Turkish citizenship for real estate investments in 2024

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Turkey is one of the few countries that grant citizenship by investment; What does a Turkish passport give? What are the terms of the program? How much have they changed in the last 1.5-2 years? Is the investment threshold expected to increase? We will tell you in the updated material.

Гражданство Турции за инвестиции в недвижимость в 2024 году

Since the launch of the program in 2017, more than 35,000 investors from abroad have become citizens of the Republic of Turkey. During this time, the terms of participation have changed several times, including dramatically. In 2018, the investment threshold was lowered from $ 1 million to $ 250,000, which fueled the interest of foreigners. In June 2022, the bar was raised again to $400,000. Despite this, there were plenty of people who wanted to strengthen their position in the face of global cataclysms by obtaining a second passport.

Today, the demand for real estate “under the passport” has calmed down somewhat (as well as the demand for housing in general), but it is stable. Russians, Ukrainians, Kazakhstanis, as well as Iranians, immigrants from Eastern Europe (Serbs, Slovaks) apply to agencies with such a request. The activity of Russian speakers has weakened, although for Russians the Turkish citizenship by investment program is one of three available (besides Vanuatu and Egypt).

Гражданство Турции за инвестиции в недвижимость в 2024 году

Last year and at the beginning of this year, the authorities added legislative details to the scheme, which complicate the choice of an object. In addition, there is a high probability that investors will have to pay more taxes in the future. According to rumors, the government plans to increase the burden on those who own more than one property and cancel the exemption from capital gains tax for those who own real estate for more than 5 years.

Immigration services began to consider candidates more closely. If a person came to the attention of the police at home, this will be a problem. Those wishing to obtain a “kimlik” (Turkish passport) are checked very seriously, therefore, the processing time for applications has increased from six months to eight to ten, up to a year.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs also examines each dossier on already issued passports and revokes them if it draws attention to violations (for example, a highly inflated estimated value of real estate). There are few similar cases, but they exist, the lawyers say.

Since the fall of 2023, there have been persistent rumors on the market about a possible increase in the threshold to $ 600,000 and above. They have not been confirmed yet, but if you have intentions towards Turkey, you should not delay specific steps. The probability of a complete closure of the program, meanwhile, is low – the country’s economy needs investments from abroad.   

Гражданство Турции за инвестиции в недвижимость в 2024 году

What does it take to become a Turkish passport holder for investments?    

The main requirement is to buy a property with a value of $400,000 or more. It is important that the cadastral value is implied, which may differ from the market value in a smaller way.

It is often necessary to select an object at least for 50 000 – 70 000 it is more expensive to “pass” according to an expert assessment, that is, for 450 000 – 470 000 dollars.

Another significant moment! If earlier the state accepted the expertise of any authorized firm (hence many cases of highly overestimated valuation), and you could choose it yourself, now this is impossible. Expert reports are accepted only by GABIM, which is 100% owned by the Turkish Association of Appraisers (TDUB). Unfortunately, the reports of this organization often do not reflect the market situation. 

Special conditions

  1. An encumbrance is imposed on the purchased property – it is prohibited to sell it for 3 years from the date of receipt of the investor’s certificate! It is possible to sell an apartment or house in case of a change of plans only if the encumbrance is removed from the Cadastre and Tapu Office, and only on condition that you have not yet had time to submit documents to the Citizenship Department.
  2. It is forbidden to buy “citizenship-based” real estate in shared ownership!  
  3. Since recently, it has been impossible to buy plots of land without residential buildings!
  4. The seller of the property must be a Turkish citizen or a legal entity! At the same time, there may be several owners of the object.

Important clarifications were added to the last requirement for 2023 – early 2024:

  • The seller of the object should not be directly related to the buyer.
  • Real estate that previously belonged to the buyer or his direct relatives will not work.
  • A property that has been sold to a Turkish citizen or a company by a foreigner over the past three years will not be suitable.
  • Real estate owned by a Turkish citizen who obtained his passport himself using the program will not work.
  • Real estate owned by a company whose founder is the buyer or his direct relatives will not be suitable.
  • Real estate owned by a company with a foreign ownership interest of more than 50% will also not be suitable.

Considering all the nuances and limitations, we recommend contacting professionals who thoroughly understand every step and every procedure!

What is allowed?

  • You can buy several ready-made properties in different regions of the country. Their combined value should be above $400,000.
  • You can buy real estate in a house under construction.
  • It is possible to purchase several objects from the developer, but only within the framework of one construction project, if the purchase is carried out under a notarized purchase and sale agreement. Their combined value should be above $400,000.
  • You can purchase both residential and commercial real estate.

Selecting an object

Depending on the goals and intentions, foreigners prefer a particular region and object.

Which region?

