Turkey

Citizenship-by-Investment

Welcome To Turkish Citizenship By Investment

The Turkish Citizenship by Investment program (CBI) was launched in 2016 and is one of the more recent programs to roll out world wide. 

Surrounded by the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Aegean Sea, Turkey has a favorable coastal climate, with dry, hot summers and mildly cool winters.

Ankara is the capital city of Turkey, but its largest city, Istanbul, is more popular due to its pivotal role as a major business, finance, and tourist hub.

A map detailing where Turkey sits amongst citizenship by investment programs.

About Turkey

Turkey, officially known as the Republic of Turkey, is a vibrant country brimming with diverse culture. Its unique location lies at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, making it a key player in geostrategic affairs.

With an estimated population of 86 million people, Turkey boasts a thriving economy that focuses on agriculture, industry, and trade. Bound by the Mediterranean Sea in the south and the Black Sea in the north, Turkey offers not only enviable weather conditions but also breathtaking natural beauty.

View over castle hill of Alanya, Turkey, and Mediterranean sea
Artboard 1

CAPITAL

Ankara

population

POPULATION

86,000,000

Total area

TOTAL AREA

783,562 km2

Currency

CURRENCY

Turkish lira

Geographical Location and Climate

Occupying both European and Asian territories, Turkey holds a truly transcontinental identity. Its strategic position allows Turkey to serve as a vital bridge between the East and West. The climate varies significantly across different regions within the country. Along the southern Mediterranean coastline, visitors experience warm and sunny weather, while central Turkey consists of more temperate continental conditions. The northern region, adjacent to the Black Sea, experiences a moderate climate with increased rainfall.

Language and Culture

One of the most significant aspects of Turkey’s allure is its rich cultural heritage. Turkey is renowned for its ethnic history and beautiful harmony of Eastern and Western cultures. As the heart of several ancient empires – such as the Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans – Turkey is home to numerous historical landmarks and architectural marvels. The official language spoken throughout the country is Turkish; however, various minority languages are also present due to the nation’s cultural diversity. Daily life in Turkey is greatly influenced by traditional customs and practices, providing a fascinating mix of time-honored traditions and modern urban living. Religion plays an essential role in the lives of Turkish people. Turks are predominantly Islamic, which shapes their social norms and communal gatherings.

Economic Overview

Turkey’s robust and diverse economy encompasses agricultural production, industrial manufacturing, and international trade. Some of the leading industries include textiles, food processing, and electronics, which contribute to this nation’s strong global export ties. In agriculture, Turkey is renowned for its production of hazelnuts, figs, and apricots. With a steadily growing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and increasing Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), Turkey continues to develop economically and maintain its significant global position. Its well-established transportation system – including highways, railways, and airports – bolsters both domestic and international trade, further demonstrating Turkey’s economic prowess.

Why Choose The Turkish Citizenship By Investment Program

FAMILY SAFETY AND FUTURE SECURITY

Turkey provides a safe and secure urban environment with modern infrastructure and facilities. The country offers excellent educational opportunities, world-class healthcare, and a high standard of living for applicants and their families.

VISA-FREE TRAVEL

Holding a Turkish passport grants visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 110 countries, including destinations such as Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Russia, and Singapore. This benefit allows for ease of travel and broadens the scope of business and leisure opportunities for investors and their families.

EASY ACCESS TO THE USA E-2 TREATY VISA

The Turkey CBI Program is among the few that enables investors to apply for a USA E-2 Investor Visa. Successful applicants can relocate with their families and establish a business in the United States. This advantage creates new opportunities for growth and expands your global reach to attract more foreign capital and further attract foreign direct investment.

ATTRACTIVE TAX REGIME

Turkey has implemented various incentives and tax reliefs aimed at reducing the financial burden on investors while maximizing returns on investment. Investors can benefit from incentives designed for manufacturing, research and development, innovation, and export activities. This favorable tax regime makes it an appealing destination and option for potential investors seeking to enhance their financial portfolio and grow their wealth.

How to Qualify for the Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program

The flag of Turkey flapping in the wind over the ocean.

