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Gaining Turkish Citizenship By Buying Property

24/05/2022 Turkish Citizenship 32 Gaining Turkish Citizenship By Buying Property

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Various techniques have been used by numerous governments in recent years to motivate capital resources and maintain economic development. One of the most prominent techniques is "economic citizenship," as it is frequently termed. This sort of citizenship, which is available in a variety of states, has also been implemented in Turkey. This technique was designed to stimulate foreign investment in the first place, and it also allows investors to get Turkish citizenship simply by buying a property in Turkey . The principal goal of such programs is to stimulate business and increase prosperity by drawing private capital and resources to the country.

Acquiring property and citizenship

According to new Turkish legislation, anyone who acquires real estate valued at least $400,000 USD in Turkey, with a three-year no-sell annotation put on the deed by the Land Registry Office, is considered eligible to apply for Turkish citizenship . However, when purchasing real estate in Turkey , it is permissible to use foreign currencies or the Turkish Lira instead of the USD. The foundation for determining this monetary situation is the CBRT effective selling rate and/or cross exchange rate on the date of determination.

When you get Turkish citizenship , it will also be conferred on your spouse and children under the age of 18. Turkish citizenship will last for the rest of your life, and your new children will be born as Turkish citizens as well. You may acquire multiple citizenships in addition to your Turkish citizenship .

Do you get a residence permit for buying real estate in Turkey ?

  • Identification card for a real estate residence permit

The process of purchasing real estate in Turkey begins with a public notary translating the non-Turkish buyer's passport into Turkish, receiving a free National Tax ID number from the government's State Tax Department, and signing off at the government's Tapu and Land Cadastro offices on the same day. Since 2005, 287,000 foreign nationals have acquired 50 billion USD in land and real estate investment in Turkey , according to the Turkish government, when compared to 2 million holiday homes sold in Spain. As a result, Turkey, an eastern EU candidate and OECD member, appears to be a prominent participant in the worldwide real estate league, with market values and forecast numbers set to treble in the next few years by 2025, if demand and focus persist.

  • Purchases of more than $400,000 USD will qualify you for citizenship

The Turkey investment visa (also referred to as the "Golden visa") is essentially a tourist or business visa that also permits you to actually make investments while in the country. After visiting Turkey on a tourist visa, the Turkish citizenship and passport requirements will be fulfilled by purchasing a property in Turkey for $400,000 USD (the sum lowered from $1 million USD) and bonding a pledge not to sell the property for three years at the land registry office, ensuring Turkish citizenship without any language exam or obstacles.

However, Turkish Citizenship Law 5901 makes it simple for Americans, British, and European nations, as well as more than 180 foreign nationalities, to get dual citizenship. Furthermore, a tourist visa can be converted into Turkish citizenship and a passport, allowing you to take advantage of additional benefits. Visas are not required for travel to 115 countries throughout the world, including Russia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Brazil.

As a matter of fact, Turkish citizenship and passport applications are submitted immediately to the Ministry of Interior's Directorate General of Migration Management (Göç Idaresi) at 250 district offices around Turkey, and are accepted in less than three months. Consequently, after submitting Turkish citizenship and passport applications to the government migration office (Göç Idaresi), the final name published in the Turkish Official Gazette will indicate that the Turkish citizenship procedure has been granted and finished. 

The best locations for foreigners to buy real estate in Turkey in 2022

The Statistical Institute and the Turkish government agency TUIK have issued official statistics for the first three months of 2019 to indicate that foreigners' invest in property for sales in Turkey and the benefit of Turkish citizenship through investment [with a real estate purchase value of 400.000 USD, down from 1 million USD] continue to attract international investors and buyers in all four seasons and year-round markets, whether they want to reside in Turkey or visit for vacations. 

