Turkish Citizenship by Investment


Introduction to the Turkish CBI Program

While there are several ways to apply for Turkish citizenship, the most convenient and in-demand way of applying is Citizenship by Investment (CBI).

On 04.06.2020, Turkey announced that since the beginning of the CIB program 9,011 people have obtained citizenship by investment up to date, making a total investment of 3,261,500,000 into Turkey. This increasing demand has made the Turkish CBI program one of the most popular in the world.

Citizenship by Investment program had been first implemented on 12.01.2017 with a minimum investment limit of 1,000,000 USD and 2,000,000 USD depending on the type of investment. On 19.09.2018, by the Presidential Order numbered 106, the minimum investment limit was brought down to 400,000 USD and 500,000 USD depending on the type of investment.


Privileges of a Turkish Passport

Turkish passport holders have visa exemption with 72* countries, and can enter another 37* countries by obtaining visas on the border and 10* more countries by obtaining online visas. Turkish citizens who hold “special passports” may enter 111* countries visa-free, including all Schengen-zone countries. These special passports are not diplomatic passports and are given to public sector employees, business people and lawyers. (*figures may change over time).


Requirements of the Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program

As per the 106th Presidential Order, foreign nationals who either

  1. Buy or pledge to buy real estate(s) worth at least 400,000 USD with a pledge not to sell it for 3 years
  2. Invest in a company for at least 500,000 USD
  3. Deposit at least 500,000 USD in a Turkish bank with a pledge not to withdraw it for 3 years
  4. Employ 50 people in Turkey
  5. Buy Turkish government bonds worth at least 500,000 USD with a pledge not to sell them for 3 years

may apply for Turkish Citizenship by Investment.


Other details of the Turkish CBI Program

Investors may apply together with their spouses and children under 18, provided that they duly submit attested documentation proving their family links.

When applying for citizenship, investors may keep their other citizenship(s) as Turkey allows dual and triple citizenship.

Investors are not required to speak Turkish or live in Turkey for CBI applications.

CBI applications take much shorter than the other ways of Turkish citizenship applications. Depending on the season, CBI applications usually take 2-3 months.


Some Common Mistakes Made While Applying for the Turkish CBI Program

When it comes to the option of 400,000 USD investment into real estate, it should be noted that not all real estates are eligible for citizenship application. Therefore investors who are considering this option are highly recommended to hire an immigration lawyer who is experienced with real estate purchases and citizenship applications.

Another commonly-made mistake is not duly attesting the required documents. This is often the result of not consulting with a lawyer when procuring the documents required for citizenship application. Making a mistake when procuring and/or attesting the documents might cost you several months of delay and even the rejection of your Turkish citizenship application.

Finally, a very risky mistake that is commonly made is not securing the payment method of the investment and proceeding with “handshake-based” deals. Not doing due diligence before investing often leads to a legal dispute that, more often than not, costs the investor huge losses. Therefore investors who are interested in the Turkish CBI program are highly recommended to obtain the services of an investment lawyer.

For other most common mistakes made when applying for Turkish citizenship by investment, please check this LINK.

For the most commonly asked questions on Citizenship by Investment please check this LINK.

Antalya Lawyer Baris Erkan Celebi and his Antalya Law Firm specialize in foreign investments and citizenship applications and provide a wide range of services that include doing the background checks on the property to make sure that the property is eligible for citizenship application and that there is no debt/mortgage/reservation on the property, drafting and reviewing any agreements signed between the investors and the seller/realtor,  securing the payment, securely registering the property on the investor’s name, registering a pledge not to sell the property for 3 years, applying for Turkish citizenship and finally obtaining Turkish passport.

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