Turkish Citizenship by Property Investment

Turkish Citizenship by Property Investment

Are you looking to expand your opportunities for global business and travel? It's time to consider securing Turkish citizenship by property investment. Last year, Turkey saw a significant drop in home sales to foreign buyers. Many attribute this to changes in citizenship regulations that went into effect in 2022. For potential property investors, this dip creates opportunity. With more properties to buy and less competition, buying property in Turkey is easier now than it has been in a decade.

Ready to learn how this process works and what the latest regulations are? Read on to learn everything you need to know about gaining Turkish citizenship by way of real estate investments.

The Benefits of Turkish Citizenship by Property Investment

Investors from around the globe are discovering a taste for the expat life in Turkey. There are a few ways to secure Turkish citizenship by investment, from depositing money in a Turkish bank account to creating jobs for the Turkish population. Let's take a look at why the property investment path is one of the best options. 

Most Affordable Passport Access

The citizenship by investment program is not limited to real estate investments. Alternatives include investing a minimum of $500,000 USD in:

  • Fixed capital
  • A Turkish bank
  • Government bonds
  • A real estate invesment fund
  • A venture capital investment fund

What makes investing in real estate different? This is important: the minimum investment amount drops to $400,000 USD if you purchase residential or commercial real estate in Turkey. You can also split this investment up over multiple units as long as they meet additional requirements, which we'll discuss below.

Photo: Mar Cerdeira (Unsplash)

More Business and Travel Opportunities

Turkey is a great place to live and work, and the nation's culture is one of the biggest attractions for investors. However, it's also important to point out that when you have a Turkish passport, you gain easier access to over 100 nations, 77 of which allow for visa-free travel. 

Most notably, your Turkish passport will make it much easier to get a B1/B2 United States visa that lasts for ten years with remote renewal options. You can also secure an E-2 visa to work and live in the US for up to two years with indefinite renewals available.

You can also profit from the 18 free economic zones across Turkey. Preferential tax policies and other advantages make these zones ideal places for any investor or entrepreneur. 

Potential for Investment Growth

Many people who secure Turkish citizenship by investing in property choose to rent out those properties. This is a great way to not only recuperate the cost of the investment but also earn a profit.

Both residential and commercial real estate have the potential to yield a profit. However, the success of commercial real estate tends fluctuate along with any economic changes or turmoil. 

On average, Turkish rental properties yield a return of 6.36%. Some areas, like Esenyurt in Istanbul or Mamak in Ankara, yield above-average returns. The more desirable the neighborhood and the higher the property value, the more your investment is likely to grow. 

An Overview of Turkish Citizenship by Property Investment

Here's where interested investors need to pay attention! From a distance, securing Turkish citizenship by property investment can seem confusing and overwhelming. We've broken down the most significant requirements for you here. 

How Much Do You Need to Invest?

As we mentioned earlier, you must invest a minimum of $400,000 USD in residential or commercial real estate in Turkey. Due to the current instability of the lira, Turkish real estate is typically discussed in terms of USD. You can split up this minimum across multiple properties. 

An important note: an individual property can only be used once to help an investor acquire citizenship. It will only contribute to your citizenship program requirements if no one has ever purchased it with the intention of becoming a citizen before. 

Who Can Gain Citizenship Through Your Investment?

A single real estate investment of $400,000 USD or more can benefit several of your family members. Members who will also qualify for citizenship thanks to your investment include:

  • Your spouse
  • Your children under the age of 18

These members will need to apply for citizenship, but you won't need to make additional investments on their behalf.

Your parents and adult children (18 or older) may obtain a residence permit. This will open the door to filing for permanent residency, which is a more complicated process than securing citizenship by investment. 

Bosphorus Coast, Istanbul. Photo: Hulki Okan Tabak (Unsplash)

When Can You Resell the Property?

As part of the program, you must hold on to your investment property for a minimum of three years. During this time, you may use the property full-time, part-time, or as a rental unit. 

