As of January 2022, foreign buyers are required to send their funds to a Turkish bank prior to purchase, so the transaction can be processed in Turkish lira. For more information, click here.
When assessing how good is a Turkish passport, we turned to an authority ranking system to find out. The Henley Passport Index compares passports worldwide to rank according to the number of visa-free destinations. Currently, they say Turkey ranks 56th globally out of 200 passports for nationalities across the globe.
However, freedom of travel is great, but anyone looking at getting a Turkish passport wants more benefits for their investment. Many investors who get a Turkish passport do so by entering the Turkish Citizenship by Investment programme. So, in addition, to the visa-free travel, let's discuss other benefits of a Turkish passport, the Turkish citizenship by investment scheme, and how to apply.
How Good is a Turkish Passport?
1: Dual Citizenship
Many countries around the world prohibit citizens from holding more than one passport. However, Turkey allows dual citizenship to anyone investing. Of course, if you are considering applying for Turkish citizenship, do check with the consulate of your own country.
2: Freedom of Movement
When investors want to gain a passport through citizenship, this is known as the golden visa scheme. However, other countries require investors who gain Turkish citizenship through real estate investment to reside in the country for a set number of days each year. Turkey does not. Citizenship applicants are free to come and go as they please and keep their existing citizenship. If you want to live somewhere else, all year round, you can.
3: Citizenship Versus Repeat Residency
Applying for a Turkish residency permit is easy, cheap, and quick in Turkey. However, the first application is only approved for a year, and after that, every two years. Holding Turkish citizenship by investment eliminates the need to reapply because it is permanent and lasts forever—hurrah to less red tape and application forms.
4: Pension and Healthcare
With your Turkish citizenship by investment, you can also opt into the government SGK system to access healthcare. In recent years, healthcare in Turkey has come a long way, and some institutions count themselves as the world's best for knowledge, expertise, and professionalism. The proof is in the growing numbers of travellers who choose Turkey for their healthcare procedures, regardless of whether they have Turkish citizenship. Likewise, you can also opt into the pension scheme for your retirement.
5: Work and Study Through Citizenship
Currently, foreigners with a residency permit still need to gain a permit to work or study in addition to their residency. However, this is eliminated with our Turkish citizenship by investment guide, so if you choose to work or even own a business, you cut out half of the red tape.
6: Dependents, Spouse and Future Children
By opting for the Turkish citizenship by investment scheme, the application also extends to the applicant's spouse and children. Even better, once you have citizenship, any future children automatically get a passport by birthright. This is great for family members.
Anyone with citizenship by investment naturally wants a good education system for their children. Turkey delivers a wide range of choices through Turkish public and private schools dotted around the country. In addition, many private Turkish institutions offer a curriculum where academic achievements and certificates are internationally recognised for those unsure if their family will remain in Turkey indefinitely.
8: Easy and Quick Citizenship Applications
Nobody likes a long, drawn-out process that takes years to complete and involves navigating numerous red tapes. That is where Turkey delivers by presenting an easy citizenship investment application process. If you go down the Turkish citizenship by investment scheme, we guide you through each step, but you will be surprised at how easy it is.
More Benefits of Citizenship in Turkey
As mentioned before, anyone with citizenship through investment doesn't need to live permanently in Turkey. However, many lifestyle benefits explain why millions of expats make the country their home. From the North to the south, foreign communities have their reasons for living here, but let's look at the main ones.
1: Gorgeous Weather Climate
Turkey has several different geographical zones, and each one presents a different weather climate. From June to October, most of Turkey receives lots of sun. However in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions, Turkish locals and holders of citizenship enjoy roughly 300 days of sunshine a year. In places like Antalya, the mild winters also make the area a popular tourist destination all year round. Residents even swim in the sea on Christmas day.
2: Outdoor Lifestyle
So naturally, when there is sun all year round, this encourages locals to get active. Whether you spend days on the beach, opt for al fresco style dining, or participate in outdoor sports, all experts say, a life outdoors is good for our mind, body, and soul. Hence a move to Turkey not only gets you citizenship but also benefits your health as well. In addition, the outdoor lifestyle enables citizens to pursue their hobbies and indulge in leisure pursuits. Perhaps you would like to take up golf in Belek or go bird watching on the Gediz delta. The choice is yours!
3: Impressive Transport Network
Over 20 years, Turkey made a significant investment into its transport network by relaying roads, building bridges, and modernising airports in Turkey. A perfect example is the new Istanbul airport, which connects to 300 destinations worldwide and makes getting here all year round even easier. Likewise, the main D400 highway runs along the Mediterranean coast from east to west, giving car drivers easy access to many destinations. The bus network across the country is also cheap and frequent.
4: Food and Culture
Turkey attracts millions of holidaymakers every year is because they fall in love with Turkish food and culture. A proverb in Turkey says every stranger is a friend, and this is seen in hospitality. Likewise, Turks prefer good old-fashioned cooking, using fresh homemade ingredients, and the background of the ottoman empire influenced its cuisine to make Turkish dishes simply delicious.
5: Low Living Costs
Regardless of whether they have citizenship, many foreigners make Turkey their home because of the low cost of living. This is seen in everyday expenses like food shopping through to monthly bills like electricity and water. Additionally, the current state of the Turkish lira means foreign residents receiving an income in another currency other than lira get a lot more for their cash these days.
6: Modern Real Estate in Turkey
For many foreigners looking at citizenship through investment, the price of real estate in Turkey is a big lure. Additionally, foreigners don't have to compromise on quality because Turkey has invested billions into modernising their housing market over the last twenty years. Gone are the old shabby apartment buildings. Now the real estate sector focuses on trendy, clean-cut architecture and, in some places, green living. Therefore, it is an excellent country for capital investment through citizenship.