The overall number of affordable house sales in Istanbul for Arabs in the Marmara area was 19,140, ranking first in Turkey and accounting for 18.2 percent of all transactions. Second, records show that 10, 619 holiday homes in Antalya were sold, with a 10.1 percent in the Mediterranean, with the majority of them being chosen by wealthy European citizens. Third, 6.366 houses were sold in Ankara, accounting for 6.1 percent of all the real estate sales in the capital city. On the other hand, Hakkari, with 5 housing units, Ardahan, with 7 homes, and Bayburt, with 27 apartments, were the cheapest areas to buy property for sale in Turkey and land investment in the far eastern parts bordering Georgia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, where the number of housing sales was limited.

Best foreigner housing sales figures in Turkey's history

Foreign home sales in Turkey increased by 81.5 percent in the first three months of 2019, totaling 9,717 units. In the January-March quarter of last year, a total of 5,298 housing units were sold to foreigners.

When compared to the same month last year, foreign-buyer home sales increased by 71.3 percent, from 1,827 to 3,129 units sold. As a result, Turkey had the best results in its history for foreign home sales in the first quarter and March of 2019.

According to official data, Istanbul manages to lead the cities where foreigners choose to acquire commercial properties for sale in Turkey . Yachtsmen from Istanbul purchased 173.4 percent more homes in March 2021 than in the same month the previous year.

Istanbul was the province with the greatest rise in house sales to foreigners. Istanbul, with a 158.2 percent increase, was followed by Antalya, in the Turkish Riviera region, then came Sunny, with a 55.2 percent raise, followed by Ankara.

Trabzon, in the Black Sea region, was the first city to evaluate the most residential sales to foreigners in March 2020, with 63.4 percent of house unit sales to foreigners declining.

However, Trabzon was followed by Istanbul with 20.857 units sold, then came the rest of the cities as follows: Antalya with 10,619 units sold, Ankara with 2,539 units sold, Bursa with 2,213 units sold, Yalova with 1,696 units sold, Sapanca with 1,247 units sold, Mugla with 957 units sold, Samsun with 885 units sold, Izmir with 837 units sold, and finally Mersin with 210 units sold.

Changes in the rules for gaining citizenship by investment in Turkey

The regulations for getting Turkish citizenship by investment have undergone significant revisions as of March 23, 2021. The majority of these changes are related to real estate investments. As a result, foreigners who want to engage in real estate in Turkey in order to get Turkish citizenship must exercise extreme caution following the modifications, as they impose some significant limitations on the validity of real estate investments for citizenship applications. To put it another way, citizenship procedures have become increasingly difficult in recent years. This is why, more than ever before, international investors must work closely with legal professionals in order to successfully complete their investment and citizenship applications.

  • The following are the most recent changes

  1. It is illegal to purchase real estate from a non-Turk or a foreigner's own spouse or children. According to the actual sense of this new law, a Turkish citizen who is married to a foreigner will not be able to sell his or her real estate to a foreign investor seeking Turkish citizenship . Consequently, a foreign investor will now be required to determine whether or not the Turkish property owner is married to a foreigner, which appears to be uncomfortable for both parties.
  2. It is not an issue for the last investor if a foreigner sells a real estate property to a Turkish individual, who then sells it to a new foreign investor. However, there is now a new and important constraint on this option: if the previous foreign property owner (the one before the Turkish property owner) shares the same nationality as the eventual foreign property owner (the last investor), the last investor will be unable to use the property for citizenship purposes, even if he or she purchased the property from a Turkish person. However, there is one more requirement for this limitation to take effect: the sale between the prior foreign property owner and the Turkish property owner must take place after January 12, 2017. There will be no issues with the last investment if the initial property transfer occurred before that date.
  3. If a foreign investor purchases real estate from a Turkish firm, the company's partners should not include anyone from the investor's country. Previously, such a prohibition applied exclusively to enterprises in which the investor, his/her spouse, or children were partners. The restriction's reach has now been broadened.
  4. Real estate that has previously been utilized as an acceptable investment for citizenship purposes cannot be used for another citizenship application. However, if only a portion of that real estate is utilized for citizenship purposes, that portion will no longer be eligible, but other portions will.
  5. If the real estate utilized for the citizenship application is transferred to the prior owner after the three-year blocking period expires, the Turkish citizenship Office can launch an investigation into the sale to determine if the parties engaged in a pre-arranged fraudulent transaction. The Turkish authorities have the power to remove citizenship retrospectively if they believe the transaction was planned and dishonest.
  6. If an investor sells/transfers his or her preliminary real estate sale contract, which is considered an eligible investment for the Turkish citizen application, to another investor, the Turkish citizenship Office can open an investigation into the transaction to determine whether the parties engaged in a prearranged fraudulent transfer. If Turkish authorities determine that the transfer of the preliminary real estate sale deal was prepared and fraudulent, the citizenship may be revoked retrospectively.
  7. During the sale of real estate, the foreign investor must swear that no erroneous or deceptive paperwork has been presented, and if there are any, he or she will be held entirely responsible. In fact, even without such a declaration, the Turkish authorities had the legal authority to revoke a foreigner's Turkish citizenship if he or she submitted an inaccurate or fraudulent certificate. 

