Legalixa Law Firm is one of the leading Turkish citizenship law firms with a long record of excellence and professional leadership in Istanbul, Turkey. Our Turkish citizenship law attorneys are prepared to file Turkish citizenship application. Our Turkish citizenship lawyers represent our clients from application until they get their Turkish Passport. Our Turkish immigration lawyers also represent our clients in other immigration law issues including; extending resident and work permits, application for Turkish citizenship, filing a law suit to cancel any objections.

About Turkish Citizenship Law

Due to its rapidly growing economy and young population, qualified workforce, geographical and geopolitical position, liberal investment environment and free trade, Turkey has been one of the most preferred countries by foreign investors in recent years.

Enacted In 2003 with the introduction of “Foreign Direct Investment Law” the number of foreign investments and companies in Turkey continues to increase. Foreigners who make direct investments can benefit equally with domestic investors from the all incentives. In addition, foreigners who have long-term and direct investments can benefit from the facilities offered by the Turkish Government.

Turkey has tax treaties with many countries such as the US, Germany, Azerbaijan, China, France, South Korea, Georgia, Iran, Qatar, Cyprus, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Jordan in order to prevent double taxation of the investors both in their home country and Turkey.

Foreign investors have the possibility of setting up joint stock company, limited liability company and partnership. However, they may choose to take over shelf companies in order to avoid dealing with incorporation work.

Turkish Citizenship Law

Furthermore, a significant increase has been observed in the number of foreigners in the country along with the increase of migration to Turkey in recent years. According to “International Migration Statistics” that published by Turkey Statistical Institute (TUIK) in 2018 relation to last year; the number of immigrants to Turkey last year has experienced an increase of 22.4 percent compared to the previous year and became 466.333 people.

With these developments, the Turkish Government, aiming to revitalize the economy, especially the real estate sector, has made some legal arrangements and facilitated the acquisition of Turkish citizenship by means of investment.

In this regard, acquiring Turkish citizenship as an exceptional way by means of investment is discussed in our guidance in detail.

We hope that our guidance will be helpful and guiding to those who are planning to acquire Turkish citizenship.

Turkish Citizenship Law

Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship with Investment

In the Article 12 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901, exceptional ways are regulated for the acquisition of Turkish citizenship. Also, secondary legislation on the implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law specifies the conditions for the exceptional acquisition of Turkish Citizenship by the way of investment. With the Presidential Decree No. 106 published in the Official Gazette dated 19.09.2018, the amendments to the aforementioned regulation have reduced the amount of investment required for acquiring Turkish citizenship.

Accordingly, the foreigner who fulfils any of the following conditions may acquire Turkish citizenship based on the Presidential Decree;

  • who makes fixed capital investment of at least 500.000 US Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and for whom certificate of conformity is issued by the Ministry of Industry and Technology
  • who purchases the immovable property valuing at least 250.000 US Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and attached annotation at land registration not to sell this property for three years and for whom a certificate of conformity is issued by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization,
  • who employs at least 50 employees and for whom a certificate of conformity is issued by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services,
  • who invests at least 500.000 US Dollars or its equivalent in foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and makes commitment to hold the amount of deposits for three years at banks operating in Turkey and for whom a certificate of conformity is issued by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency,
  • who purchases public borrowing instruments at least 500.000 US Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and makes commitment to hold these instruments for three years and for whom certificate of conformity is issued by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance,
  • who purchases a real estate investment fund participation share or venture capital investment fund participation amount of at least 500.000 US Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and makes commitment to hold these participation shares for three-years and for whom a certificate of conformity is issued by the Capital Market Board,
  • who purchases the immovable property whose condominium or floor easement is established with the value of at least 250.000 US Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira paid in cash in advance of the sale of the contract held by the notary public and attaches annotation at land registration not to sell or transfer this property for three years.

In determining the monetary value of the above, the effective and/or cross exchange rates determined by Central Bank of Turkey will be taken into consideration. In addition, the transition between investment types is possible to complete the specified 3-year period.  As explained above, the spouse and children below 18 years old of the applicant who applied for Turkish citizenship by the way investment can acquire Turkish citizenship, too.

Citizenship Application Process and Required Documents

Citizenship application is made personally or with a special power of attorney to;

  • the Directorate General of Civil Registration and Citizenship Affairs,
  • Provincial Civil Registration and Citizenship Directorate or
  • the Republic of Turkey Embassy and Consulate General.

