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 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 citizenship application
- Fees for the citizenship by investment program
- Plus more!
What is the Turkey Citizenship By Investment Program?
Kickstarted in 2018, the Turkey citizenship by 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 over 111 destinations worldwide, including Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore.
Turkey 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 or mandatory military service. 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.
With Turkish Citizenship, 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 a 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.
The Turkish Citizenship by 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
No residency requirements, interview or language test needed
Eligibility for the E-2 Investor Visa in the US (with five year renewal possibility)
Stable currency with the Turkish Lira
Legal resident permit via the real estate route
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
The main applicant can choose from one of the following options listed below.
Real estate investment
- Make a minimum investment of $250,000 in real estate property or land (you can actually invest in multiple properties if you wish)
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 government bonds
- Make a minimum capital investment of $500,000 or (equivalent foreign currency or Turkish lLra) 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.
1.Decide on your investment route
Will it be a real estate investment, a capital investment, or a financial contribution? Decide on your route first to becoming a Turkish citizen. If you go for property purchase to receive citizenship, first you’ll need to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility.
2.Gather all documentation
Collect all the necessary paperwork, perhaps with the assistance of an immigration lawyer, since a lot of documentation is needed.
3.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.
4.Submit your citizenship application
When you have your residency card in hand, you can submit your citizenship 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.
5.Receive your passport
Expect to receive your Turkish passport, valid for ten years, within three to four months from the date you lodge your application.
Decide on investment & gather documents
Apply for the residence permit
Lodge citizenship application
The country has one of the fastest application processing times for its Turkish citizenship by investment program. The whole process takes around three or four months.
Turkey has fantastic tax incentives for the international investor. 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 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
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)
What is Turkey citizenship by investment?
Turkey citizenship by 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 travel 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 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.
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 foreigninvestors 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 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.