There are two things to keep in mind if and when you resell the property:

  1. You can't sell the property back to the person you purchased it from
  2. The property can't be purchased to fulfill someone else's citizenship by investment requirements

Otherwise, you are free to do what you want with the property once it's yours.

What Are the Requirements of Using the Citizenship by Investment Program?

To become a Turkish citizen by way of investment, you do not have to commit to living in Turkey for any specific period of time. You also don't need to pass the country's language or history exams.

You do have to be 18 or older and have:

  • A source of legal income
  • No criminal record
  • No Turkey visa regime violations
  • No severe illnesses (e.g., tuberculosis or HIV)

Your dependents don't need to meet the first two standards to get citizenship but they do need to meet the last three.

Additional Program Costs

To complete the program, you will also need to pay:

  • Notary fees (estimated $1,071)
  • Transaction fees (estimated $8,329 for new construction and $16,329 for existing properties)
  • Professional fees (estimated $9,071)
  • Property tax of 0.1-0.6%
  • Luxury tax of 0.3-1%

For each additional family member that applies for citizenship, there will be a $574 fee. 

Büyükada, Adalar. Photo: Hulki Okan Tabak (Unsplash)

How to Buy a House in Turkey and Secure Citizenship

You know that you can meet all requirements for securing citizenship in Turkey by buying property. The actual process from start to finish can take as little as five months as long as you know what you're doing and work with the right experts. Here are the most important steps to follow. 

Prepare Your Documents

First, you'll need to provide a copy of your passport to the Immigrant Invest Anti Money Laundering Officers. They will then assess international databases to rule out any possibility that your investment could be a risk.

Next, you will need to get a tax registration number to open a Turkish bank account. You will need to get the following documents translated, notarized, and apostilled:

  • Passport
  • Health certificate
  • Birth certificate (for you and qualifying family members)
  • Marriage certificate (if relevant)
  • Certificate of family composition
  • Certificate of no criminal record (for you and qualifying family members)
  • Proof of income

This stage of the process can take between two and four weeks to complete.

Ölüdeniz, Fethiye. Photo: Artem Bryzgalov (Unsplash)

Purchase Your Property

The next step is to find a Turkish property, purchase it, and register your purchase. You can begin your search for the ideal propertyusing a trustworthy database of all the best and latest listings. 

Once you're ready to make an offer, we recommend seeking legal assistance from a lawyer experienced in Turkish real estate deals. That way, you ensure that the property is eligible for the citizenship by investment program before purchasing it. They can also handle all paperwork to finalize the deal and register the purchase so you can proceed to the next step.

From making an offer to registering your purchase, this stage of the process can take up to six weeks. A listing database like Housearch can make it quick and easy to find the right property, saving you weeks of property hunting.

Pass Official Due Diligence

It's important to note that buying property in Turkey does not guarantee citizenship. Once you've made your purchase, the Turkish Ministry of Interior will do a more thorough background check of both you and your family.

This process is called official due diligence. The purpose is to ensure that no one who receives Turkish citizenship by investment is likely to put the nation or current citizens at risk.

It's very important to note that this can take up to three months. Plan your business ventures and travels accordingly.

Receive Your Passport

Within two days of passing official due diligence, you may acquire your Turkish passport. This grants you citizenship and access to all of the benefits we listed above.

It is important to note that you do not have to renounce your existing citizenship once this occurs. Turkey recognizes dual citizenship.

To acquire your passport, you will either need to go to the Turkish embassy in your country or travel to Turkey. 

Before you go...
Claim your free consultation and a list of properties tailored for you

Housearch Can Help You Navigate Turkey's Real Estate Market

Securing Turkish citizenship by property investment is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to get a Turkish passport. Housearch is here to help you buy a house in Turkey that checks all of your boxes, from amenities to location to budget.

Housearch is one of the first listing sites to make it easy to find properties abroad. We compile only the most desirable listings for our clients to make the search simple and streamlined. Start looking at Turkish properties for sale today.

Cover photo: engin akyurt (Unsplash)

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