Preliminary Application

The preliminary application form is filled in by the foreigner who makes preliminary application and the documents required according to the application form specified therein are added to the form and the application is made to the designated authority. Based on the case, documents to be added to the preliminary application form are as follows;

  • Passport copy
  • Notarized copy of residence permit
  • Notarized copy of Turquoise card
  • Approved land registration of immovable property
  • Copy of the deposit document
  • A document indicating the purchase of securities from the bank or brokerage firm and the document to be obtained from the bank or the brokerage house showing that the pledge-warranty relation is established in the accounts to be opened in the name of the relevant administration
  • Letter of consent from notary (It specifies clear consent for depositing and depositing of securities and records in land registry records, registration of land registry records and registration between institutions)
  • Document including company information

Process After Preliminary Application

We can briefly summarize the process after the preliminary application to be conducted by the designated authority as follows;

  • The preliminary application form is checked, and any deficiencies are completed.
  • It is determined whether it meets the requirements stated in the secondary regulation.
  • The citizenship file consisting of following documents specified in the secondary regulation shall be drawn up:
  • Request form/petition
  • A passport or similar document showing the state of the person; if the person is stateless; a document of statelessness in case of availability
  • The certificate of marital status or the marriage certificate if married, the divorce certificate if divorced, spouse’s death certificate if the person is widow.
  • Birth certificate including personal identifying information or an identity register copy. If the person is married,  a copy of family register proving family ties of spouses and children or a similar document.
  • If the person has first or second-degree Turkish citizen relatives, identity register copy taken from the system by the designated authority of these persons.
  • If the person does not have date of birth, the document obtained from the competent authorities of his country for the completion of his date of birth. If it is not available, the signed declaration of acceptance of the transaction pursuant to the Law on the Civil Registration Services No. 5490.
  • A receipt showing that the service fee has been deposited in the pay-office of  Ministry of Treasury and Finance.  (The service fee was determined as TRY 15,00 for each person in 2018.)
  • After the required procedures are completed; the results of the acceptance or rejection of the application shall be communicated to the relevant persons by the provincial directorate or foreign representative offices.

Cancellation of Turkish Citizenship

Foreigners who are found to meet the conditions specified in the secondary regulation must continue to have these conditions for the period of three years. Monitoring and determination of this issue shall be carried out by the competent Ministry or the Authority.

If it is determined that the real estate is sold before three years, the deposit or the state debt instrument is not kept for three years, it is notified to the General Directorate of Civil Registration and Nationality by the competent Ministry or the Authority.

In the event of such notification by the relevant Ministry or the Authority, General Directorate of Civil Registration and Nationality shall revoke the relevant person’s Turkish nationality in accordance with the Law.

Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship with Real Estate Purchase

The most preferred and demanding way for the acquisition of Turkish Citizenship by means of investment is the acquisition of real estate. Therefore, we separately consider this topic in our guidance.

As we mentioned above, it is possible for foreign nationals to acquire Turkish citizenship in exceptional cases “who purchase the immovable property at least 250.000 US Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and attached annotation at land registration not to sell this property for three years and for whom a certificate of conformity is issued by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization,”.

On condition that compliance with the restrictions stated in Turkish regulations; foreign nationals can buy any immovable property such as offices, houses, lands. In this context, for to determine the amount of 250.000 USD of immovable property a valuation report is required that;

  • shows the market value and
  • prepared in accordance with the valuation standards by the valuation expert who is approved by the CMB and has a valid license.

The USD-denominated value of real estate in the valuation reports is calculated based on the Turkey Central Bank’s effective and / or cross exchange rates on the date of transaction.

In the formal deed to be issued, it should be noted that “the foreign natural person commits that he buys the real estate to acquire the Turkish Citizenship and not to sell the immovable for a period of 3 years within the scope of the secondary regulation.”

Besides, by adding the commitment that in the formal deed; an annotation is put onto the title deed as “within the scope of the Article 20 of the Secondary Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law, there is a commitment that it will not be sold within three years from the date of acquisition.” Upon completion of the transactions, the deed is handed to the related person.

In order to complete the transactions in the deed, following fees must be paid:

  • title deed fee
  • working capital fund fee
  • Directorate of Land Registry’s service fee

Finally, with the recent amendment in the legislation those who;

  • purchase the immovable property whose condominium or floor easement is established, with the value of at least 250.000 US Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira paid in cash in advance of the sale of the contract held by the notary public and
  • attach annotation at land registration not to sell or transfer this property for three years.

will be also able to acquire Turkish Citizenship through a real estate investment in Turkey.

Turkish Citizenship Questions and Answers

1. How many ways of obtaining Turkish Citizenship via exceptional procedures?

  • who make fixed capital investment at least 500.000 US Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and for whom certificate of conformity is issued by the Ministry of Industry and Technology,
  • who purchase the immovable property at least 250.000 US Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and attached annotation at land registration not to sell this property for three years and for whom a certificate of conformity is issued by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization,
  • who employ at least 50 employees and for whom a certificate of conformity is issued by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services,
  • who invest at least 500.000 US dollars or its equivalent in foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and make commitment to hold the amount of deposits for three years at banks operating in Turkey and for whom a certificate of conformity is issued by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency,
  • who purchase public borrowing instruments at least 500.000 US Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and make commitment to hold these instruments for three years and for whom certificate of conformity is issued by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance,
  • who purchase a real estate investment fund participation share or venture capital investment fund participation amount of at least 500.000 US Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and make commitment to hold these participation shares for three-years and for whom a certificate of conformity is issued by the Capital Market Board.

2. How does the Turkish citizenship with Turkish Property Investment application process work?

Foreigners can obtain Turkish citizenship by buying real estate whose total worth is more than 250,000 USD or equivalent.

