The Regulation Regarding Application of Turkish Citizenship Law (“Law”) was recently amended on 18th September 2018. In line with the new regulations in Turkish immigration law, foreign persons who would satisfy one of the investment requirements regulated in the Law are able to obtain Turkish Citizenships together with their family members.
The Law stipulates that, to be able to obtain Turkish citizenship with real estate investment, a minimum amount of property investment shall be made for $250.000 USD (or the equal value in Turkish Lira), on the condition to not sell the property within the next 3 years.
The properties shall essentially meet certain criteria including having a verified expert valuation report in place as well as a building license, and the title deed shall also be ideally clear out of any restrictions on the Title Deed. Otherwise it will not be suitable to proceed for Turkish Citizenship.
Basically, the application process consists of two phases:
(i) the application for residence permit, and
(ii) the application for citizenship.
Each of these two applications are filed with separate authorities; however, in order to facilitate the process, the government opened special offices in major cities which serve as single points of contact where both the residence permit and the citizenship application are filed.
The residence permit is granted with a fast-track approach, requiring significantly reduced bureaucracy compared to the standard procedure. As part of the privileged treatment, once requested, the appointment for residence permit application is set for a couple of days hence; and what is more, the investor does not have to be physically present at the appointment if represented by a lawyer.
Required Documentation for Residence Permit
The required documentation for residence permit is as follows:
1. Application form for Residence Permit
2. Certificate of Conformity for the investment, from the relevant ministry or public authority
3. Passport (original) and the copies of the pages which include identification information and pictures
4. Four (4) biometric photographs which are taken within the last six months, taken in front of pattern-free white background
5. Original stamped/sealed, signed insurance policy valid through the requested duration of residence permit*
*NOTE: In order to have a valid insurance policy, the insurance company should have agencies in Turkey and these agencies shall approve the policy. If the policy will be taken out in Turkey, it should be stated that the insurance is done for the residence permit. The maximum duration for the residence permit that can be obtained, is determined based on the duration of the health insurance.
The application for residence permit is promptly approved by the officer receiving the file, unless a required document is missing. Thereupon, a residence permit card is issued by the Directorate of Migration and delivered to the investor in one month.
The residence permit is issued for a period of not less than one year and can be renewed as long as the investment is kept. In fact, it is more of a procedural step on the way to acquiring the citizenship as the program requires no minimum stay to gain eligibility to apply for citizenship, allowing investors to continue living abroad throughout the whole process.
Upon approval of the residence permit, the appointment for citizenship application can immediately be requested without need to waiting for the issuance or delivery of the residence permit card. The appointment is scheduled approximately for 15 days from the date of request. Similar to the application for residence permit, the filing of citizenship application can be made by a lawyer or an authorised representative without the presence of the investor.
Noteworthy Documentation Required for Citizenship Application
The noteworthy documentation required for citizenship application are as follows:
1. Notary certified Turkish translation of the passport or similar document indicating the country of nationality
2. Two (2) photographs which are 50x60 mm, taken in front of pattern-free white background, and biometric,
3. Birth certificate (or a similar document)
4. A certificate verifying the marital status
5. A certificate verifying the family bonds between the applicant, his/her spouse and children.
A similar set of documents must be prepared for each dependent wishing to acquire Turkish citizenship alongside the investor. Documents prepared in the applicant’s country of birth/domicile need to be approved either by Turkish consulate or authenticated with apostille by the competent local authority if such country is a party to Apostille convention.
Once the citizenship application has been lodged, the applicant’s information is investigated by the national security units including the police department and the national intelligence organization by way of conducting a research in their archive records. If the outcome of the archive research proves that the applicant poses no threat to national security or public order, the application file is approved and the citizenship is granted by the Presidency.
Although the applications of the investor and his/her family members are filed all together at once, the examination is not conducted holistically for all the family members, subjecting each to separate processing.
The processing of citizenship application takes approximately 3-4 months.
Last Update: 12 October 2020
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This article is provided by YÖNET Attorneys at Law to keep its clients and other interested parties informed of current legal developments that may affect or otherwise be of interest to them. The information is not intended as legal advice or legal opinion and should not be construed as such.