The most adequate cadastral value of real estate, which is close to or even equal to the market value, is in cities such as Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, as well as in non–tourist regions. That is, you will not have to overpay in these places. However, most foreigners want to combine business with pleasure by getting an apartment by the sea, and choose resorts.

Primary or secondary market?

On the secondary market, the price of objects is not so much different from the cadastral one as in new buildings, so the preference is obvious. If you are considering housing under construction, be careful with the choice – the market is stagnating, and some developers are greatly delaying the delivery of houses.

By the way, you can buy apartments in closed areas for citizenship. The restriction on these locations applies only to foreigners applying for a residence permit, not a passport. Accordingly, there are now many decent options on sale at pleasant prices in such popular (but inaccessible for residence permits) areas as Mahmutlar in Alanya   

To live by yourself or earn money?  

It is realistic to combine these two goals. Many people buy one apartment by the sea for themselves and another one or two for rent. In Istanbul, it is possible to take 3-4 studios for this amount and rent them out, making a profit.

Residential or commercial?

Commercial or office premises are often even more profitable in terms of profitability.

Гражданство Турции за инвестиции в недвижимость в 2024 году

What does a Turkish passport give?

Citizenship for the whole family

Together with the main applicant, his spouse and minor children become a citizen of the Republic of Turkey.

Dual citizenship

Turkey, unlike many countries, allows dual citizenship. There is no need to give up your country’s passport.

Stable status

You will not need to constantly renew your residence permit, especially given the changing conditions of this extension. By the way, the passport does not impose any obligations to stay in the country – you can live in the country, or you can just come from time to time at your discretion.

It is easier to get a visa and a residence permit from other countries

Since Turkey is a candidate for EU membership, a Schengen visa is issued to citizens of this country immediately for 5 years, and the procedure for obtaining it is simplified. It is also easier to obtain an E2 investor visa in the USA, as well as a Turkish businessman visa in the UK.

With a Turkish passport, you can use investment citizenship programs in other countries. For example, in Greece (the issuance of “golden visas” to Russians in Greece has been discontinued for the time being). 

Turkish citizenship will allow you to visit more than 110 countries, including Japan and Singapore. The list of countries allowed for visa-free entry largely coincides with the one that is available to Russians.

Opening accounts

With kimlik, you will be able to open accounts in any Turkish banks without any problems, receive credit cards, take out loans not only for the purchase of real estate, but also for running a business, buying a car or consumer goods. It will also become easier to open accounts with foreign banks. 

Work permit

You can officially get a job in Turkey without obtaining an additional permit only if you are a citizen. A residence permit does not give such a right. Companies are more willing to hire citizens, since taxes for a resident employee are 2.5 times higher.

Retirement after 25 years of official work

In order to retire, you need to work in Turkey for 25 years. Foreigners often open deposits in private pension funds, while the minimum deposit amount should be 125 liras per month, and the minimum period is 10 years. Every month, a surcharge from the state is added to the deposit on the account. 

Permission to conduct business

A foreigner can also open a business in Turkey, but having citizenship simplifies the procedures.

Buying a car

Having citizenship, you can purchase a car, as well as use a car purchased in your country for 2 years (it must be a passenger car no older than three years with an engine capacity of no more than 1.6 liters).

Free medical care

A citizen can use the services of medical institutions for free, as well as receive some prescribed medicines at a discount of up to 75% if there is state insurance (SGK) issued by an employer or pension fund. SGK will allow you to be served at a discount of 50-70% and in private clinics, to be treated in the best private hospitals.

Free education

Children of citizens, as well as children of residents (holders of a residence permit), attend public schools with instruction in Turkish for free.

Other discounted services

For citizens, there are more favorable tariffs for mobile operators and Internet service providers. For example, home Internet from Vodafone will cost a citizen 2 times cheaper than a resident. Some hotels offer discounts only if you have a Turkish passport.

An alternative to investment – citizenship by naturalization after 5 years of residence permit

Another way to become a Turkish citizen involves first obtaining a residence permit, which will also require the purchase of real estate. However, if earlier the required cost of the facility was quite democratic ($ 75,000 in popular cities), then from October 2023 the threshold was raised to $ 200,000. In addition, the choice of facilities is limited only to areas open for residence permits.

Today, the Gech (immigration Service) usually provides a residence permit based on the purchase of real estate for 1 year. If you want to stay in the country, it must be extended. The extension is usually given for 2 years.

After 5 years of residence, you will be able to apply for citizenship. However, you will have to take an exam for knowledge of the Turkish language. Another important requirement is continuous presence in Turkey during these 5 years. It is allowed to leave the country only for a period of no more than 2 weeks per year.  

Thank you for the help in preparing the material from our experts in Turkey:

Anastasia Kezik, Marketing Director of Alanya Property Sales

Sergey Volchenkov, Director of Development at Tolerance-Homes

Ksenia Baldzhi, Executive Director of Liga Real Estate


Photos: Depositphotos.com



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