How to Get a Turkish Passport
So as you see, there are many benefits to citizenship and many ways to get it, including marriage, application based on a long term Turkish residence permit and business investment. But the quickest, easiest, and cheapest process is the citizenship by real estate investment option. Before 2018, the minimum investment level for this program was a staggering 1 million USD.
However, seeing few takers, the Turkish government dropped the program entry level for citizenship by investment to just $400,000. So, to begin getting Turkish citizenship, buy property worth this amount and pledge to keep it for at least three years. But, of course, not all properties are eligible. The whole point of the program is to encourage investment into the country, and the Turkish government wants to do this via new, modern housing. So eligible properties must be government approved.
If you want to invest in the real estate citizenship program using us, let us know before starting your search. Get a good idea of Turkish properties for sale worth $400,000 or more by browsing our portfolio of Turkish real estate for sale. Each listing contains everything to know, including the price, location, home features and contact details to find out more.
When enquiring for further information, remember to state that you are looking for eligible property. So, once you find the property you want, here is a basic outline of the program of the citizenship process, but we always guide home buyers.
1: Open a Bank Deposit Account and get a Tax Number
All transactions related to the Turkish real estate purchase for citizenship program must have a legally recognised paper trail. Hence you need a Turkish bank account. Suitable options include HSBC Turkiye, Zirat Bank, Akbank and Garanti. Opening a bank account is quick and easy, and likewise for the tax number. You obtain this on the same day, and we apply via the district where you buy property.
2: Make the Purchase and Invest in Turkey
When you find the property you want, pay a bank deposit, and instruct solicitors to draw up contracts. Turkish law does not require the use of a solicitor, but we strongly advise every home buyer to use legal means and give recommendations if needed. Although we do our due diligence, your solicitor is responsible for additional checks. We also get the contract translated and notarised and get a valuation report.
For the payment stage and bank deposit, use a foreign exchange company, like WISE, to change money into the Turkish lira currency and send it to your Turkish bank account. They offer better exchange rates and transfer fees. When the land registry approves the title deeds application to sign for your Turkish deeds, state your purpose for buying as investing in the citizenship by investment scheme. This allows us to collect the certificate of eligibility and start the next step.
3: Get a Residence Permit
To make the Turkish citizenship by investment application for a passport, applicants must be a resident. The process is easy, straight forward and we make the application online. To apply, buy healthcare coverage. For the first year, this will be private, and when you receive Turkish citizenship and a passport, you can opt into Turkey's government-run SGK system.
You must also prove the financial means to support yourself. When you pay the tax and residency fee, the permit comes through in roughly six weeks. This is ample time to collect all the documents for the Turkish citizenship application.
4: Apply to Become a Turkish Citizen Via the Investment Programme
For the application, alongside the form, we need the following supporting documents.
- Birth certificate of principal applicant and all dependents and spouse.
- Copies of residency permit
- Marriage certificate
- In the case of a widow, a death certificate
- Copies of health insurance
- Four biometric photos
- Passport copies
- Power of attorney (This can be your lawyer)
- Application fee receipts
Note: All foreign documents must be translated and notarised, which we arrange. From there, we make the application to the government officials in Ankara, who perform relevant checks. The processing time takes roughly 4 to 6 months, and then congratulations on becoming a Turkish citizen.
5: How to Get a Turkish Passport
All Turkish citizens automatically receive the right to a passport. There are four types. The green is issued to public servants, mayors, academics, and former members of the national assembly. The grey is issued to athletes competing abroad for the country of Turkey, anyone working for international organisations Turkey belongs to, and red crescent staff.
The black is issued to ministers and vice presidents, members of the judicial system, ranking generals and admirals, and former presidents. This is known as the diplomatic version. The last one is red and issued to most Turkish citizens, and this is the one you receive. All passports are biometric and valid for ten years. At present, the cost of 150 dollars, but there are yearly increases. The application is made online.
Your Real Estate Capital Investment
The benefits of entering Turkey's citizenship real estate investment program is a worthy addition to your international real estate portfolio. However, while the scheme says applicants can sell the property after three years, we advise keeping your investment longer. The reason being is that after five years, home sellers do not pay capital gains tax, and property in Turkey has much potential for capital investment growth over ten years.
When you go through the investment real estate route with us, we get the utilities connected, but if you do not live in Turkey, employ someone to carry out property maintenance and management. Many Turkish companies offer a key holding service. In addition, another option is to rent out the property for a source of passive income.
Some people give companies a percentage of the income to handle this, while others manage their bookings and management through sites like Airbnb. In Turkey, you will need to declare everyone who stays in your property for short term holiday rentals or get contracts drawn up for the long term. In addition, rental income over a certain level incurs income tax.
Living in Turkey
On the other hand, you might choose to live in Turkey. Settling in is easy, but one big question, clients often ask, is about learning the language. Unfortunately, many foreigners in coastal towns and resorts do not speak Turkish. The reason being is that many locals speak a foreign language because tourism is the leading trade. However, once you have your citizenship, to enter the workforce or start a business, knowing Turkish is essential to enhance day to day living. Additionally, learning the language is a great benefit for parents with children in the Turkish educational system. We discuss this and other aspects of living in Turkey here.
We are Property Turkey, a lifestyle and investment specialist who has helped thousands of home buyers with investment in the country. We hope we have given you lots of information about how good a Turkish passport is and the easiest way to get one, but if you have any more questions about the investment program, call us today and speak with a local agent. Our years of combined experience and local knowledge will also help you settle in after you get your Turkish citizenship, so browse our blog about Turkey for more tips and advice on being a Turkish citizen.
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