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Eligibility Criteria for a Turkey Citizenship by Investment Visa

Turkey is a fantastic place to live long-term or enjoy quality time with your loved ones during holidays and short breaks. It offers affordable living costs, stunning beaches and landscapes, a warm, pleasant climate, and vibrant contemporary cities rich with culture and history.

For many foreign nationals, the difficulty may be that buying a second home or applying for residency in another country seems complex – and they may not meet the requirements of many visa categories, which primarily appeal to professionals or those meeting skills shortages.

The Turkish Citizenship by Investment Visa is a solution. Property Turkey, the Turkish real estate specialist, clarifies how the investment visa works, the conditions and requirements, and the types of property purchases that may be eligible for residency followed by full second citizenship.

What Is a Turkish Citizenship by Investment Visa?

The visa, officially called the Citizenship by Investment Program, is designed to attract foreign investment into the Turkish economy in return for citizenship. While the visa programme is one of very few similar schemes, it also offers significantly lower barriers to entry than those limited comparable initiatives.

Launched in 2017, the scheme permits applicants to choose their preferred investment route, whether buying a home, making an economic contribution or investing in government bonds.

Turkey’s location and access to Asian and European markets make it highly attractive for business owners, investors, and families looking to relocate. The Turkish passport provides visa-free travel to many key locations, including Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong.

Investors must comply with varied conditions, but the basic details are that:

  • You must make a minimum contribution of $400,000 (£313,000).
  • Applications take three to five months to approve from the date of submission.
  • Initially, applicants are granted a residence permit, including all dependents and relatives on the original application.
  • From there, you must open a Turkish bank account, complete the investment in Turkish lira or US Dollars, and travel to Turkey to submit biometric data for your residence permit.
  • Once the investment is complete, you can proceed with a citizenship application to receive your second passport.

Buying a property is by far the most popular option. Investors can own a luxury coastal villa, a private family home, or a contemporary apartment in Antalya, Bodrum, Istanbul, or Bursa, for example, and simultaneously gain dual citizenship.

How to Qualify for the Turkish Citizenship by Investment Scheme

There are several ways to qualify for citizenship, and the right options may depend on your objectives and aspirations. Eligible investments and contributions include:

  • Buying a property worth $400,000 (£313,000) or more.
  • Investing at least $500,000 (£391,000) into fixed capital contributions or government bonds.
  • Transferring at least $500,000 into a bank account located in Turkey or depositing the same value into a private pension fund for at least three years.
  • Investing $500,000 or above into a venture capital fund share or real estate investment fund.
  • Creating employment for 50 or more individuals, with those roles verified by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services.

These investment values cover the residency eligibility and onward citizenship of the primary applicant alongside a spouse, children below 18, dependent parents, and dependent children up to 21. Although you must travel to Turkey to provide your biometric details, no other residency requirements exist.

In short, that means that, however you choose to invest, you can apply for Turkish citizenship within as little as six months of the date of your investment without ever needing to live in the country or meet any minimum stay requirement.

Alongside the investment, the Turkish immigration authorities will need verification that you are over 18, have no criminal record, have never stayed in Turkey past your visa or permit validity, can prove that your funds come from a legitimate source, and have conducted due diligence if you are applying through an investment route.

Relocating to Turkey as an Investment Visa Holder

If you’re keen to proceed with an investment visa application, the big decision is usually whether to purchase a property or make another qualifying investment – none of the eligible options has a preference, so it is entirely your choice. Should you, like most investors, decide to buy a property in Turkey, we’d always recommend speaking to a real estate team familiar with the investment visa scheme.

There aren’t any specific restrictions, so you are free to buy any property that fits your needs, whether a permanent home, a holiday residence, a second home to live in for part of the year, or a rental investment property.

However, you’ll then need to apply for a certificate that confirms your real estate acquisition is eligible – this is issued by the Turkish General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation.

Deciding on a Property Investment Purchase to Secure Turkish Citizenship

Choosing a property may be straightforward if you’ve already spent time in Turkey and know precisely where you’d like to live and the type of home you wish to purchase. Given the breadth of resorts, tranquil coastal villages, modern hotels and apartment buildings, and period architecture homes, it may also be complex.

Some of the most high-demand locations, and cities such as Ankara and Istanbul remain a draw for investors and those looking for properties close to international schools, entertainment, and amenities.

Other buyers look for homes, apartments and villas in Izmir, on the Aegean Coast, Fethiye located on the southerly Turquoise Coast, and Alanya, close to the famous ancient fortress, Cleopatra Beach and part of the idyllic Turkish Riviera.

Once you have completed your search and settled into your dream residence, you can relax in the warmth of the Mediterranean climate, relocate your family members, and potentially apply for onward migration routes. The US E-2 Investor Visa is open to Turkish citizens after three years of residency.

To learn more about the Turkish citizenship by investment scheme or to browse some of the beautiful properties, investment homes and villas currently open to offers and within a qualifying price bracket, please get in touch with the Property Turkey team or review our listings and property particulars online.

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