Get Turkish Citizenship by Buying A House
As real estate agents, many foreign clients ask if they can get Turkish citizenship by buying a house. Our answer is yes, because Turkey has a program that allows buyers to invest in property for citizenship. Known as Golden Visa schemes because they offer a passport, many countries operate on the same principle. Still, Turkey's property investment scheme is attractive with many benefits, including a quick approval time.
Thousands of property investors have done this and count themselves and their families as proud citizens of the Republic of Turkey. In this article, we look at the Citizenship by investment scheme in Turkey, what applicants receive in return for buying property, what is required and how to apply as a foreigner.
Get Turkish Citizenship by Buying A House
1: Benefits of Turkish Citizenship Program
- No need to apply for residency because Turkish citizenship is for life
- Turkish citizenship program includes the applicant, spouse, and dependents
- Any future children born will obtain Turkish citizenship by birth-right
- Receive the right to work
- Turkish passport to travel to 110 countries without a visa
- Eligible to invest in the Turkish pension scheme
- Dual Citizenship is allowed
- No need to reside in Turkey all year round
- Easy access to the medical and education programs of Turkey
- Ideal property investment with potential capital growth
- Choice of rental income when not living in the property
- Enjoy a beautiful weather climate, healthy national cuisine, and outdoor lifestyle
- Enjoy a low cost of living, and low property maintenance costs
2: What is the Invest Requirement?
Before 2018, the minimum entry level for Turkey's citizenship by property investment scheme was a staggering 1 million USD. This made it one of the world's most expensive citizenships, and few people applied for it. Real estate industry experts lobbied Turkish ministers by pointing out the flaws and explaining that it was unpopular. So, in 2018, Turkey dropped the minimum purchasing price for Turkish citizenship to just $400,000, and this brought in property buyers and golden visa investors from all over the world. Please note, new threshold for citizenship amount has been increased to $400,000 from $250,000 in year 2022.
Tip: We recommend that when you transfer your money to the Turkish lira to buy the property, you use a foreign exchange company to get better currency rates and transfer fees.
3: Other Criteria for Property Investment Citizenship
- Must keep the property for at least three years, with the option to sell after this.
- Applicant must be over the age of 18
- Dependents must be under 18
- Applicant must have a clean criminal record and hold a passport
Please note: Cubans, Armenians, Syrians, North Koreans, and Nigerians cannot apply for the Turkish citizenship scheme since they cannot buy property in Turkey.
4: Is All Property over $400,000 Included in the Investment Scheme?
Please note, not all properties with a value over $400,000 are eligible for the Turkish Citizenship via Investment Scheme (TCIS.) The new TCIS rule started in September 2018 to get international property investors to invest in Istanbul's new housing projects. Most newly built Istanbul properties (over 90% of new properties registered after September 2018) are eligible for Turkish citizenship. These newly built apartments that are part of residential estates with extensive communal facilities are pre-approved for Turkish citizenship by investment by local council offices. When you buy a property with us, we let you know which properties are approved.
5: Citizenship Investment Application Process
Tax Number and Bank Account: Homebuyers need a Turkish tax number and a Turkish bank account before buying a property in Turkey. We assist all our clients in obtaining them but know this is an easy and quick process. We will apply for a Turkish tax number in the district you want to buy, which is given straight away. Opening a Turkish bank account is easy, and you can choose from many well-known banks, including HSBC Turkiye, Garanti, Akbank, Ziraat bank, and more.
Buy Property: The first step is to acquire a property worth a transaction of $400,000 or more. Start your property search by browsing our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale. Each listing contains the price, location, home features and contact details to find out more via email, telephone or arrange a viewing. When inquiring about a property, please state you want one that is eligible for Turkish citizenship by real estate investment program.
Alternatively, contact us today, give us an outline of your budget and what you want in a property, and we will send a portfolio of eligible homes for Turkish citizenship by email or Whatsapp. From paying the deposit to putting the keys in the door, we assist all our homebuyers with the property purchase process, and if finances and paperwork are in place, they receive the title deeds in as little as one day to three weeks.
Eligibility Certificate: As mentioned before, not all properties are eligible, so to begin the Turkish citizenship application process, we will obtain a certificate of eligibility for your new property from the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.
Obtain a Residence Permit: All citizenship applicants must be a resident of Turkey, so we help our clients apply for a legal residence permit. The criteria for this is an independent financial proof and valid health care. Some residence permit holders have private health insurance, but many opt into Turkey's SGK scheme, which is payable every month. Applications are done online and quickly approved.
Make the Citizenship Application: To submit your application for Turkish citizenship by investment, we will present the application form, property eligibility certificate, copies of the title deed, power of attorney, birth certificate for you, your spouse, and dependents, in addition to a family marriage certificate. In addition, you will submit your passport copies, 12 biometric passport photos, proof of residency. The application goes to Ankara, where numerous departments review it before landing on the president's desk for final approval. The whole process takes 6 to nine months to complete, and then you can celebrate your new citizenship status in Turkey as a foreign investor.
6: Your Property Investment
As stated before, you need to keep the property for at least three years. However, sellers do not pay any capital gains tax if you keep it for at least five years. Some investors who do not plan to live in the property all year round also look at rentals for additional monthly passive income. The first step is to decide on long or short-term rentals. There are pros and cons for each of them. For the long term, landlords must follow tenants' rules by law and provide them with a contract.
For the short term, follow the official identity declaration law, which states that all passport details be entered into Turkey's GIYKIMBIL system (Gecici İkamet Yerleri Kimlik Bildirme Sistemi – Identification System for Temporary Residences). If you are certain that you want to rent out the property, talk to us about yields because some places present higher potential than others. We can advise further on how to market your property and manage it when not residing in Turkey.
7: Living in Turkey
On the other hand, you might decide to enjoy your status as a Turkish citizen by living here all year round. We understand the lure. Turkish culture, society and hospitality is too much to ignore. However, settling into your new property can be challenging because people experience homesickness and must get used to a different routine. Still, most expats usually adjust easily within the first six months to a year, and some even learn the language. This article about living in Turkey outlines what to expect and how to enjoy your new life.
We are Turkey Homes, a property and investment specialist with offices in Istanbul, Antalya, Bodrum and Fethiye. We hope we answered your question about how to get Turkish citizenship by buying a house. However, if you have any more questions about property or citizenship, call us today and chat with one of our local agents. You will also find our blog about Turkey helpful because it gives so much more information on destinations, culture and living life as a Turkish citizen.