Turkish citizenship by investment beat records

Turkish Citizenship by Investment program is one of the most popular citizenship by investment program in the world. By reducing its required minimum real estate investment from US$500,000 to US$250,000 in 2018, it has attracted 35,000 plus applicants from 2018-2020.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the program still realized about 14,000 approved applicants, higher than any citizenship by investment program worldwide.

Turkey’s Citizenship by Investment program is most popular in the Middle East, especially in countries like Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan where applicants face numerous sanctions and limitations from other citizenship by investment programs.

Benefits of the Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program

  • The Turkish passport has visa-free access to 125 countries and territories all over the world. However, it does not benefit from visa-free travel to the Schengen areas.
  • Turkey holds an E-2 visa treaty with the United States. This means that once the applicant becomes a citizen of Turkey, he can apply for US residency through the E-2 visa program. This is a much quicker and more cost-effective route for the Turkish citizen.
  • Turkey also has an agreement with the United Kingdom through the Turkish Businessperson Visa wherein the holder of a Turkish passport who would like to establish a business or has employment options in the United Kingdom can apply for a special business visa from the United Kingdom and start the process for applying for British citizenship.
  • Turkey allows dual citizenship.
  • Spouses, children below 18 years old and parents who are dependents of the applicant can avail of Turkish passports.
  • Residency in Turkey is not required.
  • Turkish language proficiency is not required.
  • Applicants are required to hold their real estate purchases for three years, after which they can sell the property or hold the property for five years and not have to pay capital gains tax.
  • An applicant can earn an average of 8% annually on real estate rentals.

Requirements of the Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program

Option 1 

US$250,000 real estate investment in one or several properties

The program features a straightforward application process without any obligation to declare the investor’s assets or income generated in other countries.  The physical presence of the applicant is also not required.

There is a wide range property choices from modern apartments to luxury seafront villas at very competitive prices. Istanbul and holiday destination Antalya are the most popular. Property owners can choose to rent their properties with an average return on investment of 8%.  Investors are not limited to one property and can invest in several properties.  Investors can resell after 3 years or after 5 years and not have to pay capital gains tax.

Applicants can take out loans for real estate investments and the government has brought down mortgage loan rates by state lenders and well-known property construction firms offer good discounts.

Option 2

US$500,000 deposit in a Turkish bank for at least 3 years.

Applicant can also make a fixed-asset investment that has been confirmed by the Ministry of Industry and Technology or invest in government bonds with the potential to receive interest as income.  Investments need to be kept for at least 3 years.

Option 3

US$500,000 capital investment in a Turkish Real Estate Investment Trust or a venture capital fund or set up a business and create employment for at least 50 Turkish citizens confirmed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

The Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program is certainly worth looking into especially after all the appealing changes they have made to the program. Turkey also benefits from the citizenship by investment program as it boosts investment in the economy and shore up the lira.