How to obtain Turkish citizenship through investment
Many states in the Near and Middle East offer foreigners a residence permit or immediate citizenship for investment in the economy, private business, or real estate. The Republic of Turkey is no exception in this regard. One of the advantages of obtaining a Turkish passport or residence permit (ikamet) for investment is a simplified registration procedure.
To become a citizen of the Republic, the applicant does not need to renounce current citizenship, permanently reside in the territory, have family ties, or learn the language and history of the country. An investor can obtain a passport when purchasing real estate worth $400,000 or more (Golden Visa program). This is the fastest and easiest way to obtain citizenship. The procedure takes from 3 to 6 months with the possibility of returning the investment in three years.
Let's consider the advantages and features of the Citizenship by Investment program, the registration procedure and conditions for obtaining a passport or residence permit status.
Benefits of obtaining Turkish citizenship by investment
Due to the difficult geopolitical situation, economic sanctions and other restrictions, some Russians and citizens of CIS countries are thinking about obtaining a second citizenship. The most reliable option is to apply for ikamet for the purchase of real estate or investment in the economy of the Republic. Even taking into account the more stringent requirements of the program, which were introduced by the Turkish side in 2022-2023 due to the massive influx of migrants.
Benefits of obtaining citizenship:
- The applicant and his family (spouse, children under 18 years of age) can obtain full citizenship or residence permit status in 3-6 months for appropriate investments. For an additional payment of 5 thousand dollars per person, you can apply for ikamet for adult children, parents of the applicant and his spouse.
- Trips, transfers, travel on a visa-free basis. Citizenship by investment gives applicants free access (without visas) to 113 countries. In 2022-2023, many states even closed visa entry for Russians.
- You can get an E-2 business visa to the United States. Turkish citizens can apply for an investor visa under the current agreement with the United States. Russians do not have such an opportunity. The very fact of obtaining this visa does not allow you to apply for a green card and citizenship of the United States of America. However, it does not limit the maximum investment amount. This opportunity can be used to obtain an EB-5 visa, which can already be used to apply for US citizenship. For example, an investor needs to increase the size of investments in the economy to 900 thousand dollars or create at least 10 jobs.
- Loyal conditions for obtaining Turkish citizenship. To obtain a second passport or residence permit in the Republic, the applicant does not have to renounce his existing citizenship. In addition, the applicant is not required to reside in the country for a certain period of time, have family ties, or know the language and history of the state. That is, you can complete the necessary documents and receive a “golden passport” while living abroad.
- Social Security. A foreigner who has formalized the status of a citizen, as well as members of his family, have the right to use social services and guarantees - free treatment, education, credit, and pensions. In addition, the Citizenship by Investment program does not restrict investors from selling, inheriting or other types of transactions with purchased real estate.
- Income from investments. Turkish real estate annually increases in value by 10-12%. After three years, an investor with a regular or gold passport can sell the property and receive a significant profit. Money can be invested in a business in Turkey, the USA or Europe.
Applicants also have the prospect of obtaining EU citizenship. In the near future, the Republic may become a member of the European Union. It will be possible to obtain full EU citizenship automatically with the issuance of a Turkish passport. It will be possible to travel to the Schengen zone without visas, as well as work, study, and do business in Europe on a full-time basis.
Investment options for obtaining citizenship
You can obtain a Turkish passport or residence permit status in 3-6 months. Most foreigners use the Citizenship by Investment program. During 2021-2023, more than 40 thousand people from Russia and the CIS countries received second citizenship. The applicant can choose six investment options:
Purchase of real estate. The fastest and easiest way to invest when applying for a passport or residence permit. The applicant has the right to buy any real estate if it is for sale: a private house/cottage, apartment, industrial or commercial premises, land. The immigration program establishes the following requirements for investors wishing to obtain full citizenship or residence permit in the Republic:
- The minimum investment in real estate is $400 thousand. This amount gives the applicant the right to receive a golden passport, that is, official citizenship without restrictions.
- Minimum amount of investment in real estate to obtain residence permit status. When purchasing in large cities - 75 thousand dollars. There are about 30 large cities in the country, including Ankara, Izmir, Istanbul and others. When purchasing in sparsely populated areas and municipalities - $50 thousand. There are only 51 such urban settlements in the country.
