If your checklist for retirement includes long hot summers, short winters, healthy food, affordable restaurants, an inviting coastline and a friendly welcoming culture, then hosgeldiniz: welcome to Turkey. As a retirement destination, Turkey ticks many boxes, as well as having a high quality of life with a low cost of living. How much do I need to retire in Turkey? Read on to find out.
Can I Live in Turkey Permanently?
It is possible to stay in Turkey on a 90/180 day tourist visa. However, to live in Turkey permanently, it is necessary to apply for a Turkish residency permit, or Ikamet, which is valid for up to two years. This will require you to prove that you have somewhere to live (title deeds or a rental contract), private health insurance (albeit only for the under 65s) as well as proof of some savings/income. In return for a small payment for the card, and a tax payment according to your nationality, your Ikamet will be issued.
An application for long term residency can be applied for after a minimum of eight years residency but applicants will have to submit proof of a regular income and prove they have not spent more than 365 days outside of Turkey within the last five years. This is a much more complex, costly and involved procedure requiring documents to be notarised and/or apostilled (if your country of birth does not have a notary system). Many residents therefore opt to renew their short term Ikamet or go for the whole hog of full Turkish citizenship.
Turkish citizenship can be applied for after five years continuous residency, provided you own a property. It can, however, be a slow, tedious and immensely bureaucratic procedure and success is not a foregone conclusion. Applicants have to attend an interview in Turkish and, even for those expats who have striven to learn the language, this can be quite daunting.
Turkish citizenship by investment
Previously, the only other methods to gain Turkish citizenship were either through marriage after three years, or by investing US$1,000,000 in property. However, a recent Turkish government incentive is proving to be immensely popular as $250,000 investment in a property will come with the added benefit of Turkish citizenship negating the need for any of the above procedures.
Obtaining Turkish citizenship by investment is designed to boost government income, so it’s an incentive that won’t be around forever. But while it’s on the table, it’s worth making use of this easy route to a Turkish passport.
For more information, see how to get Turkish citizenship by investment.
Those who have taken the plunge to live here often report that their only regret is that they did not do it sooner. How much do I need to retire in Turkey? After securing Turkish citizenship with $250,000, you will find that life in Turkey costs a fraction to live in other countries including Spain or France.
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