Thus, foreign investors, in particular, must avoid deceptive real estate price appraisal reports in this respect.

What are the advantages of Turkish citizenship ?

  • Spouses and children have the right to citizenship

Under the plan in place, the applicant's spouse, as well as any children under the age of 18, will be awarded Turkish citizenship . Moreover, any kid born after the parents' citizenship has been granted will be granted citizenship by birth. And those over the age of 18 need to become Turkish citizens on their own.

  • Advantages of dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is permitted in Turkey, which means you may preserve your present citizenship without having to give up anything in the event of applying for Turkish citizenship while purchasing real estate.

  • Visa free travel

Those holding a regular Turkish passport can travel to 104 countries without a visa or obtain one upon arrival. This places the Turkish passport among the top 30 most powerful passports in the world. A Turkish passport is valid for ten years and can be renewed.

Citizenship holders are free to work in the country. A work permit was previously required. Citizenship facilitates employment in a state that serves as a bridge connecting Europe and the Middle East.

  • Take advantage of Turkey's well-developed healthcare system for free

With citizenship you will have access to cheaper healthcare options and insurance policies in Turkey. 

  • No more residency permit requirements

Once you have earned Turkish citizenship, you are not required to reside in Turkey. Citizenship implies that you have the freedom to enter and depart from Turkey as you like.

  • The possibility of relocating to the United Kingdom

As a Turkish citizen, you may live and work in the United Kingdom with relative ease since you can apply for a business person visa and eventually get British citizenship. 

  • Work in the United States

Another option for Turkish nationals is obtaining the E-2 investor visa to help facilitate a move to the USA. If your dream is to live in the US, Turkey is a great option on that path, using the real estate route. 

  • No military service required

Those who invest in and relocate to Turkey via the investment program are not required to serve in the military. Your dependents are likewise spared.

  • Citizenship and excellent inheritance rights

In the sad case of the owner's death, Turkish law completely protects the legal successors. This guarantees that your property will pass effortlessly to your children without much to deal with in the future.

  • You will also be able to benefit for free from high-quality educational institutions in Turkey.

  •  You will be able to take advantage of all international incentives granted to Turkish citizens through bilateral or multilateral agreements, including but not limited to the Ankara Agreement.

  •  You will be able to vote in national elections, receive a state pension, and apply for Turkish loans, among other advantages of Turkish citizenship.

Earning Turkish citizenship through investment

Foreign nationals, their spouses, and children under the age of 18 who have truly managed to bring industrial utilities to Turkey or who have conducted or are thought to have performed extraordinary services in the scientific, technological, economic, social, sports, cultural, and artistic fields and for whom a justified offer has been made by the relevant ministries can obtain Turkish citizenship by presidential decision if they do not have issues that would constitute a threat to national security.

According to Turkish law, foreigners who fall into one of the following categories are eligible to apply for Turkish citizenship:

  • People who invest at least $500,000 in their business
  • People who invest at least $400,000 in real estate in Turkey
  • People who employ at least 50 employees
  • People who make a deposit of at least $50,000 USD in a bank in Turkey. The deposit is required to be retained for three years
  • People who purchase public debt instruments with a value of at least $500.000 USD. The instruments should be stored for at least three years
  • People who purchase real estate investment fund participation shares or venture capital investment fund participation shares with a net worth of at least $500,000.00. These shares should be maintained for a minimum of three years

In the previous three years, 7312 people have received Turkish citizenship through the purchase of real estate, making it the most popular route for acquiring Turkish citizenship .

