Turkish investor passports launched in 2016. Thousands now participate in the program, offering a golden passport in about 3 months. Investment avenues include real estate, deposits, securities, business, and more. 3-year ownership required to maintain citizenship after investment.
Turkish investor passports have been issued since 2016. Initially, the local investment migration program saw limited interest due to its high entry threshold. However, demand surged after a fourfold reduction in investment requirements in 2018. Today, the number of participants of the program reaches tens of thousands.
The foundation for acquiring a golden passport, typically granted within a quarter, is based on real estate purchase, deposit placement, acquisition of government securities, business investments, job creation, or investments in funds. Exit from these capital commitments without losing citizenship status is possible after a mandatory ownership period of three years.
To begin, let’s examine the basic requirements for candidates seeking a passport by investment in Turkey, which apply irrespective of the chosen migration route. According to legislation, any candidate must meet the following criteria:
- Being of legal age according to the legal system of their home country or according to Turkish legislation (in the case of stateless individuals).
- Providing confirmation of the candidate’s absence of illnesses posing a threat to the host country’s public health.
- Demonstrating sufficient funds to fulfill investment commitments to the host country and presenting evidence of the legality of the sources of such funds.
- Confirming the candidate’s trustworthiness and lack of threats to national security and public order from the candidate’s side.
How to obtain Turkish citizenship by real estate investment?
To secure Turkish citizenship through real estate acquisition, you need to purchase one or multiple properties of residential, commercial, or other designations. Acquiring land plots is also permissible. Investments totaling no less than $400,000 are required (equivalent amounts in other currencies or Turkish Lira are accepted). It’s prohibited to purchase properties near borders or military zones. The completion of transactions is validated by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Development.
Starting from the fall of 2021, authorities have enlisted independent appraisers to assess properties being acquired by foreigners seeking Turkish citizenship through investment. This measure aims to minimize the potential for abuse through artificially inflated transaction values.
Purchasing property from a foreigner for the purposes of the program is prohibited. Foreign investors seeking Turkish citizenship through investment must buy property from Turkish citizens. Moreover, these citizen-sellers cannot be spouses or children of the foreign investor. In other words, foreign investors must verify whether the seller is married to a foreigner before closing a deal.
If a property is sold by a foreigner to a Turkish citizen, and subsequently, the Turkish citizen sells the asset to a foreign investor seeking Turkish citizenship, no issues arise. However, there’s a caveat. If both foreigners possess the same citizenship, the latter investor cannot qualify for the Turkish golden passport, even if they effectively purchase the property from a Turkish citizen.
An additional condition for the implementation of such a limitation is that the sale by the initial owner (foreigner) of the asset to the Turkish citizen should occur after January 12, 2017. If the first property transfer happened before this date, the final buyer will not face problems in obtaining the golden passport.
If a foreign investor purchases property for the golden passport from a Turkish company, there should be no shareholders among the company’s shareholders who possess the same citizenship as the investor.
Properties previously used as qualifying investment assets for obtaining the golden passport cannot be re-utilized for submitting new applications by new owners seeking the Turkish investor passport.
Other options for obtaining citizenship by investment in Turkey
- How to obtain Turkish citizenship through a deposit? You must place a minimum of $500,000 in a deposit account at a local bank (equivalent amounts in Turkish Lira or another currency are accepted). The confirmation of the deposit is verified by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency.
- How to obtain Turkish citizenship through purchasing government securities? Opting for this route, the candidate decides to invest in Turkish Republic government bonds for a minimum sum of $500,000 (equivalent amounts in Turkish Lira or another currency are accepted). The acquisition of securities is confirmed by the Ministry of Finance.
- How to obtain Turkish citizenship through business investment? Choosing this option requires making capital investments in the primary capital at a minimum of $500,000 (equivalent amounts in Turkish Lira or another currency are accepted). The execution of capital investment is confirmed by the Ministry of Industry and Technology.
- How to obtain Turkish citizenship based on job creation? In this case, there are no specific capital investment requirements. The candidate only needs to create job opportunities for 50 Turkish citizens. The establishment of job positions is confirmed by the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services.
- How to obtain Turkish citizenship through investment in a fund? It is necessary to acquire shares in an investment fund or venture capital fund for a minimum price of $500,000 (equivalent amounts in Lira or another foreign currency are accepted). The approval of the transaction by the Capital Markets Board is required.
Lengthy yet economical approach to acquiring Turkish citizenship: naturalization
Foreign nationals are eligible to apply for naturalization in Turkey under the following conditions:
1. Attainment of legal adulthood, as defined by the legislation of the applicant’s country of origin or Turkish law (in the case of stateless individuals).
2. Continuous residence within Turkish territory on legal grounds (with a resident card) for a five-year period immediately preceding the application.
3. Demonstrated intention to continue residing within the potential new homeland.
4. Confirmation of reliability and absence of risks to the health of the host country’s population from the candidate’s side.
5. Adequate proficiency in the Turkish language.
6. Sufficient income/savings to satisfy personal needs or those of any dependents (if applicable) during the period of residency in the potential new homeland.
7. Absence of threats to national security or public order posed by the candidate.
Fulfilling these conditions does not grant foreign nationals an absolute right to obtain Turkish citizenship. In other words, when aiming to acquire Turkish citizenship through naturalization, you cannot be entirely certain of a successful outcome.