Eligibility Criteria For Turkish Citizenship By Investment

The Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program allows foreign nationals to secure Turkish citizenship via a designated investment route. However, the below criteria must be met by the main applicant:

  1. Must be at least 18 years old.
  2. Must not have a criminal record. 
  3. Must be in good health and not suffer from a serious illness.
  4. Must provide proof of health insurance coverage valid in Turkey.
  5. Must not have ever resided unlawfully in Turkey.
  6. Must be able to prove the legality of their income. 
  7. Must not be from a black-listed country.
  8. Must have a Turkish Tax ID number.
  9. Must provide birth certificates, passports, and biometric-colored passport photos for all applicants.
  10. Must provide recent proof of residence, such as utility statements. 

The main applicant can include their spouse, dependent family members and children (below the age of 18), and disabled family members in their application.

Mandatory Documentation

Every applicant needs to provide the following documents for their application:

– Birth certificates for all applicants

– Valid passports for each individual applying

– Recent proof of residence, such as utility statements 

– Biometric colored passport photos of each individual applicant

– A Turkish Tax ID number

– Documents proving a clean criminal record 

– Proof of health insurance coverage valid in Turkey 

Additionally, optional documents such as marriage or divorce certificates can also affect your application process.

Turkey Citizenship By Investment Options

The Turkish Citizenship By Investment Program is a great option for expats looking for a second citizenship. To become eligible for the Turkish CBI Program, the main applicant must complete one or more of the following minimum investment requirements:

1. Real Estate Investment 

Purchase of real estate, land, or commercial facilities worth at least USD 400,000. Applicants can buy several properties that accumulate to USD 400,000 as long as the purchases are all made within 2 months of each other. The purchase/s must be held for 3 years before resale is allowable.

Additional Fees (Real Estate Option)

Main Applicant Spouse Children under 16 years of age Children over 16 years of age
Passport Fee USD 500 USD 500 USD 500 USD 500
Application Processing Fee USD 400 USD 400 USD 400 USD 400
Notary and Translation Fee USD 1000 USD 250 USD 250 USD 250
Land Registry Fee and Stamp Duty 4-6% Nil Nil Nil
Legal Fees 1% of property purchase price + 18% VAT Nil Nil Nil
Title Deed Transfer 2% of the purchase price Nil Nil Nil

2. Fixed Capital Contribution Investment

Invest a minimum of USD 500,000 (or equivalent foreign currency) as a fixed capital contribution, as attested by the Ministry of Industry and Technology.

Additional Fees (Capital Contribution Option)

Main Applicant Spouse Children under 16 years of age Children over 16 years of age
Passport Fee USD 500 USD 500 USD 500 USD 500
Application Processing Fee USD 400 USD 400 USD 400 USD 400
Notary and Translation Fee USD 1000 USD 250 USD 250 USD 250

3. Bank Deposit

Deposit at least USD 500,000 (or equivalent in foreign currency or Turkish lira) into a Turkish bank account. The investor can withdraw the funds after 3 years.

Additional Fees (Bank Deposit Option)

Main Applicant Spouse Children under 16 years of age Children over 16 years of age
Passport Fee USD 500 USD 500 USD 500 USD 500
Application Processing Fee USD 400 USD 400 USD 400 USD 400
Notary and Translation Fee USD 1000 USD 250 USD 250 USD 250

4. Government Bond Investment 

Commit to a minimum investment of USD 500,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency or Turkish lira into government bonds. The investor can withdraw the funds after 3 years.

Additional Fees (Government Bond Option)

Main Applicant Spouse Children under 16 years of age Children over 16 years of age
Passport Fee USD 500 USD 500 USD 500 USD 500
Application Processing Fee USD 400 USD 400 USD 400 USD 400
Notary and Translation Fee USD 1000 USD 250 USD 250 USD 250

5. Invest in a Real Estate Investment Fund or Venture Capital Investment Fund

Invest at least USD 500,000 (or equivalent in foreign currency or Turkish lira) into a real estate investment fund or venture capital investment fund, as attested by the Capital Markets Board of Turkey. The investor can receive passive income during ownership. The investment must be held for 3 years.

