How to Get Turkish Citizenship from Property
A few clients, having heard about the Turkish citizenship by real estate investment scheme, asked us how they can get Turkish citizenship from their existing property. We understand the lure. From the visa travel aspect to the family and residence benefits, Turkish citizenship by investment is advantageous. Unfortunately, the system in Turkey works differently. To be eligible, you must buy an approved investment property in Turkey and then apply. The simple reason being is the scheme aims to encourage foreign direct investment through the real estate market.
In addition, as property values increase in Turkey, especially in Istanbul, a home worth less than the minimum entry-level one year, but more the following year defeats the investment object of the scheme. So, our best suggestion to gain Turkish citizenship by investment in real estate is to sell your existing property and start the process from scratch. As real estate agents operating throughout Turkey, including Istanbul, Antalya, Bodrum, Fethiye and many more places, we advise home buyers on this, so get in touch with us today, or read this article for a brief outline of the citizenship by investment scheme, applicant process and benefits.
How to Get Turkish Citizenship from Property
1: Requirements of the Citizenship by Investment Scheme
There are two conditions for Turkish investment. First, interested investors must purchase government-approved Turkish real estate worth a minimum amount of $400,000. Please note this is now recently been updated in 2022. Second, pledge to keep it for at least three years. So, when signing the deeds, we submit a certificate of approval, and you will declare you are buying the investment property for the country's investment citizenship scheme. In addition, applicants must be over 18, have a clean criminal record and a passport. Every nationality is eligible to apply for the investment scheme in Turkey apart from Syrians, North Koreans, Cubans, Armenians, and Nigerians. The reason being is they cannot purchase property in Turkey.
To get an idea of citizenship investment homes for sale over $400,000, browse our portfolio of apartments and villas. Alternatively, let us know you are interested in the citizenship by investment scheme, and we will send a portfolio of approved homes via email. Although there are many places to buy property in Turkey, most citizen investors choose Istanbul because the city is in the middle of a real estate boom, offering much potential for a wise investment.
2: Buying the Property
For the investment property purchase, we help you open a Turkish bank account and obtain a tax number. Both are quickly done, and the range of banks to choose from include HSBC, Garanti bank, Ziraat, Deniz and Akbank. Then, we start the property purchase process in Turkey, which takes as little as 1 to 3 weeks to get your title deeds if everything is in place. After paying a deposit, we will have a contract drawn up with your lawyer and get it notarised.
Turkish law does not require the use of a solicitor, but we advise on using one. Lawyers in Turkey are responsible for their checks, and it is a form of due diligence. Everything is submitted to the land registry office for application to transfer ownership. After you have received your title deeds from the registry, we acquire the Turkish government's eligibility document.
3: Citizenship Application Process
At the same time, to apply for Turkish citizenship, you must purchase a citizen residence visa. This second process is straightforward to complete. You prove you have the required healthcare coverage and the minimum means to support yourself financially. The country's residency visa application is made online to obtain an appointment for the district where you bought the property, sort the relevant tax, and get the visa through the post.
Once you have your visa residence permit that lasts for one year, we make the citizenship application. First, the authorities require the citizenship application form, title deeds copies, power of attorney, passport copies, family birth and marriage certificates, property eligibility certificate, proof of residency, and 12 biometric passports. From there, your application goes to the ministry in the capital of the country, Ankara. It takes 6 to nine months for checks and for them to approve. We then visit the NUFUS office to obtain your Turkish citizen identification card and celebrate.
4: The Benefits of Investing in Turkish Citizenship
If you are unsure whether the Turkish citizenship investment scheme is the right option, let's look at the gains. Firstly, the citizen application can include your family, i.e. spouse and all dependents. Any future children born will automatically get Turkish citizenship based on birth rights. As well as receiving the right to live in Turkey, applicants, their spouse, and children can work and study. Holding Turkish citizenship also eliminates the need to keep reapplying for residency. You also opt into Turkey's SGK scheme; hence will be eligible for healthcare and a pension upon retirement age.
Applicants gain a Turkish passport and visa-free travel access to more than 100 countries. Other countries require you to reside there for a certain number of days every year, but Turkey doesn't. So you can come and go as you want, within each year. In addition, dual citizenship and two passports are allowed but check with your existing country's embassy whether they allow dual citizenship. Lastly, there is instant access if an applicant wants to enrol children in the Turkish education system.
5: Real Estate Versus Business Investment
There are other ways to get Turkish citizenship, including business investment, but this requires twice the minimum capital and extra obligations. Purchasing, owning, and running a business in Turkey is more complicated than maintaining real estate and requires much dedication. You still need to get working visas until the citizenship application is made. You need to open separate bank accounts for your business service and consider your company value and how to make it grow over the years. It also takes up a lot of time. Additionally, when it comes to citizenship by investment schemes all over the globe, Turkey ranks better in terms of affordability and time factors, especially when compared with countries like Portugal.
6: Why Live in Turkey?
When you receive your Turkish citizenship, you can permanently reside in your existing country or move to Turkey. There are many reasons to move, and this is seen in the two million-plus foreigners already here. The Turkish weather climate is a big lure, simply because this encourages an outdoor lifestyle which doctors say is good for our health. In turn, Turkey is known for its national cuisine, which promotes fresh ingredients and home cooking. The vast range of activities stems from exploring thousands of historical sites to golfing in Belek to enjoying the Turkish Aegean and Mediterranean beaches. Add to this low cost, and it is easy to understand why many foreigners choose to make Turkey their home.
7: About Your Citizenship Property Investment
So, as mentioned before, you currently need to keep your Turkish property purchase for at least three years before selling. However, we advise investors to keep it for longer to make a wise real estate investment. Many areas in Turkey present excellent capital growth potential over a mid to long term period. In addition, if you keep the property for a minimum of five years, you will not have to pay capital gains tax in Turkish lira. Besides, regardless of whether you live in Turkey or not, you will enjoy the low costs of running a property.
Should you decide not to stay here, it is worth entrusting a friend or a Turkish property management company to handle upkeep, condition, maintenance, and regular checks. Lastly, some people who do not live in Turkey permanently decide to rent out their property. This can be done, but there are legal laws to follow, and you are required to pay tax on rental income over a minimum amount. Our agents in Turkey can advise further if this is something you want to consider.
Although the citizenship by investment scheme in Turkey might be your primary aim for buying property, there are many other reasons to become a homeowner. Turkey constantly ranks in the top number of countries for overseas investment and expat destinations. These days, it even matches the lure of other places in the world like Portugal, Greece, Spain, and France. Please read our article on the top eight reasons to invest in Turkish real estate.
We are Turkey Homes, a team with vast knowledge and experience in the Turkish real estate market. We hope this article has helped you learn how to get Turkish citizenship from your property. Foreign investors with more questions on obtaining Turkish citizenship by investment should call us today and chat with an expert agent in Istanbul or other destinations. Our service has helped hundreds of people from around the world buy a property and invest in Turkey. Alternatively, watch our video on YouTube with director and owner Tolga Ertukel talking more about the scheme.