Turkey Investment Citizenship 2022 The Ultimate Guide by Experts | GCS

As a major transcontinental nation with a thriving economy, it’s easy to see why international investors are drawn to Turkey. With access to both European and Asian markets, foreign investors can tap into a wealth of business opportunities, with the added benefit of obtaining a Turkish passport — thanks to the Turkey citizenship by investment scheme.

In this Turkey citizenship by investment visa guide, you’ll learn about:

  • The investment program’s benefits
  • How the whole process works
  • A step-by-step guide to the Turkish application for citizenship
  • Fees for the citizenship by investment program
  • Permanent residence in Turkey
  • Turkey & the Global Passport Index
  • Practical information about Turkey
  • Where to buy property in Turkey
  • Plus more!

 

What is the Turkey citizenship by investment Program?

Kickstarted in 2018, the Turkey citizenship through investment program was established to encourage foreign direct investment in the Turkish economy and stimulate the real estate market. The investment program invites qualifying applicants to invest in the nation, in exchange for lifelong citizenship.

As a country nestled between Europe and Asia—and ultimately of significant geostrategic importance for business — a Turkish passport provides visa free access to 126 destinations worldwide, including Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore. 

 

Turkey investment for citizenship benefits

One of the key benefits of applying for Turkey’s citizenship program is that it takes about three to four months only for your application to be approved. You don’t need to worry about any formal interview. Nor do you need to visit Turkey before, during the application process, or after. To top it off, with Turkish citizenship you can enjoy visa free travel benefits. 

 

Why Turkey?

There is no arguing that Turkey is a spectacular country, with a rich, vibrant culture, top cuisine, which has established itself as one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world, not least because of some of the stunning landscapes and intriguing cities that can be found here take the hot air balloons in Cappadocia or Istanbul as clear examples. 

When it comes to safety, Turkey is a safe country to live in, particularly in the major cities and the Turkish coastline, including the Aegean Coast and Turkish Riviera. With 300 days of sunshine per year, mild winters, and an incredible coastline, it is worth visiting Turkey for the climate alone. The Turkey citizenship by investment program allows you to enjoy the many perks of living in this intriguing country, where you can have a rich quality of life for yourself and your family. Indeed, obtaining Turkish citizenship provides many significant benefits. 

 

With Turkish citizenship, enjoy:

Turkish citizens enjoy visa free travel

Turkey has excellent connections to Europe and Asia. Along with a E-2 Visa treaty with the United States, with Turkish citizenship, you can apply for the E2 Visa USA, and unlock visa free travel to over 120 destinations worldwide. 

Lifetime Turkish citizenship for all your family members 

The main applicant can include their spouse, dependent children below 18, and children of any age who are living with disabilities in their application. Have peace of mind knowing that your family members have access to the same Turkish citizenship benefits as you.

Eventual access to the EU 

Turkey is currently engaged in talks to join the European Union. Turkish citizens can enjoy eventual visa free access to the EU. 

Turkish passport

The Turkish Citizenship through Investment Scheme is one of the most attractive programs purely because it’s so straightforward to receive a Turkish passport. Have a passport in your hands within four months, with no minimum residency period required and visa free travel opportunities.

Turkish passport within 4 months with visa free travel access to 120 destinations

Turkish passport within 4 months with visa free travel access to 120 destinations

No residency requirements, interview or language test needed

No residency requirements, interview or language test needed

Eligibility for the E-2 Investor Visa in the US (with five year renewal possibility)

Eligibility for the E-2 Investor Visa in the US (with five year renewal possibility)

Stable currency with the Turkish Lira

Stable currency with the Turkish Lira

Legal resident permit via the real estate route

Legal resident permit via the real estate route

Turkey investment by citizenship: eligibility criteria

To qualify for Turkish citizenship, the main applicant must tick the following boxes:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Hold a clean criminal record
  • Have adequate health insurance
  • Have never overstayed illegally in Turkey
  • Must make a lawful investment

 

Turkey citizenship by investment options

The Turkish citizenship by investment program (or Turkish Golden Visa) was introduced in 2016 and allows investors to obtain a Turkish passport within a short period of three to six months. 

There are different investment options that you can choose, which are shown below. Turkish citizenship by property investment is the most affordable option, with a minimum investment of $250,000 into the purchase of real estate in the country. Other options include investing in Turkish government bonds or in establishing an enterprise that will create local job opportunities for Turkish citizens. You must keep your investment for at least three years.

For the Turkish citizenship by investment program, the main applicant can choose from one of the following options listed below.

Turkish citizenship by real estate investment

  • For Turkish citizenship by real estate investment, make a minimum investment of $250,000 into real estate or land (you can actually invest in multiple properties if you wish). The Turkish citizenship by real estate investment option is the most affordable. 

