Foreign investors have been allowed to acquire Turkish citizenship exceptionally via Article 12 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901. Through the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law, the details of the implementation have been regulated; the minimum amounts specified in Article 20 of the Regulation have been reduced by the President of the Republic's decree No. 106 dated 18.09.2018.
For instance, in order to obtain Citizenship by investing in real estate prior to the regulation, a real estate purchase of US $1,000,000 was required, while an investment of US $250,000 is deemed sufficient with the regulation.
For foreigners who want to acquire Turkish Citizenship through investment, in general, the conditions such as being resident and intention to settle that is required to acquire Turkish citizenship are not taken into account.
Acquisition of Turkish citizenship by investment consists of the following three (3) stages:
1. Realization of the Investment
A foreigner who meets any of the following conditions in accordance with Article 20 of the Regulation on the Application of the Turkish Citizenship Law may acquire Turkish citizenship by the President of the Republic's decree in accordance with subparagraph (b) of the first paragraph of Article 12 of the Law.
- Acquisition of Citizenship through Fixed Capital Investment: Investors who make a fixed capital investment of at least US $500,000,
- Acquisition of Citizenship by Investing in Real Estate: Investors who purchase real estate in the amount of at least US $250,000 or conclude a promise of sale agreement by paying this amount in advance and annotate in the land registry records that it should not be sold for three years,
- Acquisition of Citizenship by Providing Employment: Investors who create employment for at least 50 people,
- Acquisition of Citizenship by Opening an Account in Banks in Turkey: Investors who deposit at least US $500,000 to banks operating in Turkey and commit to keeping it for three years,
- Acquisition of Citizenship by Investing in Government Debt Instruments: Investors who purchase Government debt instruments in the amount of at least US $500,000 and commit to keeping them for three years,
- Acquisition of Citizenship by Investing in Investment Fund and Venture Capital: Investors who purchase a real estate investment fund share or a venture capital investment fund share in the amount of at least US $500,000 and commit to keeping it for three years can acquire Turkish Citizenship.
The transition between investment types is possible in order to complete the minimum periods required for investment.
2. Obtaining Eligibility for Investment
After the investment has been made, it is necessary to certify by the relevant Institution whether the investment's eligibility requirement has been met. The identification and conformity procedures are carried out by:
- The Ministry of Industry and Technology, for fixed capital investment,
- The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, in cases where the purchase of real estate or promise of sale agreement is performed,
- The Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, in cases where investment is made through employment,
- The Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, where investment is made through keeping the bank deposit,
- The Ministry of Treasury and Finance, where investment is made through Government debt instruments.
The relevant Institution will check the conformity of not only the investment but also the investment process and the documents in the application process. In detail, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization will verify and determine the conformity of the procedure for purchasing real estate and paying the cost of real estate while checking the valuation report of the real estate. Procedural deficiencies in the procurement process may lead to the inability to apply for citizenship.
3. Obtaining a Residence Permit
An investor who wants to become a citizen in an exceptional way must apply under the Law on Foreigners and International Protection 31/1-j and obtain a residence permit. Foreigners who are applying for a residence permit, ensure that their passports or documents in lieu of passport are valid for a period of at least 60 days longer than the requested residence permit period.
4. Application for Citizenship
After obtaining the certificate of conformity and completing the residence permit application processes, the documents required for the citizenship application are submitted to the relevant institution. Applications in Istanbul and Ankara are made to the special offices of the Migration Administration, in other provinces to the Provincial Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship Affairs. In the absence of a situation that will be an obstacle to national security and public order, the file will be submitted to the President of the Republic for his decision and signature. By the President of the Republic's decree, Turkish citizenship is approved.
- Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901
- Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law
- Foreigners and International Protection Law No. 6458
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.