With scores of foreign property buyers considering Turkish citizenship after the government slashed the costs of the criteria, we have put together a useful step-by-step guide for those thinking of applying.
Back in September 2018, the Turkish government reduced the qualifying criteria for a real estate investment from $1 million to $250,000.
This has resulted in nearly 300 investors, mostly from the Middle East, applying for Turkish citizenship, and enabling more than $100 million to enter the Turkish economy. It’s expected the figure will boom in 2019 as more investors take advantage of the easing of the costs.
New criteria for citizenship:
As of February 2019, Turkey’s conditions to apply for citizenship include:
- Foreigners who own real estate in Turkey worth a minimum of $250,000.
- The deposit requirement of a minimum in Turkish banks is $500,000.
- Foreigners who generate jobs for a minimum of 50 people.
- Foreign investors should hold the properties or continue the minimum limit of financial investments for at least three years.
- The right for citizenship can be used for investors’ families – spouse and children under 18.
How to guide on applying:
If a foreign investor meets the above criteria, they will have to go through this step-by-step guide on their way to achieving Turkish citizenship:
The Turkish government has installed a new agency called FICO – Foreign Investor Citizenship Application Special Joint Office – to handle the process. FICO brings together the Ministry of Interior with the Populations Registry Directorate, Migration Directorate and Land Registry/Cadastre Directorate.
A) Obtain a Valuation Report: Applicants must obtain a report that asserts they meet the threshold. This report is undertaken by firms authorised by the Capital Markets Board and can be issued before or after real estate acquisition. Requesting a report with a copy of the deed is sufficient. The valuation firm needs the consent of the property owner to study the property (site review) for the report.
B) Issuance of a Certificate of Compliance: On completion of the valuation report, the applicant must seek a Certificate of Compliance from the Foreign Services Department of Land Registry and Cadastre Directorate. The valuation report, the title deed and proof of fund transfer to the seller, are presented to the Land Registry office where the property is located. These documents are transfer to the Land Registry and Cadastre Information System. If the criteria are sufficient, then the Foreign Cadastre will issue a Certificate. This processing can take about a week.
C) Applying for a residence permit: Once the Certificate of Compliance is completed, the applicant should ask for a residence permit for themselves and their dependents. The application will be handled by the Migration Directorate
and must be supported by several documents similar to what’s required for a valid residency in Turkey. Once complete, successful applicants will obtain a residence permit for one year.
D). Filing address registration: Once they get their permit, the applicant officially registers their residence, with their Title Deeds, in Turkey with FICO’s Populations Registry desk. They will receive written confirmation of this.
E) Filing a citizenship application: Once the applicant has their residence permits and official address, they can register for citizenship. Aside from the standard citizenship application documents, applicants must present their Certificate of Compliance and their title deed. The Populations Registry desk will file the citizenship application to the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs. Background checks will be completed, and then a commission will be established within the Interior Ministry to monitor the progress of investment citizenship applications. Once background checks are cleared, the Interior Ministry forwards the request to the Office of the Presidency which then decides on granting the application. If granted, the applicant will attend the Population Directorate for their Turkish ID cards.
Foreign investors have already jumped on board to become a Turkish citizen because of the easing of the criteria. While it may take several weeks, once granted, naturalised Turkish citizens will have equal rights with other Turkish citizens
such as tax and insurance premium discounts.
For more information about how TAM can help you achieve Turkish citizenship: