A QUICK GUIDE FOR INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS

  • In May 2017, the Turkish government introduced a landmark citizenship programme to promote foreign investment.
  • The programme foreign nationals who buy real estate or bring capital over certain thresholds the eligibility to acquire Turkish citizenship.
  • The most striking feature of the programme is that investors do not have to live in Turkey to acquire the citizenship.
  • In September 2018, the investment thresholds were substantially lowered by the government, making it by far the most attractive citizenship programme in the world.

INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS

  • Buy properties worth of 250.000 USD * with a deed restriction not to sell for 3 years or
  • Deposit 500.000 USD cash in Turkish banks * with a condition not to withdraw for 3 years or
  • Buy government bonds worth of 500.000 USD * with a condition not to sell for 3 years or
  • Buy shares worth 500.000 USD in Turkish REITs or VCTs * with a condition not to sell for 3 years or
  • Make 500.000 USD fixed-asset investment or
  • Hire 50 employess in your company

MAIN STEPS

  • 1.OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT

An account in a Turkish bank should be opened in the name of the investor.

  • 2.MAKE YOUR INVESTMENT

Execute the necessary investment transactions (i.e. real estate title deed transfer, cash deposit, government bond /share purchase etc.)

  • 3.APPLY FOR RESIDENCE PERMIT

Applicants are required to hold a valid residence permit at the time of citizenship application. Nevertheless permit holders can continue to live abroad as long as they wish.

  • 4.APPLY FOR CITIZENSHIP

You can immediately apply for citizenship once your residence permit is granted. No physical presence or interview is required during the application process.

KEY BENEFITS

  • BECOME CITIZEN WITH YOUR FAMILY

Your spouse and children under 18 years old can acquire citizenship together with you at the same time.

  • NO WEALTH DECLARATION

When you apply for citizenship, you are not required to declare your assets or income that you currently have in other countries.

  • NO NEED TO BE A PERMANENT RESIDENT

You do not have to have lived continuously in Turkey for a certain period to become eligible for citizenship. You can continue to live abroad and apply for citizenship as soon as you get the residence permit.

  • REPATRIATE YOUR INVESTMENT

After holding your investment for 3 years., you can cash out your investment and repatriate the funds along with its proceeds (i.e. rental income, interest etc.) free of exchange control restrictions.

VISA-FREE TRAVEL

Currently, Turkish citizens can travel to 102 countries without the need to follow a cumbersome visa application process. Vast majority of these countries allow Turkish citizens to stay 30 to 90 days without any visa requirement while some countries grant visas upon arrival or issue electronic visas upon online application. The Visa Liberalization Dialogue, the aim of which is to grant Turkish citizens visa-free travel right to Schengen countries, between Turkey and the EU was launched in 2013. Once achieved, further 26 European countries will be added to the list of 102 countries where Turkish citizens can already travel freely.

Is there any requirement to be fulfilled by my family members?

Each of your family members wishing to acquire Turkish citizenship is required to hold a valid residence permit at the time of citizenship application.

Which of my family members can get Turkish citizenship?

Your spouse, your children under 18 years old, and your children who are over 18 years old but dependent on you due to their medical condition can acquire citizenship along with you.

What is the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization?

The ministry verifies if the value declared on Title Deed correct and above 250.000 USD with sworn appraisers. All the property value should be paid by bank transfer to the Property Sellers.

Do I have to wait for 3 years to become a Turkish citizen?

No, you can apply for citizenship as soon as you get the residence permit and become a citizen before the completion of the compulsory 3-year investment holding period.

Do I have to renounce my current citizenship when I become a Turkish citizen?

No. Turkish laws allow dual or multiple citizenship.

What types of real estate can I buy?

You can buy residential and o¦ce units, buildings and land, subject to certain restrictions. (e.g. the real estate must not be located in a military forbidden zone)

Can I buy more than one piece of real property, the total value of which exceeds 250.000 USD, instead of buying one?

You can buy multiple real property worth 250.000 USD in total, provided that the title deed transfer process of each property is initiated on the same date under one request.

What taxes do I pay when I buy a real estate?

There are two important taxes arising from a property sale. (I) Transfer tax, and (11) Value Added Tax (VAT).
The transfer tax rate is 4% of the sale price. However, the government frequently reduces the rate for temporary periods to promote the market. Currently, the rate has been reduced to 3% until the end of October 2018. In principal, the seller and the buyer shares the transfer tax burden equally. In practice, however, the buyer usually pays the entire tax amount. VAT is paid by the buyer and is applicable if the seller is a business entity. However, foreign investors are exempt from paying VAT if the following conditions are met together:
• the investor is not resident in Turkey at the time of purchase, and
• the real estate is a residential or o¦ce unit or building, and
• the real estate is to be sold for the first time directly by the real estate development firm that owns the construction project.
The VAT rate is 18% for all sales that are not in scope of the above exemption. (e.g. land sales. second-hand property sales) VAT is not applicable if the seller is a real person.

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