Additional Fees (Real Estate Fund/Venture Capital Option)

Main Applicant Spouse Children under 16 years of age Children over 16 years of age
Passport Fee USD 500 USD 500 USD 500 USD 500
Application Processing Fee USD 400 USD 400 USD 400 USD 400
Notary and Translation Fee USD 1000 USD 250 USD 250 USD 250

6. Create Employment Opportunities

Create employment opportunities for at least 50 people by investing in the capital stock of a Turkish company, as certified by the Ministry of Family, Labour, and Social Services. Shares must be held for at least 3 years before they can be sold.

Additional Fees (Employment Opportunities Option)

Main Applicant Spouse Children under 16 years of age Children over 16 years of age
Passport Fee USD 500 USD 500 USD 500 USD 500
Application Processing Fee USD 400 USD 400 USD 400 USD 400
Notary and Translation Fee USD 1000 USD 250 USD 250 USD 250

7. Private Pension System Investment

Invest at least USD 500,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency or Turkish lira into a private pension system with a minimum holding period of 3 years.

Additional Fees (Private Pension Option)

Main Applicant Spouse Children under 16 years of age Children over 16 years of age
Passport Fee USD 500 USD 500 USD 500 USD 500
Application Processing Fee USD 400 USD 400 USD 400 USD 400
Notary and Translation Fee USD 1000 USD 250 USD 250 USD 250

Procedures And Time Frame For The Turkish Citizenship By Investment Program

Applying for the Turkish CBI Program involves several steps. The entire process typically takes around 120 days from the submission of the application to obtaining approval.

Register with NGE

Sign a retainer agreement with Next Generation Equity so we can help with your application process. We are a trusted, government-approved facilitator of Citizenship by Investment programs.

Apply for a Residency Permit and Turkish Tax ID

You must apply for a residency permit on behalf of your family. You will also need to obtain a Turkish Tax ID. 

Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility

You must apply to the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadaster of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization for a certificate of eligibility to invest in real estate.

Open a Bank Account

You must open a Turkish bank account to facilitate the investment.

Make the Investment

Invest in your chosen method of Citizenship by Investment option. You must provide proof of investment.

Gather Documents

Work with Next Generation Equity to gather all essential documents. We will ensure that everything is properly arranged.

Submission

Once your documents are ready, we will forward your application to the Provincial Directorate of Census and Citizenship. We will manage all further communications regarding your application. An interview may be requested. 

Review

The Provincial Directorate of Census and Citizenship will review your application and perform due diligence checks on all applicants. If deemed acceptable, they will send a letter of approval within 120 days of receiving the application with the status ‘approval in principle’. 

Receive your Passport

You should receive your passport/s in the mail.

It’s important to note that Turkish gift and inheritance taxes apply to worldwide assets held by Turkish citizens. Seeking professional advice on investment options in this matter is highly recommended. With proper guidance and by meeting the eligibility criteria, investors can successfully navigate the Turkish CBI Program and enjoy the numerous benefits it offers.

Benefits Of Turkish Citizenship By Investment Program

Turkey Allows Dual Citizenship

Turkey allows dual nationality which offers a significant advantage for international investors. As an investor who has acquired Turkish citizenship through the investment route, you are not required to give up your original nationality.

This is particularly beneficial to individuals who have significant business or personal obligations in their native nation.

However, it is important to check the laws in your own country; even though Turkish law doesn’t restrict individuals from holding other nationalities along with Turkish citizenship, there may be limitations placed by the applicant’s home country. 

An important note on this arrangement is that foreign citizens will be excused from the mandatory military service in Turkey, whilst still enjoying all the benefits of being a full-fledged local citizen.

Robust Economy

Turkey has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with the GDP increasing by 5.4% between 2003 and 2022. It has shown particular signs of growth in sectors such as automotive, textiles, agricultural products, consumer electronics, and home appliances.

Visa-Free Travel

A Turkish passport grants you visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 110 countries including Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Russia, and Singapore. There is also the potential for visa-free travel to the EU in the coming months. 

Duty-Free Agreement with the EU

The VAT on purchases outside of Turkey can be up to 20%, however, Turkish citizens are not required to pay any VAT on purchases from the EU except for certain products. An Admission Temporaire Roulette (ATR) Movement certificate is required to prove exemption from the customs duty. 

