In the last few years, the Turkish government has offered many concessions to the foreign investors in order to support both its economy generally and the real estate section specifically. The importance of the real estate market and the marked increase of the percentage of properties sold to foreigners, especially the Arabs and Europeans, lately, prompted the Turkish government to make adjustments to the privileges extended to the investors by purchasing a property.
After starting with granting residency once a property was purchased, the Turkish government’s concessions have expanded to add some modifications to the laws that award the Turkish citizenship to the foreign investors as such action increased the flow of large capitals to the country. The Turkish government removed most of the obstacles most likely to be encountered by the investor while running his transactions and applying for citizenship which resulted in an increase in the number of the submitted applications for Turkish citizenship to reach up to a thousand request.
This, in turn, resulted in raising the percentage of properties purchased by the foreign investors up to 78.30% in 2018 as the number of the purchased real estates in Istanbul alone reached 15 thousands, apart from the other Turkish cities. Antalya came second after Istanbul followed by Bursa, Ankara and Yalova. The properties were purchased by a verity of nationalities including those from Arabic countries like Iraq, which came first, followed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan as well as from European countries; on top of which is Russia.
On 19/09/2018, the decree granting citizenship to foreign owners in Turkey was modified. Previously the decree stated that any purchased property before 12/01/2017 does not entitle its owner to citizenship, while those purchased after that date entitle their owner to citizenship, only if the value of the property is more than one million American dollars. The last amendment stated that any property purchased after 19/09/2018 that valued at least 250 thousands American dollars gives its owner the right to obtain Turkish citizenship.
Why Turkish citizenship and not others?
In the last ten years, Turkey experienced a large unprecedented development in the industrial and commercial sectors generally and in the infrastructure sector specifically, besides its attraction of huge amounts of capitals and large numbers of foreign investors, and the marked increase of the number of real estate projects constructed by the government and the private companies; European and Asian alike.
That gave Istanbul a very important status, both on the regional and international levels, in addition to the substantial development in the technological sector that started to expand to include all aspects of life; the most important of which is the practical and educational aspects. Also, the government is continually seeking more evolution in all aspects, the last and most important of which was the opening of Istanbul Third Airport, which is considered the largest airport in the world, and the Knal Istanbul project which will be finished in 2023 and is considered one of the biggest projects on which the Turkish economy counts.
Furthermore, it is no secret the unique location of the country between Europe and Asia and that such location would promise authenticity, culture and religious cohesiveness.
Add to that the fact that the country enjoys stable security conditions and an outstandingly beautiful nature, which makes it the prime target for a large number of investors.
Steps for obtaining the Turkish citizenship after purchasing a property:
According to the decree issued on 19/09/2018, every foreigner who owns a property with a value of no less than 250 thousands American dollars has the right to apply for Turkish citizenship after providing all the necessary documents. Consequently, that decree includes purchasing several properties with the same amount of money and not just one property as well as real estates under construction and finished ones alike.
- Choosing the most appropriate property after consulting with Alfares real estate investment team consultants.
- Alfares investment team will assist you to obtain all the required paperwork needed for citizenship application, with the aid of a specialized legal counsel.
- Providing Notarized translation and certification of all the client’s personal documents that were previously certified by his country’s embassy.
- Appraising the property so that the appraisal value equals its actual value according to the conditions approved by the Turkish government, for at least 250 thousand dollars.
- Providing a written obligation to not sell the property earlier than 3 years from the date of purchasing.
- After the completion of all the steps, all the documents are sent to the Ministry of the Interior to be studied for a period that ranges from 1 to 1.5 months. After the approval of the ministry, the application is sent to the Presidency of the Republic for the final certification and acquisition of citizenship in exchange for owning a property inside the country.
The required documents for the completion of the Turkish citizenship proceedings after property purchasing:
- Birth certificate or the document of registration.
- Family book or family statement document.
- Non-judgmental document.
- Marriage contract or any document stating the civil status.
- Passport or any personal identification.
- Personal photos.
Note: in order to grant the entire family members (wife and descendants) citizenship, the same documents are required with the consent of one parent to the other to grant citizenship to the descendants under 18 of age. Thereupon, the following documents must be provided for them:
- Birth certificate and birth statement.
- Parents’ marriage contract.
- Consent of one parent to the other.
- An appraisal statement of the purchased property, issued by a competent committee that is a part of the state’s institutions and affiliated to the Turkish government, that outlines the actual value of the property according to the specifications and conditions specified by the state with a minimum value of 250 thousands American dollars. The appraisal must not take more than three months from the date of application for citizenship to be prepared.
- A copy of the ownership deed (Tapu) of the purchased property.
- Presenting records of all the remittances and bank receipts concerning the payment of the property’s price that was sent from the company owning the property to the purchaser.
Points to be taken into consideration when applying for Turkish citizenship:
- The property must be inspected by a competent committee that is a part of the state’s institutions and affiliated to the Turkish government to outline the actual value of the property according to the specifications and conditions specified by the state with a minimum value of 250 thousands American dollars. The appraisal must not take more than three months from the date of application for citizenship to be prepared.
- The actual value of the property must be included in the appraisal as it is recorded in the Tapu in order for the application for citizenship to be accepted.
- The exchange rate for the registered price to dollar is calculated at the time of purchase.
- The payment of the property is made by bank remittances issued by the purchaser to the seller.
- The property must be purchased exclusively from a Turkish company or citizen and citizenship is not granted if it was purchased from a foreigner.
- The property must not be resold before three years has passed from the purchase date and the purchaser does not have the right to relinquish the property to any of the members of his family then buy it back whatever was the value or the number of the existing properties aiming at obtaining Turkish citizenship.
- If the purchase was made in installments, the installments and any amount of money already paid must be calculated and the total value must exceed 250 thousand dollars in order to apply for Turkish citizenship.
- If there are any unpaid installments, they must be deducted from the total calculated amount.
- Any relative can do the proceedings for the owner after he/she was given authorization at the Turkish embassy in the country of residency or at the Turkish Public Notary.
- The owner can invest in and benefit from the property (by renting it) in the period during which he/she is applying for citizenship.