Benefits of travelling on a Turkish passport
Enter Turkey anytime. One of the greatest benefits of Turkish citizenship is that Turkish passport holders can enter the country under any circumstances, even if the borders are closed.
A second passport also gives an opportunity to leave the country of first citizenship if its borders are closed for any reason.
Travel to 111 countries visa-free. Turkey has a visa-free regime with 111 countries. Its citizens can freely enter countries like Singapore, South Korea and many others.
Due to the global pandemic, Australia closed its borders in March 2020. Because of it, I couldn’t leave the country for almost a year even though I had a business in Europe. This was when I decided to obtain a second citizenship.
Now, as a dual citizen of Australia and Turkey, I can leave the country anytime.
A long-term US tourist visa. Turkish passport holders can obtain a B-1/B-2 combined visa for tourist and business purposes for 10 years. To do so, they need to gather all required documents, fill in an application form, pay a fee and schedule an appointment at the Embassy or Consulate of the USA in Turkey. After the visa expires, it can be extended remotely.
A 5-year Schengen visa. Turkish citizens can obtain a C-2 Schengen visa for 5 years. It allows you to stay in the Schengen Area for 90 days out of a 180-day period.
Business: how entrepreneurs can benefit from Turkey citizenship
Turkey citizenship offers many benefits for entrepreneurs.
Business immigration to the USA. An investor with a Turkish passport can obtain an E‑2 visa to run a business and live in the USA. The company can be either bought or established by the investor.
The visa is granted for 2 years. It is not considered an immigrant visa, though the investor can extend it unlimited times. The visa is also given to the investor’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old.
Free zones. Running a business in Turkey can also be beneficial. There are 18 free zones in Turkey aimed to increase and promote export-oriented investment and production. If an investor opens a company in the free zone, they can benefit from tax exemption and other facilitations. For example, no property tax is paid for buildings or land in the free zones.
Investment incentives. There are 4 schemes of investment incentives that offer different types of support. That might include VAT exemption, customs duty exemption, corporate tax reduction, etc. Depending on the region, there can be more or fewer facilitations.
Double taxation avoidance. Turkey signed a double taxation avoidance treaty with 82 countries, including Pakistan, India, and China. If you are a citizen of one of these countries, you won’t need to pay taxes to both governments.
Benefits of living in Turkey
Obtaining a Turkish passport doesn’t mean that you must live in Turkey. However, many investors choose to move there or spend their holidays in the country for a number of reasons.
Weather and climate. The majority of the year in Turkey is warm and sunny. Winters are usually mild, and summers are warm and dry. The amount of sunny days per year is 300. The country is on board the Mediterranean sea, allowing citizens to enjoy the sea air and swim almost all year long.
Average temperatures in Turkey
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Location. Turkey is located in both Europe and Asia. Many railways and roads connect European and Asian countries.
Food. Turkey is famous for its cuisine, which is both diverse and healthy. Turkish markets offer many products that are produced locally for low prices.
The friendly attitude of Turkish people. People of Turkish nationality are generally welcoming and amicable and meet foreigners with hospitality.
Low cost of living. Turkey is one of the cheapest countries in Europe and the most affordable country in the Middle East. The average price one needs for living a month in Turkey is $1,000—1,500.
My wife and I got Turkish citizenship by investment in property a year ago and moved to Turkey. Our average household bill in Istanbul is around $170—180, almost nothing compared to the prices for maintaining an apartment in many other European countries.
An entrepreneur from Morocco
High quality of medicine. Turkish clinics meet international standards, and 34 of them are accredited with the certificates of Joint Commission International. With the help of modern medical equipment, doctors perform neurosurgeries, plastic surgeries, bone marrow transplantations, cancer treatments and much more.
Kindergartens and schools for foreigners. There are many international kindergartens and schools in Turkey. The fee differs from school to school but usually starts at $10,000 per year. Most of them are located in Istanbul.
Children benefit from the bilingual educational system and international environment. Primary languages are English and Turkish; however, some schools also teach Spanish, French, German, Arabic, etc.
Quality higher education. There are over 200 universities in Turkey. 6 of them are on the list of TOP 500 universities, according to the World University Ranking. For example, Boğaziçi University in Istanbul and Middle East Technical University in Ankara.
Costs for education in Turkish universities start at around $250 per year. Turkish citizens can also apply for scholarships and grants that cover part of the spending on education.
Since 2001, Turkey has been part of the Bologna Process. That allows Turkish students to do exchange semesters abroad. What is more, Turkish diplomas are recognized in all EU countries.
The large community of expats. Because of the many benefits that Turkey passport offers its holders, many foreigners choose to move there. Most of them live in huge cities like Istanbul, Antalya, and Ankara.
Benefits of obtaining Turkish citizenship by investment
There are different ways to obtain Turkish citizenship: by birth, by marriage, by naturalisation, etc. Wealthy people can afford to get it by investment, which has many benefits.