18 Free Zones

Manufacturing companies and certain export-oriented logistics services operating within Free Zones benefit from comprehensive tax relief, including 100% exemptions on corporate, income, VAT, customs duties, real estate taxes, and more. 

Easy to Move to the UK

As a citizen of Turkey, you can enjoy a relatively straightforward path to residing and seeking employment in the UK. Your first step would be to secure a business person visa. Once this is in place, you can proceed with your relocation, and should you wish, you can later pursue British citizenship.

Lifelong Citizenship: 

The citizenship obtained via the investment scheme is lifelong and also inheritable, offering enduring stability and affluence for your descendants. This creates a foundation of benefits for your family’s future.

Taxes in Turkey

It is important to understand the tax system in Turkey. Being aware of your tax obligations will help you stay compliant with the local laws and avoid unexpected liabilities. This section will provide you with an overview of the taxes applicable to succesful CBI applicants, as well as some tips on how to navigate the Turkish taxation system.

Individual Taxation

Income tax in Turkey can come from various sources, including employment income, rental income, and dividends. Your tax liability will depend on your status as a tax resident or non-resident. Tax residents are individuals who reside in Turkey for more than 6 months in a calendar year, while non-residents are those who spend less than 6 months in Turkey per calendar year. Turkey uses a progressive income tax system, with rates ranging from 15% to 40%. 

If you are a tax resident, you will be taxed on your worldwide income, whereas non-residents will only be taxed on Turkish-sourced income. It is essential to declare your income correctly and file an annual tax return, usually due by the end of March of the following year. Ensure that you keep accurate records of your rental income and the necessary expenses to claim deductions when calculating your taxable income.

The tax brackets are as follows:

Up to TRY 32,000 (USD 1126)= 15%

TRY 32,000 to TRY 70,000 (USD 1126 to USD 2465)= 20%

TRY 70,000 to TRY 250,000 (USD 2465 to USD 8800)=27%

TRY 250,000 to TRY 880,000 (USD 8800 to USD 30990)=35%

Over TRY 880,000 (USD 30990)= 40%

Corporate Taxation

The corporate income tax rate in Turkey is 25%. However, for financial sector companies such as banks, companies specializing in financial leasing, asset management firms, and corporations providing insurance services, the corporate tax rate is 30%. Exporters benefit from a 5% reduction in corporate tax on their export income.

Property Taxes 

Owning property in Turkey could lead to different tax implications. Tax rates for residential properties stand at 0.1% of their assessed value, which increases to 0.2% for residences situated within large urban areas. Commercial properties are subject to 0.2% tax, escalating to 0.4% if they are located in major cities. 

Agricultural land is taxed at a rate of 0.2%, with the rate doubling in larger metropolitan regions. Meanwhile, undeveloped land incurs a tax of 0.3%, which rises to 0.6% in big cities. This tax should be paid in two installments, one in May and the other in November. 

Capital Gains Tax

Capital gains arising from the sale of assets – such as property, real estate, or shares – are subject to taxation in Turkey. For Turkish citizens, including those who have acquired CBI, the capital gains tax rates range between 15% and 40%. The amount of the capital gains tax payable from the sale of property is reduced by indexing the capital gain, referencing the Local Producer Price Index (rate of inflation). In 2023, the first TRY 55,000 of capital gains from the sale of most assets is exempt from taxation.

Additionally, many assets that are held for more than five years before being resold can be exempt from paying any capital gains tax on the profit.

Inheritance Taxes

Inheritance tax might apply if you inherit assets as a Turkish citizen. This tax is levied on both domestic and worldwide assets. The inheritance tax rate in Turkey ranges between 1% and 30%, depending on the relationship between the deceased and the heir and the value of the inheritance. It is essential to seek professional advice to understand your inheritance tax liabilities better and plan accordingly.

Free Zone Tax Law

18 active economic Free Zones in Turkey provide residents with an array of tax benefits. 

These include 100% exemption from customs duties, corporate income tax for manufacturing companies, value-added tax (VAT), stamp duty on applicable documents, and real estate tax. 

