Turkey: Acquisition Of Turkish Citizenship By Foreign Investment

Last Updated: 28 June 2019
Article by Ece Selin Temel

The Regulation of Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law ("Regulation") has been amended by Presidential Decree No:106 effective from the date of publishing which is 19.09.2018. In accordance with the Turkish Citizenship Law No:5901 ("Law"), Regulation enables foreign investors to acquire Turkish Citizenship exceptionally by investment ways as below:

  1. to make fixed capital investment worth minimum 500.000 USD, equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of TL, to undertake not to transfer the company for following three years and to have the investment determined by the Ministry of Industry and Technology,
  2. to purchase real estate worth minimum 250.000 USD, equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of TL, to put an annotation onto the title deed stating that property shall not be sold in the following three years and to have the investment determined by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanism,
  3. to sign preliminary sales contract intended for the real estate, which has construction servitude or condominium registration, worth minimum 250.000 USD, equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of TL and to make the such payment in advance, to put an annotation states that preliminary sales contract shall not be transferred or abandoned for following three years onto the title deed and to have the investment determined by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanism,
  4. to employ minimum fifty employees and have such employment determined by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services,
  5. to deposit minimum USD 500.000 USD, equivalent foreign currency or the equivalent amount of TL in banks operating in Turkey and to undertake not to withdraw the deposit for the following three years and to have such barred deposit determined by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency,
  6. to purchase public borrowing instruments worth minimum USD 500.000 USD, equivalent foreign currency or the equivalent amount of TL and to undertake keeping the instruments for following three years and to have the investment determined by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance,
  7. to purchase real estate investment trust or venture capital fund shares worth minimum 500.000 USD, equivalent foreign currency or the equivalent amount of TL and to undertake keeping the instruments for following three years and to have the investment determined by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance,

Ministry of Interior, General Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship has published Instruction of Procedures and Principles Regarding Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship by Foreign Investors ("Instruction") which regulates the process of the application. The Instruction foresees that exclusive/joint offices shall be established in Ankara and Istanbul. Officers of General Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship, General Directorate of Migration Management and Determination Institutions shall provide the services in conjunction.

Applicants completed the investment according the Regulation, shall apply for Certificate of Conformity to the Determination Institutions. Obtaining the Certificate of Conformity allows the applicants apply for citizenship and residency permit referred to in article 31/j of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection No:6458 with joint documents. Application for citizenship shall be made to the Exclusive/Joint Offices with granted residency permit and required documents for citizenship.

Certificate of Conformity granted by the pertinent Authority is required to complete the application file as a determination of the investment. In acquisition of Turkish Citizenship through real estate purchase procedure, an application to authorized Directorate of Land Registry which is related to Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, shall be made to obtain a Certificate of Conformity. This document purports to indicate that the monetary value of the real estate purchase has exceeded the threshold figure of 250.000USD, and a record has been entered into land registry record stating that the ownership status shall not change for a period of three years.

In acquisition of Turkish Citizenship through bank deposit, an application to Department of Financial Consumer Relations of the Banking Regulatory Authority,shall be made to obtain a Certificate of Conformity purports to indicate that, 500.000 USD or equivalent amount of other currencies have already been deposited at a bank operating in Turkey and a record has been entered into the bank account inhibiting the withdrawal of the money for a period of three years.

Foreign investors who had been granted with the Turkish Citizenship should meet abovementioned requirements for the duration which has stated in the Regulation. In case the investor fails to maintain such requirements, determination institutions would notify General Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship and General Directorate of Migration Management. Subsequently, citizenship status shall be revoked in accordance with article 31 of the Law

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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