Process and guidelines for obtaining Turkish citizenship through investment in Turkish real estate

  • Getting a tax ID number

In Turkey, you may get a tax identification number from any tax office. An original passport and photo are required.

  • Opening a bank account in Turkey

It is necessary to have a bank account in order to document real estate purchases. To open one, you must have an original passport and tax identification number, as well as an official document that serves as proof of current address, such as utility bills.

  • Choosing the right property

You may buy one or more properties for a total of $400.000 USD, or the equivalent in foreign currency or Turkish Lira. The property must be nearly finished or already finished, with a Habitation License and a Title Deed or Construction Servitude in hand. In order to get citizenship, the property must be appropriate for an official appraisal.

  • Purchasing the property

As mentioned previously, the applicant for Turkish citizenship through property investment must acquire a real estate property in Turkey for a minimum of 400.000 USD or enter into a preliminary contract for sale with a notary on the sale of the real estate. As a result, foreigners may purchase properties in under-construction projects, but these properties must be either condominiums or have a construction servitude attached to them. 

The office of land registry should then be notified of a three-year not for sale pledge. The annotation should state that "there is a promise that the aforementioned asset will not be sold within 3 years from the date of acquisition within the scope of Article 20 of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law . "

When purchasing, the pricing criterion can be met in either foreign money or Turkish lira. The property has to be purchased using a bank transfer with document and transaction by receipt. However, this monetary situation is determined using the CBRT's effective selling rate and/or the cross-exchange rate on the date of determination.

However, it is not necessary for the property to be actual real estate, such as a villa, apartment, or home. It might also be a vacant lot, a workshop, a field, or a garden. However, if the desired property is a field, the buyer must secure the required preliminary licenses and a business plan outlining how the land will be used must be presented along with the application. The project must be finished within two years.

Furthermore, the value of a single immovable property may be equal to or greater than 400.000 USD, or the combined value of several properties may be equal to or greater than 400.000 USD. There are no restrictions in this regard.

Properties acquired before January 12, 2017 are ineligible for this purpose. On the other hand, properties acquired between January 12, 2017 and September 18, 2018, must be worth at least one million US dollars, and properties purchased after September 19, 2018, must be worth at least two hundred thousand US dollars.

The property cannot be registered on behalf of a foreign real person (the spouse and children of the foreign real person are included.) Furthermore, from January 12, 2017, the property must be transferred to the foreign actual person who will physically buy the property. By the same token, the property cannot be registered in the name of a legal body or a corporation in which the foreign real person is a partner or manager.

A bank receipt verifying payment is also required in sales transactions completed on or after October 15, 2018. From this date forward, the transfer/payment reception of the sales or preliminary sales contract amount must also be done through a financial institution.

In addition, the buyer (or the appropriate individuals who will be identified on the application) must attest that the funds for payment of real property have been deposited with a bank receipt (remittance, EFT, etc.). For international fund transfers, the receipt for the account to which the fee will be transferred must also be presented. In sales transactions, the receipt date must also come after the selling date. In the preliminary sale, however, the date of receipt must be before the notary's contractualisation or, at the very least, on the same day of contractualisation. A payment receipt obtained after the date of the preliminary sales contract's issue at the notary will be invalid since it is not deemed a "cash" payment.

It is feasible to purchase a property that already has a mortgage or lien on it. If the property was purchased through a sale-mortgage transaction, the valuation should be determined after subtracting the loan amount from the sales price. The remainder should be at least equal to the amount requested in the law.

And it is now possible to buy the property in installments, as long as the property is acquired after September 19, 2018 and each installment is paid after that date. Payments paid in installments prior to September 19, 2018 will be invalid. The value of installments in US dollars is computed using the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey's effective selling rate on the day of the transaction.

How can foreigners own real estate in Turkey ?

