Turkey Citizenship

Turkey Citizenship By Investment: Expert’s Guide [2024]

Turkey’s citizenship by investment program has become an increasingly popular route for high-net-worth individuals looking to acquire a second passport quickly and easily. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about Turkey’s CBI program, from its history and benefits to eligibility criteria, investment options, the application process, and more. Read on for expert insights that will help you navigate this streamlined path to Turkish citizenship.

Brief History of Turkey’s CBI Program

Turkey launched its citizenship by investment program in January 2017. The program was designed to attract foreign investment and boost the country’s real estate market. Initially, the minimum investment amount was set high at $1 million. However, the program had little success in attracting applicants at that price point.

In 2018, Turkey lowered the minimum investment threshold to make the program more accessible. In May 2019, the minimum investment in real estate dropped to just $250,000. The combination of low investment, fast processing times, and expanded visa-free travel caused Turkey’s CBI program to explode in popularity.

In May 2022, Turkey raised the minimum real estate investment to $400,000 due to the high volume of applications. The program remains an attractive choice for investors seeking an affordable route to EU citizenship. To date, Turkey has welcomed over 10,000 new citizens through its CBI program.

Top 10 Benefits of Turkish Citizenship

Here are the top 10 benefits that make Turkish citizenship such an attractive proposition for investors worldwide:

1. Visa-free access to over 110 destinations

A Turkish passport provides visa-free travel to over 110 countries and territories, including key business and leisure destinations such as Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Turkish citizens also enjoy easy access to the EU.

2. Fast processing time

It takes only 3-4 months from investment to passport under Turkey’s streamlined CBI program. There is no residency requirement before or after citizenship.

3. Family included

The primary applicant can include dependents such as spouse and children under 18 in the citizenship application. This provides security, opportunities and inheritance rights for the entire family.

4. Dual Citizenship Allowed

Turkey allows dual citizenship, so investors do not have to give up their current nationality or passport when acquiring Turkish citizenship. The laws of other countries should be checked regarding dual citizenship.

5. Real Estate Investment from $400,000

The most popular route to Turkish citizenship is to purchase real estate for at least $400,000. The real estate market offers high returns on investment.

6. No minimum residency requirement

Turkey does not impose any physical residency requirements before or after obtaining citizenship through investment.

7. Schengen Access

Turkish citizens can enter the 26 Schengen countries in Europe without a visa for 90 days in a 180-day period.

8. No Language Test or Interview

Turkey has no Turkish language or culture test for citizenship applicants. No interview is required either.

9. Tax Benefits

Turkey has no worldwide income tax. Citizens are taxed only on income earned within the country. Property and inheritance taxes are also low.

10. High standard of living

Turkey boasts world-class healthcare, excellent infrastructure, sunny Mediterranean coastline, delicious cuisine, and historic cities like Istanbul.

To sum up, the Turkey CBI program offers the whole package: a quality passport and citizenship experience for you and your family, in a short time, for a reasonable investment starting at $400,000.

Eligibility Criteria for Turkish Citizenship by Investment

The Turkish CBI program has simple eligibility requirements. To qualify, the principal applicant must be:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Prove the source of investment funds and that they were obtained legally.
  • Have a clean record with no criminal convictions.
  • Provide a health insurance document valid in Turkey.
  • Not have previously been denied citizenship by Turkey.
  • Make the qualifying investment: $400,000 for real estate or $500,000 for other options.

In addition, the applicant must not be a citizen of any of the following prohibited countries: Armenia, Cuba, Nigeria, North Korea, Syria.

Dependents may be added to the principal applicant’s citizenship application, such as a spouse and children under the age of 18. Adult dependent children who are physically or mentally disabled may also be included.

Parents, siblings, and other extended family members are not eligible. However, they may apply for residence permits separately once the principal applicant obtains citizenship.