Citizenship for close family members and future generations. An investor is not the only one who can get Turkish citizenship by investment. It is also granted to close family members: spouses and children under 18 years old. An applicant’s parents and children over 18 can obtain Turkish residence permits.
Children born to Turkish citizens automatically get Turkish citizenship.
No residence or language requirements. Individuals applying for citizenship by investment in Turkey don’t need to pass history and language exams. They also don’t need to live in Turkey.
Wide choice of investment options. Turkey offers several investment options. They are:
- Business investments — $500,000+. An investor must invest money in the investment stock of a company registered in Turkey.
- Bank deposit — $500,000+. An investor must open a bank account and deposit money for three years.
- Purchase of government bonds — $500,000+.
- Purchase of units in an investment fund — $500,000+. An investor can receive dividends.
- Purchase of real estate — $400,000+. An investor can buy any type of real estate, including commercial and industrial buildings, housing, land, etc., in any region of Turkey.
Examples of investment property in Turkey
Investment return. An investor can return the money they invested 3 years after obtaining Turkish citizenship.
Most investors get passports by buying real estate. Turkey’s housing cost increases by 15-25% each year. It means that an investor will receive additional profit when selling the property three years later.
Dual citizenship. Turkey allows its citizens to have two citizenships. It means that investors don't need to renounce their first citizenship. Keep in mind that other countries can restrict having dual citizenship with Turkey. So check this information beforehand.
Simple and fast process of gaining citizenship. To obtain citizenship, an investor doesn’t need to come to Turkey: the process can be done remotely. The entire procedure lasts 6—8 months, and an applicant must only provide personal and financial documents. Everything else is done by an agent of the program.
The process of gaining citizenship by investment in Turkey
Preliminary Due Diligence is held by the program's agent and helps prepare for the main Due Diligence. The agent checks the investor through different databases and on the Internet.
Preparation of documents. The agent helps to prepare all the necessary personal and financial documents and fills out the government forms for the investor.
Fulfilment of investment requirements. The investor chooses one of five investment options. The agent helps to determine which one is best for your case. After that, you receive a certificate of eligibility and open a bank account in a Turkish bank.
The most popular option is buying real estate. The agent provides a client with a list of properties that are available for participation in the Turkey program. Having chosen the property, the investor needs to make a down payment of about $1000 – $5000 and sign a sale and purchase contract.
Then lawyers help to get a certificate of ownership and two conclusions: an assessment of the value of the object and a report on the compliance of real estate with the conditions of the Turkish citizenship program.
Due Diligence. When all the documents are ready, the agent helps to get a residence permit and then submits an application for citizenship. To obtain citizenship, the investor is required to go through the Due Diligence process. It takes 2—3 months, during which different specialists check investors and their families through various databases.
Getting a passport. When the investor’s application is approved, the investor can collect the passport. It can be done in Turkey or at a Turkish embassy or a consulate in another country.
There’s also an opportunity to get an ID card. It is a small card the size of a bank card that can be used inside Turkey to prove someone’s identity while the passport is mostly used to travel abroad. A Turkish ID card can also be used as a driver licence.
To get an ID card the investor needs to submit fingerprints at the Turkish embassy or in Turkey itself. Preparation of the card takes 2—3 weeks.
Pros of Turkish citizenship
- Visa-free entry to 111 countries, including Singapore, South Korea
- An opportunity to live, work, study and get free medical treatment in Turkey
- Fast and easy process of obtaining citizenship by investment
- No residency requirements
Cons of Turkish citizenship
- Need to get visas to enter Schengen, the USA, Canada
- Need to pay taxes in two countries if they don’t have a double taxation avoidance agreement
- Citizenship by investment is not granted to the investor’s parents and children over 18 years old
- Full investment is required before approval of the application
Frequently Asked Questions
Besides many benefits there are a few disadvantages of Turkey citizenship. One is that you won’t be able to enter Schengen countries without a visa. However, it is easy for Turkish citizens to obtain a visa for a 5-year period.
Another disadvantage is that the applicant’s parents and children over 18 years old can’t obtain citizenship in Turkey. Still, they can get residence permits.
Having a Turkish passport offers many benefits, including travelling to 111 countries, passing on citizenship to future generations, E-2 and B-1/B-2 visas to the USA and C-2 visas to the Schengen states for several years, and more.
Yes, Turkey allows its citizens to have dual citizenship. However, you need to check whether your country allows dual citizenship with Turkey.
Turkish citizens can enter 111 countries visa-free, including Singapore, and South Korea.
The simplest and fastest way to get citizenship is by investment. There are several options that you can choose from:
- Purchase of real estate — $400,000+.
- Business investments — $500 000+.
- Bank deposit — $500 000+.
- Purchase of government bonds — $500 000+.
- Purchase of units in an investment fund — $500 000+.
Generally, it takes about 6—8 months to get Turkey citizenship by investment.
No. According to law, only an agent of the program can submit an application on behalf of the investor.