2022
Reading Time: 6 min

Obtaining Turkey citizenship by property investment after moving to the country

My wife and I get income from renting out properties. Our latest acquisition is in Turkey: we bought an apartment in Kemer a year ago. Before renting out, we decided to live there ourselves and obtained an Ikamet, a Turkish residence permit.

We liked living in Turkey. Here we felt calm and safe, and relaxed. In our home country, Palestine, it wasn’t easy to feel the same way. We were always on the alert due to the perpetual conflict with Israel.

We decided to stay in Turkey for permanent residence and obtain Turkish passports.

Jamal and Hanan

Jamal and Hanan,

Real estate investors

Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Turkey citizenship by real estate investment

Obtaining Turkey citizenship by property investment after moving to the country

Jamal approached Immigrant Invest on the advice of his friend, who had already applied for Turkish citizenship as an investor.

Immigrant Invest provides legal support services for participants of the Turkey citizenship by investment program.

Preliminary Due Diligence check

In Immigrant Invest, the Compliance Department runs a preliminary test of character on each investor. The check helps identify the so-called “red flags” in the investor’s background that may cause the denial of citizenship.

The check takes one day to be conducted by our certified Anti Money Laundering Officer. At this point, the investor provides only a copy of their passport.

Vladlena Baranova

Vladlena Baranova,

Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

Jamal owns real estate in Palestine and Turkey. He earns income from renting out properties and pays taxes. He has had no visa denials or other red flags.

We concluded that Jamal could participate in the citizenship program for investors without fear of rejection, which allowed us to sign an agreement with Jamal for legal support under the Turkish citizenship program.

Terms of the Turkey CBI Program

The Turkey citizenship program offers investors a second passport in exchange for an investment in the country’s economy. You can invest in real estate, business, government bonds, shares of an investment fund, or open a deposit in a bank.

The real estate option requires $400,000 of investment; under the other options, one invests at least $500,000. The participation period is 6—8 months. Spouses and children under 18 can apply for citizenship together with the investor.

Turkey citizenship benefits

With a Turkish passport, an investor and their family members can move to Turkey anytime, settle there and use the state healthcare system. Children can also attend kindergartens and schools free of charge.

Turkey citizenship allows visa-free travel to 110 countries, including Singapore and South Korea. Turkish citizens can obtain a 5-year Schengen visa and a 10-year US visa.

Turkey citizenship by property investment for the move to the country

Jamal and his wife bought an apartment in Kemer, a major resort in the province of Antalya. The population of Kemer is 20,000 people, and the nearest international airport is 42 km away. The city is located on the Mediterranean coast

Fulfilment of the investment conditions of the Turkey program

Jamal decided on the real estate option. The apartment he bought half a year ago in Kemer cost $150,000. But the program’s conditions required the real estate investment to be at least $400,000. Therefore, the investor needed to buy another property worth $250,000 or more.

New rules for buying real estate under the Turkey citizenship program

Since 2023, investors can obtain a Turkish passport for purchasing two or more properties only if the sale is registered with a single contract of $400,000. It means properties cannot be bought with differences in time anymore.

Two documents must confirm the value of the real estate: a sale and purchase agreement and a report from a licensed real estate appraiser. These were precautionary measures against tax evasion: sometimes, the seller and the buyer indicated a lower value in the contract to reduce tax payments.

Selecting legally clean properties for participation in the citizenship program was crucial. If it turned out that the property cost was artificially low, the transaction would be declared invalid.

The Real Estate Department of Immigrant Invest has kept its own database of legally pure properties. Our lawyers check each real estate for the legal cleanliness of both properties and developers. Thus, the property value in the contract matches the figure indicated by the licensed appraiser.

Immigrant Invest lawyers ordered a report to assess the apartment Jamal had purchased six months ago. It was essential to ensure the property’s value corresponded to the cost specified in the contract.

The amount indicated in the sale and purchase contract of the apartment coincided with the estimate. The apartment was suitable for participation in the Turkish citizenship program. If the amounts differed, Jamal would have had to purchase a second property for $400,000 to participate in the citizenship program.

Jamal

Jamal,

Real estate investor

At first, I wanted to buy an apartment in Antalya as it’s only an hour’s drive. But then I changed my mind. Alanya is quieter, and it’s a natural resort without the urban bustle. I guess an apartment in Alanya will be more profitable to rent out. And among the properties offered by Immigrant Invest, I liked the option in Alanya the most.