Other investment options:

  • Make a bank deposit of $500,000 (or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish Lira), into a Turkish bank account, for a minimum of three years
  • Contribute at least $500,000 (or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish Lira) into Turkish government bonds
  • Make a minimum capital investment of $500,000 or (equivalent foreign currency or Turkish lira) into a real estate investment fund share or venture capital investment fund share
  • Create full-time jobs for at least fifty people, as stipulated by the Ministry of Family, Labour, and Social Services

Black-listed nationalities: Armenia, Cuba, Nigeria, North Korea, and Syria.

Turkey’s real estate market for citizenship by investment

There is a reason why the majority of foreign investors choose the real estate route for citizenship by investment. For a property investment of $250,000, you can acquire a second home or holiday home, and get a Turkish passport within a couple of months. It’s the cheapest route to citizenship by investment, with a relatively straightforward application process. The best part is, you can purchase a single property or multiple properties, with almost no regulations. You don’t even have to live in your purchased property.  The only condition is that you have to keep your property for three years, then you’re able to sell it.

Step-by-step guide to becoming a Turkish citizen

1. Decide on your investment route

2. Gather all documentation

3. Invest & obtain residency

4. Submit your citizenship application

5. Receive your passport

1. Decide on your investment route

How to become a Turkish citizen? Will it be a real estate investment, a capital investment, or a financial contribution? Decide on your route first to become a Turkish citizen. If you go for property purchase to receive citizenship, first you’ll need to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility.

  1. Gather all documentation

Collect all the necessary paperwork, perhaps with the assistance of an immigration lawyer, since a lot of documentation is needed.

  1. Complete your investment and obtain your residence permit

You must first be a legal resident of Turkey before you can lodge your application for citizenship. Luckily this part is easy. Usually, after you’ve made your investment and provided proof, you’re automatically granted a residence permit. The best part is, there is no need to stay or even live in Turkey beforehand to become a resident, nor do you need to continue staying in Turkey after you’ve received it.

  1. Submit your application

When you have your residency card in hand, you can submit your application to the Provincial Directorate of Census and Citizenship. You aren’t required to attend an interview or be in Turkey when your application is getting processed.

  1. Receive your passport

Expect to receive Turkish citizenship and your Turkish passport, valid for ten years, within three to four months from the date you lodge your application. 

Application Processing Time

Month 1

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Decide on investment & gather documents

6 weeks

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Apply for the residence permit 

Month 2

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Lodge citizenship application

Month 4

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Receive passport

The country has one of the fastest application processing times for its Turkish citizenship through an investment program. The whole process takes around three or four months.

Taxes

Turkey has fantastic tax incentives for international investors. The country doesn’t impose taxes on income derived from abroad. If you are in the country for no more than six months per year, you are also exempt from paying tax.

However, tax on income derived within Turkey is taxed at up to 35%. Moreover, if you opt for the property investment pathway, you are obliged to pay some tax. Known as real estate ownership tax, the investor is taxed annually.

Note, it is advisable to speak to a Turkish tax specialist who can clarify any tax concerns you may have.

Can I acquire Turkish citizenship?

You can absolutely acquire Turkish citizenship. The international investor who holds a valid residence permit obtained via making an investment can become a Turkish citizen, provided that there are no impediments to the country’s national security and public order. 

In fact, you can receive your passport within three months via the fast-track application process (for an extra fee), making the Turkey citizenship by investment program one of the quickest and most efficient routes to Turkish citizenship.

Document checklist for the investment program

The documentation requirements for Turkish citizenship are extensive and can be subject to change at the behest of the Turkish government.  If in doubt about the documentation requirements, it is strongly advised to seek professional advice. A Turkey citizenship by investment specialist can offer more detailed information on the program requirements.

General documentation needed:

  • Birth certificates of all the applicants
  • Passports of each applicant
  • Residence Proof (Recent utility statement)
  • Biometric, colored passport photos of each applicant
  • 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)

Investment specific documents

For property investment:

  • Valuation report which needs to be accepted by the Capital Market Board
  • Land Registry Certificate showing the complete ownership of the property or properties
  • A valid private purchase contract from the developer

 

Fees

Application entry cost:

  • Notary & Translation Fees ‐ $1,000 USD – For single applicant ($250 per extra applicant)
  • Application Fee ‐ $400 USD
  • Health insurance: $700
  • Due diligence fee: none
  • Passport fee: $500

If opting to buy property to receive Turkish citizenship, the following property transaction costs include:

  • $250,000 in residential or commercial real estate property
  • Land registry fee and stamp duty: 4-6%
  • Legal fees: 1% of property purchase price + 18% VAT
  • Title Deed Transfer – 4% of purchase price (Split between buyer and seller)
  • VAT – 1 to 18% (Currently, you can apply as a foreign investor for VAT exemption)

 

Permanent residence in Turkey

Turkey Permanent residence can be issued to foreigners, provided they meet a set of requirements. For example, providing that they own a property in the country with adequate financial funds or residing in Turkey for eight years. After your request, the response will be issued directly by the Turkish government within a two-month period. 