Investment Paths to Turkish Citizenship

Turkey’s CBI program offers several investment opportunities for citizenship:

  • Real Estate Investment: The most popular route. Invest $400,000 or more in Turkish real estate.
  • Bank Deposit: Deposit $500,000 in a Turkish bank for 3 years.
  • Government Bonds: Invest $500,000 in bonds for 3 years.
  • Business Investment: Invest $500,000 in a business. Must be approved as a Türk Yatırımı (Turkish Investment).
  • Fund Investment: Invest $500,000 in real estate or venture capital funds for 3 years.
  • Job Creation: Create more than 50 jobs for Turkish citizens.

Over 90% of applicants choose the real estate investment option as it offers the most flexibility and the lowest qualifying investment amount.

Step-by-Step Guide to Turkish Citizenship by Investment

Follow these steps to obtain Turkish citizenship through the CBI program:

  1. Select your preferred investment option. Real estate or bank deposits are the most popular.
  2. Identify the property, bank, bonds or fund you wish to invest in. Get Golden Visa can help recommend options.
  3. Gather required documents such as passport copies, birth certificates, criminal records, and proof of address.
  4. Make the investment. Transfer funds and complete property purchase or bank deposit.
  5. Obtain a tax identification number and open a Turkish bank account.
  6. Apply for a Turkish residence permit as an investor. This will be approved within 1-2 months.
  7. Submit citizenship application to the Directorate General of Civil Registry and Citizenship.
  8. Comply with any requests for additional documents or information.
  9. Attend the biometrics appointment at the local consulate or embassy.
  10. Receive Turkish passport in 2-4 months from the time of application.

From start to finish, the entire process takes approximately 3-6 months. The fastest approval times are for real estate or bank deposits. Hiring a reputable citizenship agent can help expedite the process and avoid mistakes.

Documents Required for Turkish Citizenship Application

Applicants for Turkish citizenship by investment must prepare the following documents:

  • Copies of passports.
  • Birth certificates.
  • Marriage or divorce certificates.
  • Documents proving dependents (children, parents).
  • Proof of residential address.
  • Criminal record certificates.
  • Bank statement showing transfer of investment funds.
  • Investment contract: title deed, bank statement or mutual fund contract.
  • Health insurance to cover treatment in Turkey.
  • Biometric photos.
  • Receipt of paid application fees.

All documents that are not originally in Turkish must be translated and notarized. The General Directorate of Civil Registry and Citizenship may request additional documents during the application process.

Turkish citizenship application fees

Below are the estimated fees to be paid during the Turkish citizenship application process:

  • Due Diligence Fees: None
  • Notary and translation: $1000 for applicant, $250 for each dependent
  • Application fee: $400
  • Health insurance: $700
  • Passport fee: $500
  • Legal retainer: $5000
  • Real estate purchase: 4% transfer tax, plus notary and registration fees
  • Property taxes: 0.2% annually on purchase price

In total, a single applicant investing $400,000 in real estate can expect to spend approximately $10,000 – $15,000 on Turkish citizenship through investment fees.

Dual Citizenship Allowed under Turkish CBI Program

Turkey allows dual citizenship under its CBI program. This means that investors do not have to give up their existing nationality or passport when acquiring Turkish citizenship.

However, applicants should research the dual citizenship laws of their home countries. Some countries prohibit dual citizenship, such as China, India and Indonesia. In these cases, acquiring Turkish citizenship may require first renouncing the original citizenship.

If dual citizenship is desired, it is advisable to acquire Turkish citizenship through investment before renouncing the original citizenship. This will ensure that the investor retains the benefits of a passport even during the transition process.

Taxing Turkish Citizens Living Abroad

Turkey only taxes citizens on income earned within Turkey. The country does not tax the worldwide income or capital gains of its non-resident citizens.

This tax advantage makes Turkish citizenship by investment particularly attractive to globally mobile business owners and investors who spend significant time abroad.

Some taxes that may apply to Turkish citizens living abroad include:

  • Income tax: Only on income earned in Turkey
  • Property tax: Levied on property owned in Turkey (2% of rental income)
  • Capital gains tax: Applies to gains from the sale of Turkish real estate (usually 20%)
  • Inheritance tax: Levied on assets left to heirs in Turkey (1-10%)
  • Gift tax: Taxed on gifts of assets located in Turkey (10-30%)
  • Value Added Tax: Charged on purchases of goods and services in Turkey (1-18%)

Acquiring tax residency in countries with territorial tax regimes can minimize a Turkish citizen’s tax exposure. Proper planning is key.

