Turkey's Golden Passport: property purchase, investment programs and changes in legislation from 2023



Turkey's Golden Passport: property purchase, investment programs and changes in legislation from 2023

Obtaining citizenship of the country for participation in the state investment and migration program is called a "golden passport". Find out what the conditions are for obtaining a "golden" passport in Turkey and whether it is true that this country has one of cheapest citizenship by investment

Order a legal consultation from a local specialist in visa and migration issues
Order a legal consultation from a local specialist in visa and migration issues

"Golden passport" is an opportunity to obtain citizenship of the country in exchange for investments in the state's economy.

Five types of investments are available in Turkey: buying real estate, government bonds or shares in investment funds, placing a deposit in Turkish banks or starting a business. The registration process will take 6-8 months, and the minimum investment amount is $400,000.

Investing in Turkey: the best opportunities for foreigners - details here.

Read more about obtaining Turkish citizenship through investment here.

Turkey's "golden passport" program

The Turkish citizenship in exchange for investment program was approved in 2017. However, at the beginning, the minimum investment amount was $1,000,000. Due to the high cost, the "golden passport" of Turkey was not in demand. In the first year, only 70 people issued it. Over the next 5 years, the country's government constantly worked on improving the procedure. The minimum investment amount of $400,000 was approved in June 2022. The latest changes to the legislation were made in December 2022 and will come into effect on January 1, 2023. More than 35,000 investors and their families have benefited from the program during its lifetime.

Advantages of Turkish citizenship for investors

• Visa-free travel to 110 countries, including Hong Kong, Malaysia and South Korea.

• Schengen visa for 5 years (for tourist and business trips). With it, you can stay in European countries for 90 days within 180 days.

• E-2 business visa to the USA. To obtain a visa, a Turkish citizen must open a company in the US or invest in an existing business. The minimum investment amount is not established, however, to reduce the risk of rejection, lawyers recommend investing from $200,000. This visa entitles the investor and his wife or husband to work in the USA, children can study in American schools and enter universities. It is worth noting that the visa is non-immigrant, you will not be able to obtain US citizenship.

• Turkish citizens receive a B-1/B-2 visa to the USA for 10 years. It allows you to visit the United States for the purpose of tourism, treatment or for business meetings. It is impossible to get a work permit based on a visa.

• The investor and his children are released from military service.

• Lowering the level of taxes.

Turkish citizenship when buying real estate

Buying real estate is the most popular way to invest in the Turkish economy. This option was used by 95% of current "golden passport" holders. When buying, the investor has the right to choose the type of object - it can be both housing and commercial or industrial real estate. Also, Turkey does not limit the choice of the region of the location of real estate, its age and the number of objects. The main thing is to make the minimum amount of investment.

If a foreigner already owns real estate in Turkey, he can also apply for citizenship. The main thing is that the house was purchased after September 18, 2018, and the amount of investments corresponds to the minimum limit of the program.

Taxes and fees when buying real estate in Turkey

In addition to the main amount of investment, you should expect additional costs:

• Taxes and fees range from 4 to 8%. The amount depends on the value of the object.

• State fees and duties — $574 per family member.

If the object will be owned for less than 5 years, then after the sale it is necessary to pay capital gains tax on real estate transactions (the difference between the purchase price and the sale price). The tax rate is from 15 to 40%.

Advantages of buying real estate in Turkey

Buying real estate in Turkey is a profitable investment. Passive income when renting out an object is up to 15% per annum.

Also, Turkey has a very high rate of growth in the cost of housing. More about the advantages of buying real estate in Turkey at the link.

Changes to the procedure for purchasing real estate under the Turkish citizenship program in 2023

The Main Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre of Turkey has approved changes to the Law on Turkish Citizenship. The new rules for purchasing real estate will enter into force on January 1, 2023:

• Only one investor can be the owner of the real estate - from now on, it is not possible to buy a share in the project together with other investors. If the object is jointly owned, none of the investors will be able to apply for citizenship, even if their share exceeds $400,000.

• One real estate object for registration of citizenship can be purchased only once. That is, if the previous owner of the object is a foreigner who participated in the "golden passport" program, then the new investor will not be able to obtain citizenship when purchasing this object. Also, when buying secondary real estate, it should be taken into account that if it was previously owned by a foreign citizen, then before the purchase, the housing must be owned by a Turkish citizen for at least 3 years. At the same time, the first foreign owner must also not be a participant in the investment program.

• It is forbidden to buy real estate from a legal entity if more than 50% of its shares belong to a foreigner or the board of directors has a foreign shareholder.

• It is possible to buy several real estate objects in the amount of $400,000 only if the objects have a tapu - an act of registration of the object in the land cadastre, which confirms the ownership of the object. If the document is not yet ready, a preliminary purchase agreement certified by a notary must be attached to the application for citizenship. At the same time, two objects must be executed by one contract.

• It is allowed to buy real estate with a mortgage. The main thing is that after deducting the amount of the loan, the investor's equity should be $400,000.

• The real estate appraisal report must be drawn up at least three months before signing the preliminary sales contract.

• The rules for transferring funds have been changed. From January 2022, payments for the Turkish citizenship program are made in US dollars. If the investor buys real estate before the currency purchase certificate is issued, the transfer must be made in a foreign currency.

Other types of investments in the Turkish economy for the purpose of obtaining a "golden passport"

In addition to purchasing real estate in Turkey, there are four more ways to obtain a "golden passport".

However, the amount of investment here is higher — $500,000:

• Business investment: create your own company (at least 50 jobs) or invest in a Turkish company.

• Buy government bonds.

• Buy shares of investment funds and receive passive income in the form of dividends.

• Make a deposit in one of the Turkish banks.

• The investor will be able to return the funds three years after obtaining citizenship: sell the business, close the deposit, repay the bonds.

Requirements for future investors

• Age – from 18 years;

• legal income, absence of convictions, violations of migration legislation and serious illnesses;

• along with the investor, his family can participate in the program - husband or wife and minor children. Parents, brothers, sisters and adult children cannot be added to the application for citizenship. They will be able to issue only residence permit.

The list of documents for issuing a "golden passport" in Turkey

The investor must submit a package of documents for himself and his family members. All documents must be notarized, translated and confirmed by the Turkish embassy:

• notarized translation of an identity document (passport);

• Birth Certificate;

• documents on marital status - a certificate of marriage, divorce, etc.;

• a photo of a visa or a stamp about crossing the border with Turkey;

• a certificate of no criminal record;

• biometric photos (10 pieces);

• confirmation of investment – act of registration of real estate in the land cadastre, property valuation report, etc.;

• medical Insurance.

We will remind you that earlier we talked about the Turquoise Card in Turkey. Read more about who can get it, the registration procedure and benefits here.

Pay attention! In order to protect yourself from insurance events and receive assistance in choosing an insurance policy, as well as to be informed about your actions in the event of an insured event, VisitWorld recommends taking out travel insurance in advance.

Learn more about investment programs here.

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