Foreigners must first submit a pre-application in order to own real estate in Turkey . Together with the owner of the property, the real or legal person shall submit an application to the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre. They can also make an appointment without having to attend to the directorate's offices by phoning the "Alo 181" call center, which is open 24 hours a day, or by visiting "randevu.tkgm.gov.tr."

Turkish firms with foreign money, on the other hand, should first apply to the Provincial Planning and Coordination Directorate in the province where the real estate is situated, and then apply to the Land Registry Directorate after receiving a positive response. Such firms can apply in person, by mail, or via email.

Following the pre-application, the date for the real estate transfer should be chosen.

What documents are required for such a procedure ?

  • Title deed of the real estate
  • Passport and photocopy of foreign buyers' passports (with certified Turkish translated copies)
  • "Real Estate Market Value Certificate" issued by the municipality in which the property is located (in Turkish language).
  • Earthquake insurance is required for residences and workplaces
  • One photograph of the seller (white background, biometric)
  • Two photographs of the foreign buyer (white background, biometric)
  • In the event that the foreign buyer does not speak Turkish, a certified translator must be present at the contract signing.
  • The original or certified copy of the Power of Attorney where the transactions are made by an attorney (certified Turkish translation if the POA is acquired abroad)

What are the legal limits on foreigners buying real estate in Turkey ?

  • A foreign real person can acquire up to 30 hectares of property and obtain restricted real rights.
  • Foreign nationals are permitted to buy real estate and restricted real rights, aggregating up to 10% of the district area subject to private ownership.
  • Real estate obtained in violation of legal processes, which the relevant ministry and administrations determine to be used contrary to the acquisition's purpose, and for which the relevant ministry is not applied to in the acquisitions on the condition of a project, or whose projects are not implemented within the required period, are subject to liquidation laws.

The following are the most important aspects to consider when purchasing real estate in Turkey :

  • When buying a property in Turkey , foreign buyers must pay two types of fees: the title deed fee (determined by the house's value) and a service fee to be paid to the directorate of land registry.
  • Purchasing real estate does not require a residence permit.
  • Foreigners who purchase real estate in Turkey are eligible to apply for renewed short-term resident permits under the "Foreigners and International Protection Law No. 6458."
  • For the property transfer procedure, a pre-application should be made to the land registry office.
  • Properties can be transferred via a legal deed and registration issued by the directorate of land registry.
  • Real estate constraints, such as mortgages, should be considered. These issues may be enquired about online at "parselsorgu.tkgm.gov.tr."

Obtaining a certificate of conformity

To get a certificate of compliance, an official value study must first be obtained, then a bank transfer receipt should be filed, and lastly, an application to the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning must be submitted.

Obtaining a real estate appraisal report

A "real estate appraisal report" indicating the market value of a property should be acquired from an appraiser with a valid license certified by the Capital Markets Board (CMB). This might be received from one of the CMB Valuation Companies in order to calculate the sum of 400.000 USD specified in the applications for obtaining citizenship through the sale of real estate. The CMB expert determines the value depending on the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey's (CBRT) effective selling rate and/or cross exchange rate on the day of the transaction. 

Applying for a short-term residence permit

Following the completion of the transaction, a short-term residence permit can be sought using the address of the purchased property, which takes 2 to 4 weeks to be issued.

The following documents are required for obtaining a residence permit after purchasing real estate

  • Application for a Resident Permit (the foreigner and/or his legal agent must sign it).
  • An original and photocopies of a passport valid for at least 60 days or longer than the proposed residence permit duration are necessary.
  • Four biometric images (taken within the last six months, on a white background)
  • Bank statements demonstrating enough financial resources for the duration of the stay are required.
  • Health insurance that is valid (The insurance must cover the duration of stay specified on the application for a residence permit.)
  • Receipt of the residence permit card fee.
  • Official e-signed/signed and sealed/stamped document proving ownership of the title deed.
  • The foreigner must enter the country to apply for a residence permit, which can be done with or without a visa. The General Directorate of Immigration Authorities should be contacted. As soon as the residency permit is secured, the foreigner will be eligible to apply for Turkish citizenship.

