A guide to citizenship by Investment in Turkey
Turkey is a beautiful, culturally-rich country located in a strategic geographical position between Europe and Asia. This location allows resident investors to reach markets in 16 different time zones. In the last few years, Turkey has become one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Currently, it is a preferred hub for manufacturing, exports and management.
The Turkish government also provides generous support programs for innovation projects, employee training initiatives, and exporters through various grants, incentives, and loans.
In May 2017, the Turkish government introduced the Citizenship by Investment Program (CBI), under which applicants were required to invest 1 million dollars to obtain a Turkish passport. As one might suppose, not many people found this program attractive and the Turkish market did not experience the expected increase of foreign capital.
Finally, in 2019, the Turkish government revised its citizenship program and reduced the investment requirement to USD$ 250,000. Current CBI program provides six different ways to obtain a Turkish passport within 3 to 6 months.
Who can apply?
Turkey offers citizenship by investment to individuals of any origin except: Armenia, Cuba, Nigeria, North Korea and Syria. The main applicant must be above the age of 18 years, must be able to prove a legal source for his/her funds and have a clean criminal record. Individuals may submit applications together with family members, such as their spouse or/and dependent children under the age of 18 years old or disabled children of any age.
As we previously mentioned, one can choose between six different investment opportunities to achieve the Turkish passport. One of the most selected solutions is the purchase of real estate, which must be held for at least 3 years, and have a minimum value of USD$ 250,000.
The Government allows purchasing multiple properties, however they must be located in the same neighborhood and be registered on the same day to count towards the required USD$ 250,000.
Some properties can be purchased without VAT, which will certainly allow you to save a significant amount of money. Your property will be exempt from VAT if, for example, you are the first owner of a house or an apartment in a new project.
Real estate investment is the most cost-effective and future oriented solution, but for some investors the purchase of a property located in another country is too much of a burden involving maintenance, property taxes, management, etc.
Those who do not wish to be tied into property ownership, should consider the capital investment, which is definitely the easiest way, as you just need to transfer overseas the money you already have in your bank account.
Under this option one can choose between making a deposit to a Turkish bank, buying government bonds, purchasing shares in an investment fund or making a fixed capital investment. Regardless of where you decide to place your money, this deposit must be held for a minimum of three years and have a value of at least USD$ 500,000.
The last investment option is directed mainly to individuals who actually wish to live and run a business in Turkey. To acquire Turkish citizenship, you can set up a company that will provide employment to at least 50 people. Keep in mind that Turkish law requires that employers who hire fifty or more people in one workplace, must employ a certain number of disabled personnel, which should be equal to 3 % of the total employees hired by the employer in a given city. As the company owner you will be required to run payroll and provide your team with fixed-term or indefinite employment contracts and social security. The company must keep the number of employees for at least 3 years.
Benefits of a Turkish Passport
One of the biggest advantages is the ability to travel visa-free to over 100 countries. For citizens of countries like India, Sri Lanka, Iran, Egypt and many others, this is a game-changer in their business and investment opportunities. Moreover, a Turkish passport allows you to easily apply for an E-2 Investor Visa to the United States.
Turkey provides access to free education, free public medical care and allows foreign citizens to benefit from Pension Programs.
Applicants are not required to visit or live in Turkey in order to gain citizenship. The process is very quick (3-6 months) and individuals who decided to purchase real estate may rent the property and enjoy an additional income.
Due to its natural and cultural diversity, Turkey offers many investment and business opportunities in various economic sectors. The strongest pillars of the economy are agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. However, the renewable energy industry, the defense industry and the mining sector have also grown significantly.
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