 

Turkey’s performance in the GPI

Global Citizen Solutions have recently launched their brand new Global Passport Index, which measures the true power and value of a passport, based not only on mobility but also on investment opportunities and quality of life factors. This provides an overall score, that is made up of three standalone index scores: Enhanced Mobility Index (weighted at 50% of the score), Investment Index Score (weighted at 25%), and the Quality of Life Index (weighted at 25%). We believe that these indexes provide a good indicator of a passport’s true power. 

We used exclusive data collected from the likes of the World Bank, World Economic Forum, and the Sustainable Development Report to create a holistic and accurate account of the most powerful passports in the world. When it comes to Turkey, the transcontinental country is ranked as the 95th passport in the world and the 13th highest in Asia.

Enhanced Mobility Index

When it comes to enhanced mobility, based not only on the number of countries or territories the passport holder has access to but also on the level of “attractiveness” in terms of quality of life standards, the Turkish passport ranks in 96th place, providing visa free access to 126 countries or territories, including Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore. 

Turkish visas for US citizens are required for Americans to enter the country. For Europeans, UK Citizens, and others a visa is also needed to enter the country. There is also the possibility to get a business visa to enter Turkey. 

Investment Index

In the Investment Index, Turkey ranks in 78th position. Turkey attracts many different types of investor profiles and has a strong investment climate, as the country offers a stable economic system, with good growth rates and many investment opportunities, particularly in real estate, IT, and technology. 

Quality of life Index

In the Quality of Life Index, Turkey ranks in 126th position. Despite having a low cost of living and a “high” level of sustainable development, Turkey performs less well in terms of freedom and migrant acceptance, key reasons as to why Turkey slips down the rankings in this index. 

For a full guide to Turkey’s performance in the Global Passport Index, you can see our article here

Read more about the Global Passport Index on the website here

 

Practical information about Turkey

If you are looking to obtain Turkish citizenship by investment it is worth having some insights into the country. In this section, we’ll provide you with practical information about Turkey, including healthcare, education, and on the climate in the country.

Healthcare in Turkey

The Turkish healthcare system is a combination of national and private health insurance. Social security foundations provide compulsory health insurance, while the private sector is small but growing very quickly, complementing rather than competing with the state system. 

Medical care is very good in Turkey, whether it is services delivered by the state or private healthcare, it is highly accessible to expats with private healthcare, in addition to being very affordable in comparison to healthcare in the USA and Europe. 

Education in Turkey

Primary and secondary education, between the ages of six and 19 is free of charge in public schools and is financed by the state.

There are many international schools in Turkey. Indeed, you will find 31 international schools in Istanbul.

Turkey is also a very good student destination if you are looking to experience a new culture and be in close contact with both East and West. Turkey also has a growing influence in offering a competitive student environment, with new and old universities working alongside one another.

Climate in Turkey

As mentioned previously, parts of Turkey can experience over 300 days of sunshine per year and the climate is generally very favorable. 

As Turkey is a large country, geographically speaking, it is prone to different weather variations, so when you are looking to buy a property or move to a particular place in the country, it is best to check the annual temperature patterns for the specific location. 

 

Where to buy property in Turkey

A vast and beautiful country, blessed with vibrant cities and stunning locations. But where is the best place to buy as an expat? Here, we run down some prospective locations that could be excellent places to buy a property in Turkey. Each location makes Turkish citizenship by property investment very attractive to investors. 

 

Turkey investment to citizenship: Istanbul

When you think of Turkey, Istanbul will likely come to your mind. This city is a unique melting point between eastern and western cultures, and it is also the largest city in the country, a major tourist hotspot, and a commercial hub. With views of the sea of Mamara, this is indeed a very special place to live. 

Another reason to consider Istanbul is that the city is in the race to become a top-five global city, with the 2023 economic policy focused on this achievement. Istanbul is also very affordable, and expats should be able to live very well without breaking the bank. 

With its heady influx of tourists and locals, investors are well placed to gain a high investment on their properties, if they choose to rent a property out, and the liquidity potential is also high. You will be able to find a range of property types here, depending on what you are looking for. 

 

Turkey investment to citizenship: Alanya

Second only to Istanbul in terms of its diverse population, Alanya, in the south of the country is home to people of more than 80 nationalities. With affordable property prices, an incredible climate, and from making name for itself as being a very clean city, Alanya has alot going for it, and real estate investors have become aware of this. 

Compared to other European cities, you will be astonished by the affordability of Alanya, where you can eat well, live well, and relax in an exceptional corner of the world.