The investor chose an apartment in a residential complex under construction for $250,000. It was a 20-minute walk to the beach, and the nearest airport was only 50 km away. The complex was going to be put into service in August 2023. The management company was ready to help with renting or selling apartments.

Under the terms of the Turkey program, the investor may sell the property three years after obtaining a passport and retain citizenship.

To buy property in Turkey, you have to obtain a tax number and open an account in a Turkish bank.

As it wasn’t his first real estate purchase in Turkey, Jamal already had a tax number and a bank account. Therefore, the purchase procedure took as little as two days.

Immigrant Invest lawyers verified the terms of the contract, and the Real Estate Officer made an appointment with the developer for Jamal.

Jamal came to Alanya, signed the agreement and transferred the money to the developer’s account. After that, our lawyers received the licensed appraiser’s reports for both of Jamal’s properties. The services of an appraiser cost $150 per report.

Sales contracts and appraisal reports were submitted to the Land Registry to register properties and obtain certified copies of registration deeds. The investor paid a tax on the registration of property rights of 4%.

Finally, Jamal received the Certificate of Conformity, confirming he fulfilled the investment obligations.

Participation in the Turkish citizenship program

Immigrant Invest’s lawyers prepared a package of documents for the investor. In the usual case, applicants submit two packages of documents: for a residence permit and citizenship. Jamal already had a residence permit, so he only applied for citizenship.

The investor’s documents prepared by Immigrant Invest lawyers were the following:

  1. A completed citizenship application form and investor’s questionnaire.

  2. Police clearance certificates for Jamal and his wife.

  3. Copies of passports.

  4. Birth certificates.

  5. A marriage certificate.

  6. Health insurance.

  7. Copies of residence permits.

  8. Bank statements confirming the purchases of two properties.

  9. The Certificate of Conformity.

  10. A receipt of payment of the passport fee.

The lawyers translated and apostilled Jamal’s documents and then handed them over to the local office of the General Directorate of Civil Registration and Nationality, where the last property was purchased. Then the documents were transferred to the main office.

The application is usually considered for 3—4 months. Jamal’s documents were submitted on March 21st, and he got approval in mid-July. Jamal and his wife received their passports in person.

7 months and $411,229 were spent by Jamal and his wife on obtaining Turkish passports

1
October 2021

Purchase of an apartment in Kemer, tax payment $156,000

2
March 3d 2022

Preliminary Due Diligence check

3
+ 1 day

Signing an agreement with Immigrant Invest

4
+ 2 days

Selection and purchase of an apartment in Alanya, tax and the appraiser’s service payment $260,300

5
+ 2 weeks

Preparation of documents and application for citizenship, payment of duties and customs $929

6
July 18th

Approval of Jamal’s application

7
July 25th 2022

Receipt of Turkish passports

Jamal and his wife’s plans after obtaining citizenship

When the investor and his wife received Turkish passports, they decided to apply for Schengen visas shortly. The couple missed travelling to Europe. First of all, they wanted to visit France and Spain.

Turkish citizens get C‑2 Schengen visas for 5 years. The visa allows them to stay in the Schengen Area for 90 days out of 180. Documents for a visa are submitted to the nearest consulate of the country one plans to visit.

The couple also plans to travel to the United States. To do this, they will apply for a B‑1/B‑2 visa for 10 years. In addition, Turkish citizens can obtain an E‑2 US business visa for 5 years. Such a visa allows them to move to the United States and conduct business there.

Jamal’s opportunities before and after acquiring Turkey citizenship

Before

After

❌ Living in Turkey on a residence permit which needs annual renewal

✅ Living in Turkey without time restrictions

❌ Visa-free travel only to 38 countries on a Palestinian passport

✅ Visa-free travel to 110 countries on a Turkish passport

❌ It’s not easy to get a US visa. To apply, you have to request an escort and go to hostile Israeli territory

✅ Opportunity to get a 10-year US visa in a consulate in Turkey

❌ A US tourist visa is valid for a maximum of 3 years

Access to Turkish banking services

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

This case was provided by our expert

Albert Ioffe

Legal and Compliance Officer

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