Top Places to Buy Real Estate for Turkish Citizenship

Over 90% of Turkish citizenship applicants invest in real estate. Below are some of the most popular cities and regions to buy real estate for citizenship:

Istanbul Turkey’s largest city offers exciting investment returns along with a high standard of living. Real estate prices in Istanbul currently average around $130,000.

Antalya

A mainstay of the Turkish Riviera, Antalya offers sunny beaches and historic sites. Properties near the coast average around $113,000.

Alanya This Mediterranean resort town offers a low cost of living. Property prices in Alanya average around $78,000 – $100,000.

Bodrum The seaside lifestyle of the Bodrum peninsula attracts luxury buyers. Prime properties in this area can cost $200,000 to $500,000.

Kusadasi Located on the Aegean coast, Kusadasi real estate offers affordable beachfront opportunities from as little as $50,000.

Ankara: Turkey’s capital city offers business and educational centers combined with more budget-friendly real estate. The average price is around $78,000.

Our Istanbul real estate partners can recommend suitable properties that meet your lifestyle needs and investment goals in these prime locations.

How to buy property in Turkey as a foreigner

It is relatively easy for foreigners to buy property in Turkey. Here are some tips:

  • Hire a lawyer to represent your interests. Avoid agents who sell Turkish property abroad.
  • Research neighborhoods and prices to find good properties within your budget.
  • Negotiate prices and payment terms. Many developers accept installment payments. Deeds cannot be transferred until paid in full.
  • Notary completes due diligence. Land Registry checks title deed and confirms legal ownership.
  • Sign contracts at Land Registry office. Pay stamp duty and completion fees.
  • Open a Turkish bank account to transfer funds and receive rental income.
  • Obtain Tax Identification Number (TIN) to purchase property as a foreigner.
  • Obtain valuation report for CBI application. Should be close to purchase price.
  • Register property in your name within 2 months of completion.

Real estate agents and lawyers in Turkey can handle the entire buying process for international investors.

Top Alternatives to Turkish Citizenship by Investment

The Turkish CBI program is one of the most affordable ways to obtain EU citizenship quickly. However, some investors may prefer other options. Below are the top alternative citizenship programs to consider:

Portugal Golden Visa

  • Invest as little as €280,000 in real estate.
  • Visa-free access to the EU and Schengen.
  • Citizenship possible after 5 years.
  • No residency requirement.

Spain Golden Visa

  • Investment from €500,000 in real estate
  • Leads to EU citizenship after 10 years
  • Entire family eligible
  • No minimum stay required

Greece Golden Visa

  • Real estate investment from €250,000
  • Visa free EU and Schengen travel
  • Citizenship available after 7 years
  • Fast processing; easy to obtain

Malta Citizenship Program

  • 750,000 contribution to the National Development Fund
  • Over 170 visa free countries
  • Citizenship within 12-14 months
  • Residency requirement reduced to one year

Caribbean Citizenship Programs

  • Options include St. Kitts, Dominica, Grenada, Antigua
  • Invest $100,000 to $150,000
  • Citizenship is lifelong
  • No residency requirements

These alternative CBI programs offer more visa-free destinations or faster paths to full EU citizenship. However, Turkey remains one of the most affordable options with a straightforward, fast application process.

Conclusion – Why Turkey CBI is a top choice for investors

In conclusion, Turkey’s citizenship by investment program offers investors an affordable, accelerated route to EU citizenship in as little as three months.

Turkey CBI is a top choice for investors seeking visa-free mobility and an improved quality of life due to its straightforward application process, fast processing times, high passport power, and family eligibility.

The low investment threshold starting at $400,000 makes Turkish citizenship highly accessible. Investors enjoy flexibility in the approved investment routes, with real estate being by far the most popular option.

