In 2016, the Turkish Citizenship by Investment Scheme was born. The aim was to bring foreign currency into the country through business and real estate transactions, in return for the rights to live and work as a citizen of Turkey would do. It was not a recent concept because many countries offer the same for investors contributing to their economy. However, the Turkish government had set their sights too high.
The minimum entry-level made it one of the world’s most expensive Golden Visa schemes. Fast forward two years, and after much lobbying by business professionals and real estate agents, the entry-level dropped. Suddenly, Turkey’s golden visa scheme became one of the best and cheapest in the world.
Turkish Citizenship by Investment
Turkey has set its minimum entry-level in USD, to avoid any volatile risk of currency exchanges, because many investments require a fix holding period of three years. There are two choices. The first is to deposit $500,000 into a bank or investment program, like company shares or government-issued bonds. The second, which at present is the most popular is to buy a property worth $400,000. To understand the program’s success, in the first 24 months, 10,000 applicants have been approved and received citizenship rights.
Citizenship in Turkey Versus Spain and Portugal
It is easy to understand the success when you compare Turkey’s scheme, side by side with other countries like Spain and Portugal. Whereas in Turkey, the successful applicant gets residency straight away, successful applicants of both other countries, get temporary residence for one year, then a two-year extension twice.
In Spain, it is only after these five years; the applicant can gain permanent residence. Even then, they must live in Spain for 183 days out of every year. After they have done this for ten years, they will then get permanent Citizenship. In Portugal, they only grant Citizenship after six years. Many people argue that Turkey is not part of the EU, but it is still proceeding with its own EU application.
Process for Applying to Turkey
- Applicant decides on the property that they will purchase, which must be $400,000 in value.
- An organisation from the Capital Markets Board prepares a real estate valuation report.
- Apply to the land registry along with necessary documents
- Upon approval and payment of fees, the contract stating it will not be sold for three years is drawn up and notarised.
- Land registry sends a document to the general directorate to check for eligibility and criminal records. This is then sent to the Provincial Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship Affairs and General Directorate Management.
- Apply for residency before applying for Citizenship.
Please note: Many applicants hire a lawyer or a professional consultancy firm to carry out the application procedures for them.
Places for Investment
Istanbul: As Turkey’s leading city for business, education, economy, and tourism, Istanbul also leads the way for foreign real estate sales, and the Turkish Citizenship by Investment Scheme. Many real estate investors and those looking to gain citizenship buy in the outskirts of the European side, where new developments with long term payment plans and 0% interest are leading the real estate market. See properties for sale in Istanbul.
Antalya: Sitting over on the Mediterranean coast, the Antalya region is Turkey’s second most popular destination for tourism and real estate. However, mass investment into its infrastructure and tourism industry lead many to say, it can overtake Istanbul as Turkey’s leading destination. Part of Antalya’s success is that it is the country’s top destination for beach holiday packages. See properties for sale in Antalya.
Guide to Real Estate in Turkey: Affordable prices and an abundance of properties on the market make Turkey, the ideal country for mid to long-term real estate investment. In this article, we look at what you need to know, and market trends so you can cash in on the long-term capital appreciation.