There is also a 100% exemption from income and corporate taxes granted for designated logistics services provided within the Free Zones, on the condition that these services are intended for export purchases. 

There is a complete waiver of the income tax on the salaries of employees for companies that export goods produced in the Free Zones, amounting to at least 85% of the Free On Board (FOB) value of the goods. Moreover, these companies enjoy unrestricted storage of goods within Free Zones, freedom to transfer points, and tax exemptions on infrastructure, property transactions, and the import of used machinery. 

Complying with Turkey’s Tax Laws

To ensure that you remain compliant with Turkish tax laws, it is highly recommended that you consult with a local tax expert. They will be able to guide you through the complexities of the Turkish tax system, help you avoid potential pitfalls, and capitalize on any available exemptions or benefits. 

So, as an expat with Turkish or dual citizenship, understanding your tax obligations in your new country is crucial. Familiarize yourself with the various taxes applicable to you, plan your finances accordingly, and consult qualified professionals to help you navigate the Turkish tax system.

Alternative Paths to Turkish Citizenship

Notably, achieving Turkish citizenship isn’t limited purely to the investment route. Several other approaches can lead to the same outcome.

Marriage

If you’re wedded to a Turkish citizen, this gives you a viable path to obtaining citizenship. After 3 years of marriage, you become eligible for the process.

Birthright

Being a child of at least one Turkish parent also qualifies you for gaining Turkish nationality.

Employment Opportunities

In case you’ve established employment in Turkey and have worked under contract continuously for 5 years or more, your eligibility toward acquiring residency is secured.

Naturalization Pathway

Living in Turkey with legal status for 5 consecutive years may qualify an individual for naturalization – another legitimate gateway to achieving citizenship.

Special Merit Rewards

People who make outstanding contributions in fields such as science, sports, or culture within or outside Turkey are potential candidates who might be honored by the granting of Turkey’s nationality.

Turkish Citizenship By Investment FAQs

What is the quickest way to get Turkish Citizenship?

The quickest way to obtain Turkish Citizenship is via the Citizenship by Investment Program. This requires a minimum investment of USD 400,000 and in most cases will reward you with a Turkish passport within 120 days.

Can I get Turkish citizenship after 5 years?

While the Turkey CBI program allows you to obtain Turkish citizenship within approximately 120 days of submitting your application, you can also apply for Turkish CBI through naturalization. If you have legally and continuously resided in Turkey for at least 6 months each year for 5 years, you may be eligible to apply for Turkish citizenship through the naturalization process.

Can foreigners get citizenship in Turkey?

Yes, foreign citizens can become Turkish citizens. Turkey offers a CBI Program that allows foreign investors to obtain Turkish citizenship by making a qualifying investment, such as purchasing real estate worth at least USD$400,000 or investing USD$500,000 in fixed capital contributions. Please note that dual citizenship is allowed in Turkey, but you should check with your home country to see if it also permits dual Turkish CBI.

What is the cheapest way to gain Citizenship by Investment in Turkey? 

The cheapest way to gain citizenship by Investment is to invest a minimum of USD 400,000 into purchasing property or land in Turkey. Land registry fees, stamp duty, legal fees, and title deed transfer costs will be additional costs.

Do I have to invest in real estate to gain Citizenship by Investment?

No, there are 6 other ways that you can invest in Turkey to achieve citizenship. The options include investing a minimum of USD 500,000 into capital investment, government bonds, venture capital investment funds, private pension system, or creating at least 50 jobs for Turkish citizens.

What are the required documents for Turkish Citizenship By Investment?

The required documents for Turkish citizenship by the capital investment include the following:

  1. Birth certificates of all applicants.
  2. Passports of each applicant.
  3. Proof of residence (recent utility statement).
  4. Biometric, colored passport photos of each applicant.
  5. Marriage certificate (if applicable).
  6. Death or divorce certificate of spouse (if applicable).
  7. Proof that all applicants have a clean criminal record.
  8. Proof of Health Insurance (valid in Turkey).
  9. Proof of investment of at least USD 400,000 into a Turkish bank account, real estate investment office, or lawyer’s client account (depending on the chosen investment option).
  10. Turkish Tax ID Number.

Please note that some documents may require official translations and certifications.

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