Turkish Citizenship by Investment – Immigration

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Foreign investors were allowed to acquire Turkish citizenship on an exceptional basis through Article 12 of Law No. 5901 on Turkish Citizenship. Through the Regulations on the Implementation of the Turkish Nationality Law, the details of the implementation have been regulated; the minimum amounts specified in Article 20 of the Regulation have been reduced by Decree of the President of the Republic No. 106 of 18.09.2018.

For example, to obtain citizenship by investing in real estate before the settlement, a real estate purchase of US$1,000,000 was required, whereas an investment of US$250,000 is considered sufficient with the settlement.

For foreigners who wish to acquire Turkish citizenship through investment, in general, conditions such as residency and intention to settle required to acquire Turkish citizenship are not considered.

The acquisition of Turkish citizenship by investment consists of the following three (3) steps:

1. Realization of the Investment

A foreigner who fulfills one of the following conditions in accordance with Article 20 of the Regulations on the Application of the Turkish Citizenship Law may acquire Turkish citizenship by decree of the President of the Republic in accordance with paragraph (b) of the first paragraph of article 12 of the law.

  1. Acquisition of citizenship by investment in fixed assets: Investors who make a fixed capital investment of at least USD 500,000,

  2. Acquisition of citizenship by investing in real estate: Investors who buy real estate for an amount of at least US$250,000 or enter into a promise of sale agreement by paying this amount in advance and note in the land records that it must not be sold during three years,

  3. Acquisition of citizenship by providing employment: Investors who create employment for at least 50 people,

  4. Acquisition of citizenship by opening an account in banks in Turkey: Investors who deposit at least USD 500,000 in banks operating in Turkey and undertake to keep them for three years,

  5. Acquisition of citizenship by investing in public debt instruments: Investors who buy government debt securities for an amount of at least US$500,000 and agree to hold them for three years,

  6. Acquisition of citizenship by investing in investment funds and venture capital: Investors who buy a share of real estate investment fund or a share of venture capital investment fund for an amount of at least 500,000 USD and undertake to hold it for three years can acquire Turkish citizenship .

Transition between investment types is possible in order to fulfill the minimum periods required for investment.

2. Obtaining Investment Eligibility

Once the investment has been made, it is necessary to certify by the Institution concerned whether the eligibility conditions for the investment have been met. The identification and compliance procedures are carried out by:

  1. The Ministry of Industry and Technology, for fixed capital investments,

  2. The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning, in cases where the purchase of real estate or the promise of promise of sale is made,

  3. The Department of Family, Labor and Social Services, in cases where the investment is made through employment,

  4. The Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, where the investment is made by keeping the bank deposit,

  5. The Ministry of Treasury and Finance, where investments are made through public debt instruments.

The relevant institution will verify compliance not only of the investment, but also of the investment process and application process documents. In detail, the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning will verify and determine the conformity of the procedure for the purchase of real estate and the payment of the cost of real estate while verifying the valuation report of the real estate. Procedural shortcomings in the procurement process may result in the inability to apply for citizenship.

3. Obtaining a residence permit

An investor who wishes to become a citizen on an exceptional basis must apply under the Aliens and International Protection Act 31/1-j and obtain a residence permit. Foreigners applying for a residence permit must ensure that their passports or documents in lieu of a passport are valid for a period of at least 60 days longer than the duration of the residence permit applied for.

4. Application for citizenship

After obtaining the certificate of conformity and completing the procedures for applying for a residence permit, the documents required for the application for citizenship are submitted to the competent institution. Applications in Istanbul and Ankara are submitted to special offices of the Migration Administration, in other provinces to the Provincial Directorate of Civil Status and Citizenship Affairs. In the absence of a situation likely to impede national security and public order, the file will be submitted to the President of the Republic for decision and signature. By decree of the President of the Republic, Turkish citizenship is approved.

The references

  • Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901

  • Regulations on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law

  • Law No. 6458 on Aliens and International Protection

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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