Buying Property in Turkey: Residency and Citizenship Questions
As a real estate-agent, foreigners often ask us, “do you get residency if you buy property in Turkey?” Many people are then surprised to learn that you don’t have to enter the real estate market to be a resident. Many foreigners live in Turkey and are renting apartments or villas, as tenants. Some home buyers also use their holiday home for summer, therefore don’t want residency, which occurs extra costs.
Likewise, owning a home does not automatically entitle residency because the property buying process and residency system are two different things, each with their own set of rules and regulations. Additionally, anyone who wants to buy a property over $250,000 and keep it for at least three years may apply for Turkish citizenship. So, for any buyer looking to invest in Turkey as a permanent place to live, let’s look at the three processes.
Buying Property in Turkey: Residency and Citizenship
1: The Property Market
Many foreigners turn to Turkey because property prices are low. Roughly 15 years ago, the government also encouraged new build developments to rejuvenate and revive a stagnant market with low-quality housing. The result is an abundance of properties for sale including luxury villas, prestigious penthouses with sea-view, open-plan townhouses, furnished flats and much more. The first step after deciding on a budget is to choose the location and what type of property to buy. Maybe you would like a beachfront apartment, a bungalow village house, a duplex facing a marina, or a renovated mansion in a tranquil location. There are plenty of residential properties in most towns or villages, so take your time.
We assist homebuyers with our vast range of property for sale in all areas of Turkey. Browse the portfolio that includes photos, locations and home features and use the enquiry form to receive more details via email or arrange a viewing. Once you find your dream home, that is when we take over. As your property agent, we bring buyers and sellers together to negotiate if desired, make the deposit, and sign contracts. We also assist with opening a bank account, getting a tax number, and organising the appraisal and valuation. We also advise on legal fees and closing costs before you finally sign for your deed at the land registry. Should you want it, we can also advise on property management, such as paying bills, and how to earn a rental income if you wish to join the buy-to-let housing market. Read more about the home-buying process in Turkey.
2 Residence Permit Application
Start applying for the residency permit at any time. The sooner, the better. In years gone by, the processing time needed patience. Thankfully, the application is more streamlined and quicker these days, but a first-time visa application will take longer. Although you can start the process in your home country, you need to be in Turkey to attend a DGMM office appointment. Most foreign nationalities can apply, and visa requirements differ. For example, retirees first apply for the standard one-year term. Still, international students apply to a different category, as do family members, or those who fulfil the criteria to become a permanent resident.
Before starting, anyone under the age of 65, must have health insurance. Please note, that residency does not mean you can work, and to do so legally, an additional work permit is needed. Alongside the application form, which is filled in online, supporting documents include a tourist visa, a tax number, a biometric passport with a validity of more than 60 days, six passport-sized photographs, proof of your address in Turkey, and evidence of financial self-sufficiency. Find out more about the residency application process.
3: Turkish Citizenship by Investment
Real estate investment is one of many ways to get Turkish citizenship. If the property you buy is valued at $250,000 and you sign a declaration to keep it for at least three years, you can apply. Most people employ a company or solicitor to make the application for them. Supporting documents include the application form, two biometric passport photographs, a passport, declaration of civil status, so either a marriage licence, divorce papers, or death certificate of your spouse, a birth certificate and proof of payment to the Finance ministry. Foreign documents must be translated and notarised—more about how to apply for Turkish citizenship.
About Us: We are Turkey Homes, an established real estate agent with offices all over the country including Istanbul, Bodrum, Antalya and Fethiye. Over the years, we have helped many foreign nationalities with buying property in Turkey and residency and citizenship advice. To speak with an agent about any processes, or to receive a portfolio of property listings via email, contact us today or drop into one of our regional offices.