As a result of the legislative amendment that took place in 2022, foreign investors who purchased real estate (house, workplace, land, etc.) worth at least 400,000 US dollars (USD) were given the opportunity to acquire Turkish citizenship exceptionally.
In order for a foreigner to purchase real estate in Turkey, he must first comply with the legal restrictions. Turkey has provided the citizens of 183 countries with the opportunity to purchase real estate without seeking reciprocity. In this context, citizens of these 183 countries can purchase real estate and acquire limited real rights, provided that they comply with the legal restrictions stated below:
• Real persons of foreign nationality can acquire real estate and limited real rights (including mortgages) up to ten percent (10%) of the district’s area subject to private ownership.
• Throughout the country, a foreign natural person can purchase up to thirty (30) hectares of real estate (30 hectares corresponds to approximately 300,000 m2 or 3.223.000-ft2) and acquire limited real rights.
• The relevant real estate must not be located in military prohibition and security zones.
The steps to be taken in order to acquire Turkish citizenship through the purchase of real estate are presented below in stages.
Stage 1 – Purchase of Real Estate and Obtaining Certificate of Conformity
A property worth at least US$ 400,000 must be purchased. Instead of 400,000 US dollars demanded as a monetary condition, foreign currency or Turkish Lira equivalent to the same value is sufficient for the realization of this condition. The effective selling rate and/or cross-exchange rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) on the date of determination is taken as a basis for determining this monetary condition.
In order to determine the amount of US$ 400,000 sought in applications for the acquisition of real estate through sales, a “Real Estate Valuation Report” must be obtained through the Appraiser to be appointed by the relevant land registry office.
A preliminary application is made to the General Directorate of Land Registry, an appointment is made for the transfer by the General Directorate if all documents are complete, the necessary fees and expenses are paid for the transfer of the title deed, and the transfer is carried out simultaneously with the General Directorate of Land Registry.
When purchasing real estate, a 3-year not-sold annotation must be placed in the land registry.
After the process is completed, the General Directorate of Land Registry sends the relevant document to the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadaster through the system so that a Certificate of Conformity can be obtained for the foreigner.
Required Application Documents for the Purchase of Real Estate
1. Title deed document of the immovable
2. Passport and photocopy of foreigners who will buy (with certified Turkish translation)
3. Real Estate Valuation Report
4. “Real Estate Market Value Certificate” to be obtained from the municipality where the property is located
5. Compulsory earthquake insurance policy for residence and workplace
6. 1 photograph of the seller (white background, biometric)
7. 2 photographs of the foreigner who bought it (taken within the last 6 months, must have a white background and biometric, 6×4 size)
8. Sworn translator if the foreigner does not know Turkish (if there is a lawyer, it is not required)
9. The original or certified copy of the power of attorney given to the lawyer (if issued abroad, certified Turkish translation)
Documents Required for Obtaining a Certificate of Conformity
1. Valid passport and notarized Turkish translation of the passport
2. Four (4) color passport-compatible photographs
3. Title deed or notarized immovable sales promise contract
4. Real Estate Valuation Report
5. Bank-approved bank receipt showing that the amount has been deposited into the account of the seller or the relevant persons by the buyer or the relevant persons (a receipt together with money order, EFT or blocked check).
6. An annotation at the relevant land registry office stating that the immovable will not be sold for three (3) years
Stage 2 – Obtaining a Short-Term Residence Permit
A short-term residence permit must be obtained after purchasing real estate, covering the process of completing the citizenship application process.
Documents Required for Obtaining a Short-Term Residence Permit
1. Valid visa or visa exemption period that has not expired on the date of application (If the attorney is given a power of attorney, the foreigner does not need to enter Turkey)
2. The original and photocopy of the passport for 60 days longer than the requested residence permit (the pages that are processed with the identity information and the page with the photo) and its approved Turkish translation
3. 4 photographs (taken within the last 6 months, must have a white background and biometric)
4. The original or certified copy of the power of attorney and its certified Turkish translation
5. Valid private health insurance
6. Certificate of Conformity according to the investment made
7. Receipt of payment of tuition fee and card fee paid to the state (Fees and card fees vary according to the nationality of the foreigner.)
Stage 3 – Applying for Turkish Citizenship
The foreign investor who has obtained a certificate of conformity and completed the short-term residence permit application can complete the application process with the documents listed below.
In addition, it is possible for the foreigner who has applied for the acquisition of Turkish citizenship through investment, to apply on behalf of his/her family members (for his/her spouse and children under the age of 18). In this case, the family members of the applicant foreign investor are not required to apply for a short-term residence permit or make an additional investment. Other family members can benefit from the citizenship application with additional documents (identity, passport documents, birth certificate, document showing marital status, picture, etc.).
In order to acquire Turkish citizenship through real estate acquisition, an application is made with the following documents:
1. Application form
2. Two color photographs (taken within the last six months, with a white background and biometric)
3. Health report
4. If the applicant has first or second° Turkish Citizen relatives, a copy of the birth certificate of these people
5. Apostille-approved or Turkish consulate-approved population registration sample taken from the country of citizenship of the foreign investor and its notarized Turkish translation
6. The foreign investor will be presented with a birth certificate approved by the Apostille or approved by the Turkish consulate, obtained from the country of citizenship, and a notarized Turkish translation.
7. The marital status document of the foreign investor, which is Apostille-approved or approved by the Turkish consulate, which clearly shows that the foreigner is single, married, divorced or widowed from the country of citizenship, and its notarized Turkish translation. In addition to this document:
8. If the foreign investor is married, the decision of the divorce certificate approved by the Apostille or approved by the Turkish consulate and its notarized Turkish translation obtained from the foreigner’s country of citizenship
9. If the foreign investor is widowed, the death certificate of the foreigner’s work approved by the Apostille or approved by the Turkish consulate and its notarized Turkish translation obtained from the country of citizenship
10. If the child under the age of 18 who is in the custody of the applicant is also required to acquire Turkish citizenship, a document approved by the Apostille or approved by the Turkish Consulate, obtained from the competent authority of the other parent, and its notarized Turkish translation.
11. Receipt showing that the service fee has been paid to the finance cashier
12. The citizenship application is evaluated by the commission formed by the relevant ministries, and it is submitted for the approval of the president. The final decision is made by the president.
13. Obtaining a certificate of eligibility, short-term residence permit application, receiving the residence permit card and submitting the necessary information and documents for citizenship application can be concluded remotely with a special power of attorney, without the need for the foreigner to enter the country. However, at the last stage when your application is finalized, first degree family members (spouse and children under the age of 18) who apply and apply on their behalf must be present at the nearest Civil Registry Office to provide fingerprints and obtain their Turkish Citizen ID and or passport.
The citizenship application is evaluated by the commission formed by the relevant ministries, and it is submitted for the approval of the President. The final decision is made by the president.
Obtaining a certificate of eligibility, applying for a short-term residence permit, receiving the residence permit card and submitting the necessary information and documents for the citizenship application can be concluded remotely with a special power of attorney, without the need for the foreigner to enter the country. However, at the last stage when your application is finalized, first degree family members (spouse and children under the age of 18) who apply and apply on their behalf must be present at the nearest Civil Registry Office to provide fingerprints and obtain their Turkish Citizen ID and or passport.
Although there was no official regulation on the subject, in practice, applications for short-term residence permits were usually concluded within one to two weeks, and citizenship applications within three to six months. However, due to the situation in the geography, there may be changes in the result of the citizenship applications.
As DKND Law Firm, all kinds of legal support regarding the process are provided by our expert lawyers in order to assist our clients.