Applying for Turkish Citizenship

To get Turkish citizenship through a property purchase, an application must be submitted to the authorities along with all required documentation.

The required documents for Turkish citizenship are as follows

  • Copy of birth certificate: All family members applying must provide birth certificate that is stamped and validated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country as well as the Turkish Embassy in your home country. Alternatively, the certificates can be apostille according to the Apostille Convention (Hague Treaty Convention 12).
  • Marital Status: This comprises a marriage certificate, a divorce certificate, or the spouse's death certificate if widowed. Each certificate must be stamped and validated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your home country and the Turkish Embassy, or apostille according to the Apostille Convention (Hague Treaty Convention 12).
  • Biometric photos: All family members applying must provide 4 biometric images with a white background and a 5 x 6 size, as well as 8 additional biometric photos that are standard size and on a white background for the primary applicant only.
  • Copy of original passport 
  • Power of attorney 
  • Bank transfer receipt
  • Address proof or residence certificate: Proof of address for real estate must be provided by governmental institutions. Bank statements and utility bills are not acceptable. Each certificate must be stamped and validated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your home country and the Turkish Embassy, or apostilled in accordance with the Apostille Convention (Hague Treaty Convention 12).
  • All application forms must be filled out completely.

The following fees apply to citizenship applications

  • Service fees to be collected by the state.
  • CMB appraisal reporting costs.
  • Translation expenses.
  • Notary public fees.
  • The cost of receiving documents from relevant state agencies.
  • Health-care report cost.

The applicant is summoned to the nearest provincial security directorate for fingerprinting and to conduct an interview during the application's approval process.

It is critical that the application to be prepared by a professional and that the procedure is followed precisely. Any errors committed during the application process, as well as missing papers, may result in the application being denied or the procedure being extended.

damasturk... consult a specialist in the Turkish citizenship by investment guide

With more than ten years of experience, damasturk is a real estate industry leader in property-related concerns in Turkey. Our professional officers have carefully selected a variety of properties that have been pre-approved for the Turkish citizenship by investment program, and we provide the most diverse collection of properties in regions and cities around the country. We will happily assist you in applying for and obtaining citizenship from A-Z, leveraging our negotiating power and in-house attorneys to secure you the best possible price. For more information, please feel free to email or contact us.

FAQ's about obtaining a Turkish passport through investing

According to Turkish legislation, people who acquire real estate in Turkey for at least $400,000 USD with "a three-year no-sell annotation" that must be written on the deed by the Land Registry Office are entitled to apply for Turkish citizenship . When purchasing real estate, it is permissible to use foreign currencies or USD instead of the Turkish Lira. The foundation for determining this monetary situation is the CBRT effective selling rate and/or cross exchange rate on the date of determination.

According to the Turkish regulations, published in the Official Gazette on September 18, 2018, foreigners who fit into any of the following categories may get Turkish citizenship :

  • Foreigners who buy any type of real estate for more than $400,000 USD.
  • Foreigners who make a fixed-capital investment of at least 500,000 USD.
  • Foreigners who spend more than 500,000 USD on state department instruments.
  • Foreigners who deposit at least 500,000 USD in a Turkish banks are eligible to apply for Turkish citizenship .
  • Foreigners who invest in a venture capital investment fund worth 500,000 USD.
  • Foreigners who provide employment in Turkey for at least 50 people.

It's worth noting that all of the aforementioned options cost more than twice as much as obtaining citizenship through real estate investment.

Those seeking Turkish citizenship must spend $400,000 USD (the sum lowered from $1 million USD) on one or more properties purchased outright, or $500,000 USD on a fixed-capital investment, state department instruments, or a venture capital investment fund. While the monthly cost of providing work for 50 people in Turkey is $18,000 USD (net wage), not to include the cost of establishing the firm or business in which they would be employed.

In Turkey, the process of obtaining citizenship normally takes 2-4 months, which is much faster than in other countries across the world. 

Please contact us today to talk with one of our staff members or email us for further information.

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