the country is entitled to apply for a Turkish passport, so the investor must first apply for a residence permit. An application for a residence permit is submitted to a foreign Turkish representation or one of the offices of civil registration. The Turkish authorities check the credibility of the applicant and, if so, issue a residence permit.
  • Obtaining citizenship
    Holding a residence permit in Turkey, the investor applies for citizenship. After verifying that the candidate meets the financial requirements of the migration program, the country's authorities grant them the status of Turkish citizen.

Other ways to obtain Turkish citizenship

A foreigner can become a holder of a Turkish passport by getting married to a citizen of the country. The application can be submitted after three years of living together in a formal relationship. The spouses will need to pass an interview in Turkish and, after answering numerous questions, prove that their union is not fictitious.

Persons, who have proven Turkish ancestry, are also eligible for citizenship. The applicant must submit documents proving that one or both of his/her parents are Turkish citizens. Applicants with Turkish ancestry obtain a passport relatively easily.

Naturalization is one more way of obtaining Turkish citizenship. Foreigners with a residence permit, who have been legally residing in the country for 5 years, are entitled to apply for a Turkish passport. The basis for obtaining a residence permit can be official employment, studying or the purchase of any real estate. The total duration of the foreigner's absence from the country during the five-year period may not exceed 180 days, otherwise they will lose their status of a resident.

Compared to the above options, the economic citizenship of Turkey has several advantages:

  • obtaining a passport in 3-6 months, not in 3-5 years;
  • no requirements for language skills, age, and qualifications;
  • the possibility of obtaining citizenship from abroad;
  • no need to permanently reside in Turkey;
  • the possibility of obtaining passive income.

Immigration to Turkey with a family

Turkish citizenship by investment is granted to the investor, their spouse and children under the age of 18. The minimum investment amount is not increased, if family members immigrate with the main applicant. The only exception is the investment in real estate, with ownership equally divided between spouses. In this case, each spouse's share must be at least 250,000 USD. If the main applicant makes the purchase in their own name, family members get a passport without increasing the amount of investment.

Citizenship by investment program of Turkey gives foreigners the opportunity to get a second passport relatively quickly and easily. The minimum number of requirements for applicants and relatively low investment threshold is attracting more and more people, wishing to become citizens of this country. But it is important to understand that, at each stage of the immigration procedure, the candidate has to deal with nuances, requiring a certain amount of professional experience. Applying to a qualified specialist, the applicant will spare themselves from mistakes and increase their chances of obtaining a Turkish passport safely.

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