Turkey investment to citizenship: Antalya

Not too far east from Alanya, you have Antalya, which has been a favorite for expats for the past 60 years. When the Turkish government first opened its doors for foreign real estate investments, it was Antalya that witnessed the initial surge in interest in lavish properties in the country.

With the sun shining for more than 300 days per year, Antalya also has very good connection routes to other parts of the country. For those seeking a high quality of life, with a relaxed, welcoming, and calm vibe, Antalya should certainly be considered. 

 

Turkey investment to citizenship: Bodrum

Bodrum is well known for its unique blend of modern and heritage-styled architecture. The properties that can be found in the city are very special and Bodrum is the latest trend for prospective foreign buyers. 

From well-connected transport routes to excellent markets to buy the freshest produce, Bodrum is likely to gain increasing attention in the coming years. The locals also speak very good English in Bodrum, which is an added advantage of investing in the property market here. 

 

Turkey investment to citizenship: Kusadasi

A 55-minute flight away from Istanbul, Kusadasi is one of the most significant tourist attractions in the world. Indeed, a trip to Turkey would perhaps feel a little incomplete without spending some time here. 

There are very affordable properties for sale, and also many types, depending on what the buyer is looking for. 

With perfect beaches, famous tourist attractions, and a buzzing nightlife to rival to very best in the world, Kusadasi is an excellent location to buy a property. 

 

About us

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique global citizenship and residence advisory firm, providing citizenship and residency solutions to international clients. Contact us today to begin your journey to obtain true global citizenship. 

Some of the countries that we currently offer citizenship or residency by investment are the following:

You can read more about Turkey’s citizenship by investment program here

Frequently Asked Questions About Turkey Immigration Investment

What is Turkey citizenship by investment?

Turkey citizenship through investment is a program that rewards foreign investors with Turkish citizenship, in exchange for making either a real estate investment, capital investment,  government bonds, or fund contribution to the Turkish government. As Turkish citizens, you and your family members can enjoy visa free access to over 120 countries worldwide.

How to get Turkey nationality by investment?

You must either acquire at least USD 250,000 worth of real estate, invest a minimum of $500,000 as a fixed capital investment contribution, or alternatively, deposit at least $500,000 into a Turkish bank account.

What is the minimum total value needed for the investment?

The minimum value is $250,000 to purchase a property.

How many years do I have to hold my property investment until selling?

If your aim is to obtain Turkish citizenship, then you must hold your real estate for at least three years in line with the banking regulations (Central Bank of Turkey) and investment regulations.

Do any other countries offer citizenship by investment?

Yes, numerous countries offer investment citizenship like the British citizenship scheme, Malta, Dominica, St Kitts, and Nevis, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, and Vanuatu. Additionally, there are also residency programs that similarly award foreign investors with legal residency in the country, provided that a qualifying investment (usually in real estate) is made. These countries include the Portugal Golden Visa, the Spain Golden Visa Program, and the US EB5 investor program.

Are there any stay requirements for Turkey?

You are not required to stay in Turkey to keep your residence permit.

Do I need to speak Turkish to apply?

There are no Turkish language requirements to apply for the scheme.

Can my family also apply for the program?

Yes, your spouse, dependent children under 18, and any children of age who are living with disability qualify.

Are there any tax consequences?

Since Turkey has signed a double taxation treaty with most nations, you are not required to pay tax on income derived from abroad. This applies to countries who haven’t signed the treaty too.

How much do I need to invest in Turkey to get citizenship?

There are different options to gain Turkish citizenship through investment. The most affordable is the real estate option, where an investment of $250,000 is required. Other options include making a bank deposit of $500,000 into a Turkish bank account, contributing at least $500,000 into government bonds, making a minimum capital investment of $500,000, or creating full-time jobs for at least fifty people, as stipulated by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services.

Can you buy Turkish citizenship?

The Turkish citizenship by investment program (also called the Turkish Golden Visa or Turkish investment visa) allows foreign investors to obtain a Turkish passport within three to six months. The minimum investment is in real estate in the county, where an investment of $250,000 is needed. Other options are: making a bank deposit of $500,000 into a Turkish bank account, contributing at least $500,000 into government bonds, making a minimum capital investment of $500,000, or creating full-time jobs for at least fifty people, as stipulated by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services.

How long does it take to get Turkish citizenship by investment?

Turkish citizenship can be obtained in three to six months. Indeed, it is a very quick citizenship investment program, one of the many advantages of investing in the program.

How do you become a Turkish citizen?

If you are looking to acquire Turkish citizenship, there are various options open to you. For someone to become a Turkish citizen through the country’s citizenship by investment program, they will need to invest at least $250,000 to get Turkish citizenship by real estate investment. The real estate option is the most affordable route for investors. Other options are: making a bank deposit of $500,000 into a Turkish bank account, contributing at least $500,000 into government bonds, making a minimum capital investment of $500,000, or creating full-time jobs for at least fifty people, as stipulated by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services.