  1. You must buy one or more real estate to achieve the 250,000 USD requirement.
  2. You can buy any kind of real estate (house, apartment, office, shop or land) in any province of Turkey.
  3. You must get an official appraisal for each property.
  4. Each of the property must be bought after September 19, 2018.
  5. You must sign a statement that you won’t sell the property for 3 years at the Title Deed Office.

3. Will my family get Turkish Citizenship?

Yes. You, your spouse (wife or husband) and dependents (your children under the age of 18, on the application date) can get Turkish citizenship. Turkish law does not recognize same-sex marriages, polygamy and other types of partnerships. So a spouse should be a person of opposite sex and the couple should be legally married. If a male applicant has multiple wives, only one of them is eligible for Turkish citizenship.

4. If the property I buy is not worth 250,000 USD, can I buy several properties to fulfill the 250,000 USD limit?

You can buy several properties which have a total value of minimum 250.000 USD.  The values declared at the sale at Title Deed Office and appraisal values should be consistent with that value.

5. How long does it take to become a Turkish citizen?

After the property is bought and the application is filed, it takes between 3 to 6 months to get the Turkish citizenship and Turkish passport. Turkish Government is doing its best to reduce time.

6. Can I buy a commercial property with rental income and get Turkish Citizenship with investment?

Yes, any property you buy is eligible for citizenship. You can rent the properties to someone else. The only restriction is you cannot sell for three years.

7. It looks like it is complicated to apply and get Turkish Citizenship. Can I get assistance for this process?

Akkas & Associates Law Firm offers full services until you get Turkish Passport. We work with real estate agents from all provinces of Turkey to find the best residential or commercial property as per request.

8. I do not have time to come to Turkey. How can I get Turkish Citizenship?

If you give us power of attorney, we can follow up with the complete process. (Buy the real estate for you, get the appraisal report, transfer the title to your name, give the statement at Title Deed Office, and file all documents for your application.)

9. How many people can apply for Turkish citizenship with one Title Deed?

Only one person can apply for Turkish citizenship, his/her spouse and dependents are also eligible with this application.

10. I bought property in Turkey previously. May I apply for citizenship now?

Title deed applications at Property Register Office after 20.09.2018 may obtain Turkish citizenship by a real estate investment of 250,000 USD. Before this date, the minimum value was 1,000,000 USD.

11. Which nationalities may apply for Turkish passport?

All foreigners who are allowed to buy property in Turkey by Turkish law, may apply for Turkish citizenship by investment.

12. Do I get a Residence Permit when I file the citizenship application?

Residence permit (no:6458/31-J) is granted to you, your spouse and your dependents.

13. Is it possible to have dual nationality in Turkey?

Yes, Turkey allows dual nationality, as long as your original country allows it. If you are a citizen of a country which does not allow dual citizenship, you need to forfeit your original citizenship. But if your original country allows dual citizenship, you can have dual citizenship.

14. Does the applicant need to reside in Turkey prior and during the application process? What’s the detailed requirements?

No, there is no need for the applicant to reside in Turkey, the applicant should give us power of attorney to follow up procedures and filing citizenship application. The PoA can also be given to purchase a property on behalf of the client.

15. What are the main investment options?

1) USD$ 250,000 in property

2) USD$500,000 in fixed bank deposit

3) USD$500,000 in fixed capital investment.

I would suggest options 1 and 2. We have filed several citizenship applications with property purchase and many for bank deposit. Bank deposit is easier to full fill, however not many people have 500,000 USD.

16. What’s the general time frame for the application?

For option 1, property purchase process takes some time, for option 2, depositing money and getting the approval takes about 1 week and we can file the residency application first. Whole process should take between 4-6 months.

17. Do you help clients to choose the corporate entity to investment for the capital investment option? Yes, we help clients to open bank accounts

If you choose the real estate option, it is better to travel to Turkey to view the property, but in theory do they need to be in Turkey for purchasing the property?

It is better them to be here to see the property, once they decided to buy, then can give us PoA to follow up property purchase and complete the whole procedure. So, they can come see the property and give us PoA and can go back to their country in a couple of days.

18. Do you have some contacts from the local real estate developers that you can introduce to us?

Yes, we have companies that work together.

19. As for the bank deposit option, which bank do you work with?

We have access to several banks, clients have some banks in their mind. There are government banks, private banks, interests vary. It is important to find banks with English speaking staff, we can help you. Banks will not request information regarding source of the funds from its clients.

20. Regarding to fees for citizenship application

Health insurance premiums: It varies and depends on the age, sex, weight, height etc. and around 500 TL, visa fee (460 TL), official appraisal fees for property purchase is around 1,500 TL, notary and translation fees around 1,500 TL,  fee for residency permit = 426.54 TL, document fee =  89. TL.

Reach us for Turkish Citizenship Law

Since its foundation in 1992, Legalixa Turkish Citizenship Law Firm has been the choice of numerous clients in Istanbul, Turkey. Thanks to its nationally recognized Turkish immigration law practice, our firm is now one of the leading immigration law firms in Istanbul, Turkey. You may reach our Turkish immigration lawyers for Turkish citizenship law by sending an email or through Contact page.