- It is allowed to purchase one or more objects with a total value of more than 400,000 USD. If several objects are purchased, one general agreement is drawn up.
- Transactions between foreigners, previous owners and developers have also changed. Property, regardless of class, can only participate in the program once. For example, an applicant bought an apartment, received a passport and after 3 years sells it to another foreigner. In this case, the apartment cannot participate in the citizenship program again. They also prohibited the sale of real estate to previous owners - developers and individuals. If the fact of sale is established, the acquired citizenship will be revoked. The exception is return by court decision.
- Since 2022, it is impossible to obtain a residence permit in a number of districts, provinces and municipalities - 1,169 objects in total. This is due to overpopulation by immigrants - a density of more than 20%. The closed regions include 62 districts in Mersin, 53 districts in Istanbul, 75 districts in Adana, 23 districts in Ankara. You can find out more about the list of closed regions on the website of the Turkish Ministry of Internal Affairs.
- A residence permit on a tourist visa when renting real estate is issued for six months. The permit must be renewed, as well as provide a new lease agreement with a notary signature and re-obtain a tourist residence permit.
- It is allowed to purchase real estate under a mortgage lending program, but provided that the buyer’s capital is at least 400 thousand USD.
- It is prohibited to purchase several objects without a ready-made TAPU. This is the Turkish equivalent of a document confirming ownership of an object.
- Only one investor can make investments, that is, partnership in the purchase of real estate to obtain citizenship is not allowed.
- You cannot buy a commercial or other object from a legal entity if 50% of the entrepreneur’s shares are owned by a foreign founder.
In closed areas, the new rules do not apply to foreigners who received a residence permit in these locations before the ban was introduced. That is, owners of apartments, houses, and commercial properties can extend their status without changing their place of residence.
Opening an account in a local bank with a deposit of more than 500 thousand USD. To obtain citizenship, the applicant can open a deposit account in any bank in the country. The deposit is converted into the state currency - the lira - at the official rate at the time of opening the account. The average deposit rate for August 2023 is 23.5%.
Purchase of government securities in the amount of 500 thousand dollars. An applicant can obtain a citizen’s passport when purchasing securities (national and state) - bills, bonds, shares of funds that specialize in venture investments and real estate. The terms of purchase are the same as for purchase and sale transactions of objects. That is, a certain amount must be deposited (not less than USD 500,000) and guarantees must be given for the safety of assets for a three-year period.
Open a company, commercial enterprise or any other type of business. An applicant for citizenship must open a business with an authorized capital of at least 500 thousand dollars or create at least 50 jobs.
Step-by-step algorithm for obtaining citizenship by investment
Before submitting a request for citizenship or residence permit, an investor must complete several steps. You can go through the entire procedure yourself, but it’s faster and easier to do it with specialized lawyers.
To obtain a passport or residence permit status, the applicant will need:
- Obtain a local TIN (Tax Identification Number). The TIN is registered at any tax office in the country upon presentation of a foreign passport. A remote registration procedure is also offered on the official website of the tax service. The applicant submits an application in the prescribed form and provides an electronic copy of the international passport. Without a TIN, it is impossible to obtain citizenship or a residence permit for investment. The document will be needed to pay state fees, transactions and other payments.
- Open an account with a local accredited bank. The purchase of residential or commercial real estate is carried out through banking transactions with mandatory documentation of all transactions.
- Select an investment object. The applicant selects and purchases a property for a set amount. The property must meet the conditions of the citizenship program. A standard purchase and sale agreement is concluded with the seller, transactions are carried out through the selected bank. You need to get original receipts. You will need them for the next step.
- Request a certificate of conformity. The banking organization and the Land Registry Office issue an official document that confirms the fact of the transaction and the purchase of real estate. The applicant applies with this document to the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning. The fact of investment is verified by the Ministry of Industry and Technology, the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA) and the Financial Markets Board (CMB). Note that all these institutions perform only supervisory functions. The final decision on issuing citizenship to an applicant for investment is made by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Presidium of the country.
- Submit an application for a second passport or residence permit to the country's Migration Management Presidency.
To obtain a passport or residence permit status, the applicant needs to prepare a package of documents in advance. The list includes mandatory documents, as well as additional packages - documents that may be needed in certain situations.
