AMENDMENTS EASE ACCESS TO TURKISH CITIZENSHIP FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS

Access to Turkish citizenship has been eased for foreign investors with the amendments made to Turkey’s current citizenship law. The new regulations were published in the Official Gazette on September 18, 2018.

Access to Turkish citizenship has been eased for foreign investors with the amendments made to Turkey’s current citizenship law. The new regulations were published in the Official Gazette on September 18, 2018.
Foreigners who meet any of the following conditions would be eligible to acquire citizenship under the new regulations.
  • Proven by the Ministry of Industry and Technology to have made a minimum of USD 500,000 of fixed capital investment
  • Proven by the Ministry of Environment and. Urbanisation to have acquired an immovable property worth a minimum of USD 250,000 with a title deed restriction and minimum of USD 250,000 with an immovable sales contract of not to sell for at least three years.
  • Proven by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services to have created jobs for at least 50 people
  • Proven by Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency to have deposited at least USD 500,000 in banks operating in Turkey with the condition of not to withdraw for at least three years
  • Proven by the Turkish Treasury to have bought at least USD 500,000 worth of government bonds and provided they are not sold over the course of three years
  • Proven by Capital Markets Board of Turkey to buy at least USD 500,000 worth of Real Estate Investment Fund Share or Venture Capital Investment Fund Share over the course of three years
The effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey as of the proving date will be used as a benchmark to determine the actual values of operations.
 
Deposit and BRSA Process for Citizenship: 
1. The amount (deposit/participation fund of 500,000 US dollars) determined within the scope of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law shall be paid into our bank by the non-citizen.
2. Documents that need to be signed in Turkish/English/Arabic following the bank account opening process;  
  • Written Contract 
  • Order to Block
  • Letter of Consent
  • Passport
3. The aforementioned documents shall be submitted to BRSA by the bank upon signing. 
4. BRSA shall notify the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs and the Directorate General of Migration Management in writing of proof of the application with the requirements specified in the Regulation and shall send it to the online bank in order to provide the relevant person with information. The bank shall share this written document with the customer.
5. The customer may submit his/her application to the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs and the Directorate General of Migration Management together with BRSA proof in person or by proxy (attorney, etc.). 
 


Can a Syrian natural person become an exceptional citizen by purchasing real estate?


The Council of Ministers Decree No. 724 dated 2012, which prevents Syrian natural persons from acquiring real estate remains valid. Within this framework, such persons cannot qualify to become an exceptional citizen through the purchase of real estate.

What processes are to be followed by non-citizens who apply for exceptional citizenship by deposit?

The amount (deposit/participation fund of 500,000 US dollars) determined within the scope of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law (Regulation) shall be paid by the non-citizen into any bank(s) established in Turkey. A non-citizen, or his/her proxy who is granted authorization to perform such transactions in the non-citizen's letter of attorney, may request proof of the deposit or participation fund he/she has paid into the bank with a petition/written statement containing his/her request and declaration. The proof by BRSA of the application with the requirements specified in the Regulation shall be notified to the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs and the Directorate General of Migration Management in writing and shall be sent to the relevant bank in order to provide the related person with the relevant information. Can the customer apply for citizenship by purchasing a lease certificate/Sukuk in US dollars or Turkish liras, which is issued by banks, instead of making a deposit?

Does the amount necessarily have to be in US dollars?

No, it does not. The amount to be deposited may be either 500,000 US dollars or the equivalent in Turkish liras, as well as any convertible foreign exchange determined by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, or precious metals, which is equivalent to the amount required by the Regulation. It is acceptable as long as the amount is convertible and equivalent to 500,000 US dollars.

Can I benefit from advantages such as interest, profit sharing, etc., from the amount deposited in the bank?

Yes, you can. Any advantages from benefits can be obtained, depending on the agreement with the bank and the type of account, as long as the amount does not fall below 500,000 US dollars.

Can I apply for citizenship by using my deposit that I paid into a bank operating in Turkey prior to the regulation, and is it possible to add the period before the regulation to the period required for the citizenship process?

It is possible to use a deposit or participation fund paid into a bank operating in Turkey before or after the regulation as a basis for a citizenship application. However, the period before the application cannot be included in the citizenship application process. The Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law is based on a requirement of proof by BRSA and notification of same to the Ministry of Interior and the 3-year period required by the said Regulation shall commence as at the date of proof.

Can I apply for citizenship with a blocking declaration on a joint account that belongs to myself and my spouse?

It is possible to apply for citizenship in reliance of a joint account in a bank operating in Turkey provided that the other account holder gives his/her explicit consent that no deposit will be withdrawn or used from the account for a period of 3 years.

Should the amount be deposited in a single account or is it possible to divide the total sum into different accounts?

The total amount can be deposited in different accounts provided that the total amount required by the regulation is met and an account blocking declaration is made for the citizenship application.


Is it possible for my specially authorized proxy to apply in person by opening an account in my name for citizenship?


A specially authorized proxy is authorized to open a bank account with information and documents in compliance with the legislation, undertake transactions regarding proof of the account, and sign the required documents.

Is it possible to change the exchange rate deposited in the bank during the process?

Pursuant to the relevant provisions of the Regulation on Citizenship, the amount shall be 500,000 US dollars or an equivalent amount in Turkish liras or another currency and it is possible to convert the amount deposited in US dollars into another convertible exchange rate or into Turkish Lira equivalent to 500,000 US dollars during this period of 3 years upon the investor's request.

If I open an account in Turkish liras or another convertible exchange rate other than US dollars, will my deposit over a period of 3 years be subject to the US dollar value at the opening date of the account or will it follow the exchange rate changes for the following 3 years?

If a currency other than US dollars is deposited into the bank, the US Dollar equivalent at the date of the opening of the account will be determined and the amount will be expected to remain the same in the bank over the 3 year period. To give an example, 1 US dollar is equal to 5.30 TL as at 06.12.2018; and therefore, an account which is opened with 2,650,000 TL (500,000 US dollars) on the said date shall not fall below 2,650,000 TL over the 3 year period. Exchange rate differences that may occur in this period shall not be taken into consideration.

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