Turkish citizenship allows investors to live, work, study or retire between Europe and Asia, while taking advantage of the country’s strategic location, world-class healthcare, welcoming culture and sunny Mediterranean lifestyle.

With expert guidance, navigating the Turkey CBI application process is straightforward. Our Istanbul real estate partners can recommend profitable properties and help investors avoid missteps.

Ready to take the next step? Contact us today to explore your options for obtaining Turkish citizenship by investment and unlocking this powerful passport for you and your family.
Frequently Asked Questions about Turkish Citizenship by Investment

How much does it cost to get Turkish citizenship by investment?

The minimum investment is $400,000 in real estate. Total costs range from $400,000 to $500,000 including due diligence fees, application fees, and property purchase costs and taxes. Bank deposit also qualifies from $500,000.

How long does it take to obtain Turkish citizenship?

It takes approximately 3-6 months to obtain a Turkish passport through the CBI program once the qualifying investment is made. The fastest processing is via bank deposit or real estate investment.

Do I have to live in Turkey to get citizenship?

No. Turkey has no residency requirements for citizenship by investment. Investors are not required to visit or reside in Turkey at all during the application process.

Can I buy multiple properties for a total of $400,000?

Yes, you can invest in multiple properties to meet the minimum investment threshold of $400,000. However, under the current rules, all properties must be in the same neighborhood.

Does Turkey allow dual citizenship?

Yes, Turkey allows dual citizenship under its CBI program. However, applicants must check their country’s rules as some countries do not allow dual citizenship.

What taxes apply to Turkish citizens living abroad?

Turkey only taxes income earned within the country, through activities such as renting Turkish property. Income from foreign sources is not subject to tax. Limited property, inheritance, gift and VAT taxes may apply to Turkish assets.

Can I include family members in my application?

Yes. Your spouse and children under the age of 18 can be added to your Turkish citizenship application as dependents. Disabled adult children are also eligible. Parents and siblings are not eligible.

Do I have to pass a language test or an interview?

No. Turkey has no language, culture or history test requirement for citizenship by investment. No interview is required either.

How many countries can I travel to visa free with a Turkish passport?

A Turkish passport provides visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 110 destinations, including countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

What are the best places to buy property in Turkey?

Top locations include Istanbul, Antalya, Bodrum, Alanya and Kusadasi. Prices range from $50,000 in up-and-coming areas to $500,000+ for luxury homes in elite resorts.

What is the process for obtaining Turkish citizenship through investment?

The process takes 3-6 months. First choose an investment route and make the investment. Obtain residence permit, then apply for citizenship. Receive passport within 2-4 months after application.

Is dual citizenship allowed with Turkish citizenship?

Yes, Turkey allows dual citizenship. However, applicants should check their home country’s rules regarding dual citizenship, as some do not allow it.

Do I have to speak Turkish fluently to become a Turkish citizen?

No, there are no Turkish language requirements for the investment citizenship program.

Can I buy property before getting residency and citizenship?

Before obtaining residency and citizenship, you can buy property in Turkey. However, you cannot have the title deed transferred into your name until after you are granted citizenship.

How can I check if a property meets the requirements?

A real estate attorney in Turkey can check properties to make sure they meet the location, price and other requirements to qualify for citizenship.

Can I rent out my Turkish property after obtaining citizenship?

Yes, you can earn rental income from your Turkish property or use it as a vacation home. There is no requirement to reside in Turkey after obtaining citizenship.

Is the application process complicated?

The process is straightforward and only a few documents are required. Hiring a reputable immigration lawyer can help avoid mistakes and expedite approval.

What are the applicable taxes for Turkish citizens?

Turkey only taxes its citizens on their Turkish-sourced income. Limited property, inheritance, gift and VAT taxes may apply to assets held in Turkey. Foreign income is not taxed.

Can I apply for the E-2 investor visa in the U.S. with Turkish citizenship?

Yes, the visa agreement between the U.S. and Turkey allows Turkish citizens to apply for the E-2 investor visa. You can obtain

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