Basic documentation package:
- application in the prescribed form;
- a document confirming the applicant's primary citizenship and identity;
- marriage certificate if the applicant is married;
- spouse's passport;
- certificate or passport of a child under 18 years of age;
- photographs of all family members for new passports;
- death or divorce certificate if the applicant is widowed or divorced;
- residence permit or tourist visa;
- if there are relatives with Turkish citizenship, copies of passports and
- information about place of residence/registration are provided;
- receipt of payment of state duty and application.
This package of documents is required to be submitted by all foreigners who wish to obtain a residence permit or passport of the country. The applicant must have a valid passport and notarized copies translated into the language of the host country.
A foreigner who receives citizenship by investment additionally provides:
- Notarized copy and translation of the passport.
- A certificate confirming the value of the property that participates in the program. The document is issued by a local accredited real estate appraisal company.
- Insurance policies issued for real estate. For example, earthquake insurance.
- Biometric photographs in the amount of two pieces. One is a photo of an applicant who wants to get a passport. The other is a photo of a residential or commercial real estate seller.
- If operations are carried out by an authorized representative of the applicant, the original and a translation of the power of attorney certified by a notary are provided.
There are usually no problems with biometric photos for obtaining citizenship. There are requirements for such photographs that are observed by professional photo salons in the country. The applicant's photo must be on a white background, occupy two-thirds (80%) of the space, the ears and neck must be clearly visible, the eyes must not be squinted, shadows and other lighting effects must not obscure the face, etc. There must be one person in the photo . All these rules apply to family members of the applicant - spouse, children.
To obtain a residence permit, you additionally need to provide four biometric photographs, a valid medical policy, the expiration date of which covers the period of stay in the country. When purchasing or renting real estate, a document from the land registry is provided.
If the applicant does not speak Turkish, a sworn translator must be present when drawing up contracts.
When independently obtaining citizenship through a real estate investment program, it may be difficult to prepare a package of documents. This is usually due to ignorance of the nuances and lack of experience in such matters. We recommend that you contact specialized lawyers who will help you quickly and inexpensively prepare for the procedure.
Foreign citizens who want to obtain a passport or residence permit in Turkey must consider the cost of preparing documents:
- Fees for notary and translator services. The average price is about 1000 USD per applicant. For additional applicants - $250 each.
- Application fee for a passport or residence permit for investment. Cost - 400 USD.
- Medical insurance for the applicant and family members - $700.
- The fee for a new Republic of Turkey passport is $500 USD for the applicant and spouse.
Applicants for citizenship through real estate investments also take into account the costs of completing the transaction:
- Investments ranging from 50 to 400 thousand dollars, depending on the desired status: a full-fledged passport or residence permit.
- Cadastral, stamp and other fees provided for by the legislation of the country of immigration. Fees: 4-6%.
- Costs for legal services are 1-2% of the value of the transaction object.
- Transfer of the certificate of ownership. The fee is 4% of the value of the transaction object, which is divided into equal parts between the seller and the buyer.
- VAT collection - from 1 to 18%. The applicant can apply for a tax benefit that is provided to foreign investors and be exempt from paying VAT.
Who can obtain citizenship by investment
The program is available to foreign applicants who have no facts of violation of the migration legislation of the Republic, as well as a criminal record in the country of their first (primary) citizenship. All options for obtaining a residence permit or passport are available to Russian citizens. The program can be used by the main investor, as well as his spouse and children under 18 years of age.
Adult family members can obtain a residence permit for an additional fee - 5,000 USD per person. If family members have their own sources of income, they cannot be included in a single application with the applicant. In this case, they are required to go through the entire procedure and comply with investment conditions.
Questions and answers
Do I need to pay taxes in two countries after applying for a second passport?
No, you will not have to pay tax twice, since there are agreements on the inadmissibility of double taxation between the Russian Federation and Turkey. If you live outside the Russian Federation for more than 183 days a year, you automatically cease to be a tax resident. Accordingly, if you live in Turkey for more than 183 days, you are subject to its tax laws as a citizen of the country.
If a child is born into a family after receiving a passport, does he receive citizenship?
If at least one of the adult family members is a citizen of the country, then his children automatically receive Turkish citizenship.
Should the investor and his children serve in the country's army?
A foreign citizen who has received a passport for investment is exempt from military service. However, his male children are liable for military service. You can officially refuse conscription by paying 6 thousand USD per person.