How to get citizenship in Turkey?

Turkey is considered one of the best places to live in the modern world. It’s famous for its mild climate, incredible cultural heritage and hospitality. It’s a perfect combination of the ancient and modern western world with Eastern twist. The growing economy also played its part: today Turkey offers lots of investment opportunities, modern infrastructure, as well as opportunities in terms of a professional career and potential retirement.

The country is also a center of when it comes to investment in metropolitan areas and tourism and is well connected globally.

Here are other benefits of having a Turkish passport:

  • High quality of life at a relatively low cost

Turkey is the connection point between Europe and Asia. However, Turkey is much cheaper than most of the EU countries. Prices for rent, great Mediterranean or Middle Eastern food, utilities, transport, etc. are much lower than in other parts of Europe.

  • Opportunity to travel all over the world

Turkish citizens enjoy either visa-free regime or visa upon arrival or just electronic authorization with 110 countries.

  • Great healthcare

Access to Turkish healthcare is widely recognized as one of the greatest advantages of having Turkish passport. Medical system in this country is a combination of modern cut-edge private and public health services. Getting a Turkish passport, you and your family can enjoy this medical care. Another great advantage is that emergency care is available for free for Turkish residents, even for those who have no state health insurance.

  • Education

There are free education and university reimbursement plans for students. If you’re a student or have children of this age, this also might be a great benefit for you.

  • Retirement

You can benefit from pension programs as a Turkish citizen.

  • US E-2 Visa

Turkey has a treaty with the USA under which Turkish citizens can apply for E-2 investor visa in return for an investment of $100,000 to $200,000. Although the visa is not a Green card, it can be renewed indefinitely.

  • Business opportunities in European Economic Community countries. Under Ankara Agreement, Turkish passports holders can work, found companies, and permanently move to an EEC country. Although a visa is required, obtaining it is not nearly as difficult a process as for other nationalities.
  • Facilitated way to British residence. Being Turkish, you can apply for Turkish Businessperson visa and set up a business in UK.

What are the ways of obtaining a Turkish passport?

Here are the ways how one can become a Turkish citizen:

  • Through marriage: if you marry a Turkish citizen and a) you’re not engaged in any activity that contradicts your union and b) you don’t represent any danger to the nation, in three years after getting married, you can apply for the Turkish passport;
  • By birth: if at least one of your parents is Turkish;
  • Through naturalization: if you live in Turkey for five years and within this period your time spent abroad doesn’t exceed six months in total, you can apply for Turkish citizenship. However, you should prove some basic level of the Turkish language, as well as the fact that you’re no threat to public order or national security, have a job and prove a sufficient level of income;
  • For special merits and outstanding achievements in science, sports, culture or business.
  • Through Turkey’s citizenship by investment program.

Let’s explore this last one in detail.

It’s a very popular program since it offers great advantages such as:

  • it requires a relatively low amount of investment;
  • the process is quite fast, it might take you as little as three to six months;
  • there are no residency requirements to get Turkish citizenship as an investor;
  • there are no minimum stay requirements;
  • there are no requirements in terms of the knowledge of the language;
  • in the application the investor may include family members, such as spouse, minor children below the age of 18, or children with disabilities of any age.

To be able to apply for Turkish passport, the investor should meet one of the following criteria:

  • Purchase real estate with a minimum value of 400,000 USD. This is one of the most popular options, as the Turkish real estate market is growing. Many foreign investors opt for property purchase either for investment or to live in.
  • Capital transfer with a minimum amount of 500,000 USD. It can be fixed capital contribution, bank deposit, government bonds, real estate investment fund share or venture capital investment fund share or investment into a private pension system for a minimum holding period of three years
  • Create jobs for at least 50 people, as attested by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services

The documents requried for a Turkey Investor Visa application are:

  • Passport (for each applicant)
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport-size photos
  • Proof of having made the necessary investment
  • Proof of the source of your funds
  • A Turkish Tax Number
  • Document proving you have never stayed in Turkey illegally
  • Proof of payment of all the fees
  • Other certificates that might be requested

So, the steps to get the Turkish investment visa are as follows:

  1. Choose the investment option that suits you best.
  2. Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility in one of the respective authorities:
  • For investment in real estate – Turkish Land Registry and Cadaster of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.
  • For a capital investment – Incentive Application and Foreign Capital of the Turkish Ministry of Industry and Technology.
  • For a deposit in a Turkish bank account – Department of Financial Consumer Relations of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency.
  • For an investment in government bonds – Turkish Ministry of Treasury and Finance.
  • For purchasing real estate investment fund share or venture capital investment fund share – Department of the Brokerage Activities of the Capital Markets Board of Turkey.
  • For establishing a company with over 50 people – General Directorate of International Labor of the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services.
  1. Open a bank account in Turkey and deposit funds there.
  2. Apply for a Turkish residence permit. After you get the approval of investment, you can go to Turkish Provincial Directorate of Immigration Administration for them to issue you a residence permit.
  3. Finalise your investment and gather all the required documents. Important note: do not forget to translate all the documents, if they were issued in a language other than Turkish.
  4. Apply for Turkey citizenship at the Provincial Directorate of Census and Citizenship.

Dual Nationality

In Turkey there are no laws against dual nationality, however you need to check the legislation of the country of your current nationality whether it allows dual nationality or not. If so, you can enjoy both your citizenships.

Military Service

That is a very important issue since according to the Turkish legislation all the male citizens of 20–41 years-old are obliged to pass the military service. However, there are some exceptions, among those:

· You can just show a proof of having passed the military service in another country

· If the citizenship was acquired after the age of 22, you are not subject to military duty.

Astons are able to give fast, up-to-date and comprehensive advice and help during the entire process of gaining Turkish citizenship. Contact our professional team of experts for a free consultation.