The Astons investment immigration experts are elaborating on the opportunity to relocate to the UK with a Turkish citizenship and explaining why you need to apply for the Turkish passport the sooner the better.

I heard that I could legally relocate to the UK with a Turkish passport. Is this true?

Yes. Turkish citizens have a right to relocate to the UK with a business visa (Turkish Businessperson Visa). This is possible due to the Ankara agreement that enables Turkish passport holders to open up a business and become an entrepreneur in any EEA country and later on apply for residence permit and citizenship in a chosen country.

Relocation to the UK with a Turkish passport is an efficient, fast and beneficial immigration route. After the Turkish authorities lowered the minimum investment threshold by four times within the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), you can receive a Turkish passport by investing just $250,000.

Please note that getting a British Tier 1 Investor visa would set you back at min. £2 million. That’s why many foreign investors planning to relocate to the UK and get a residence permit/citizenship – decide to apply for the Turkish citizenship.

What is this Ankara agreement that enables Turkish citizens to relocate to the UK?

The Ankara agreement was signed in 1963 between Turkey and the EEA. The Ankara agreement empowers Turkish nationals to open up business in any EEA country. A Turkish passport holder can relocate to the UK with a business visa and get a British residence permit and citizenship in five and six years, respectively.

However, it’s crucial to understand that Brexit changes how things work: the opportunity to relocate to the UK with a Turkish Businessperson visa will only be available until the end of the Brexit transition period. That’s why you need to submit your application for the Turkish citizenship immediately.

And when will the transition period come to an end? 

Although the UK left the EU on January 31, 2020, the Brexit transition period will last until December 31, 2020. You will be able to relocate to the UK with a Turkish business visa until the end of the Brexit transition period, i.e. until the end of 2020.

Is this right? What if I fail to relocate to the UK with a Turkish passport on time?

You will make it on time if you don’t delay the decision to enter the Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program. No worries: the Turkish Ambassador to the UK has recently confirmed that the immigration status of Turkish nationals living in the UK based on the Ankara agreement will not change until December 31, 2020. Later on, when the UK will introduce a points-based Australian-style immigration system, you’ll be able to apply for a British visa under the new immigration rules.

We at Astons have been helping foreign investors receive a second passport for over 30 years. Based on our experience, we recommend our clients planning to relocate to the UK with Turkish citizenship to act now without delay and start the immigration process.

I see. So I need to put everything on the timeframe: how long will it take to receive Turkish citizenship? 

You can obtain a Turkish passport very quickly: just in two months. To submit an application, you will need to open an account in one of the Turkish banks and make the investment. After you’ve successfully become a Turkish citizen, you can apply for a British business visa as a Turkish entrepreneur.

Will the UK business visa take up a lot of time?

No, the visa can be arranged very promptly. According to the law, you can apply for the Turkish Businessperson visa three months before your journey to the UK. The application is free from visa fees and will be processed within 12 weeks.

Great! What should I do to obtain a Turkish passport? 

Members of the Turkish investment migration programme may choose one of the three options. Each one has its benefits.

1. Invest a minimum of $250,000 into property.

According to the programme, you can rent out the property and sell it in three years with a good profit. This is the most demanded option among foreign investors.

2. Invest in capital stock of a Turkish enterprise approved by the Ministry of Industry and Technology.

You will need to open a deposit in a Turkish bank at the minimum sum of $500,000 (held for three years) or purchase government bonds with an opportunity to obtain dividends (for the term of three years onwards).

3. Open a company in Turkey and create at least 50 jobs (for the term of three years onwards). You will need to get approval from the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services.

So the most popular option is real estate investment, isn’t it?

Yes, it is. By investing just $250,000, you will be able to purchase an apartment, villa or cottage in Istanbul, Ankara, Alanya, Antalya, Bodrum or other Turkish coastal towns.

Foreign investors purchase property in Turkey with a view of yielding stable rental income (from four to six percent annually, or even more). In the previous two decades, foreigners have purchased Turkish property at the total cost of over $42 billion.

Curiously, last year the number of sale-purchase transactions within the Turkish citizenship program has soared by 92 percent. Since 2018 when the Turkish authorities lowered the minimum qualifying investment by four times – from $1 million to $250,000 – the Turkish CIP has become one of the most popular programmes globally.

Great! Can I obtain the Turkish citizenship for my family as well?

Sure! You are entitled to add to the application your spouse and children under 18 years of age (children with disabilities can be added regardless of age).

After I obtain Turkish citizenship, how can I get a business visa to relocate to the UK?

After you become a Turkish citizen, you will need to prove the following intentions to the UK authorities:

  • You wish to create a viable business
  • You will have enough money to create the business
  • You will be able to pay your share of expenses on business maintenance
  • Your share in the business will be enough to support your family and yourself without having to look for another job.

In case you’d like to join an existing company or partnership, you’ll have to meet the following requirements:

  • You’ll be actively involved in the business administration
  • The market shows real demand for your services and investment.

After you get a business visa, you’ll be able to relocate to the UK and remain in the country for 12 months. If you meet the immigration requirements, you’ll be able to extend the visa for three more years and then apply for the British residence permit and citizenship.

The experts of Astons – a company with a 30-years track record and impeccable reputation – will guide you through the entire immigration process.

I’ve already made a decision, yet I’d like to ask: what are the benefits of the Turkish passport?

Turkish citizens may travel without a visa to 110 countries including Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

Turkey imposes no physical residence requirements on its citizens. Neither before nor after obtaining the passport.

Moreover, with a Turkish passport, you can also relocate to the US. Turkish citizens are entitled to get the US E-2 visa which can be followed by the EB-5 immigration visa and a green card.

Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices worldwide. We offer residency & citizenship investment solutions. For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at [email protected].