Please find below answers to questions related to citizenship by property investment in Turkey answered by Turkish cauthorities.
What are the documents needed for an application?
- Identity document or passport – Identity document or passport indicating the foreign country of origin (along with translation when necessary) must be submitted.
- Identity Declaration Form – 1 photo is requested from the foreign natural person for “Identity Declaration Form”.
- Document regarding representation if the procedure involves representation – Power of attorney, court order regarding guardian, letter of authorization etc. (If the transaction will take place based on a power of attorney issued abroad, original or certified copy of the power of attorney is to be submitted as accompanied by the translation)
- Foreigner ID No – In case Foreigner ID No does not exist, Land Registry Directorate will ensure allocation thereof during application.
- Title deed for the real estate sold -Required if it exists.
- Valuation report for the real estate – To be received from the firms authorized for valuation as published on the official website of CMB (Capital Market Board) or TDUB (The Turkish Association of Appraisers).
- Bank-certified receipts evidencing money transfer – May be presented before or after the sale.
- Compulsory earthquake insurance policy – Necessary for buildings such as residences, workplaces etc.
- Sworn interpreter – Necessary if there is any party that does not speak Turkish (Must be authorized by the regional judicial commission)
How is the value of the real estate(s) necessary for citizenship calculated at the land registry office?
Total bank receipts evidencing payment must meet the value of USD 400.000, taking into consideration the effective sale rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey preceding the date of deposit.
The values given in the valuation report and the official deeds must not be less than total values in the bank receipts.
On May 13, 2022, the Regulation Amending the Regulation on the Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship was published in Turkey’s Official Gazette. https://perma.cc/H4YV-85CT
Under the new rules, persons become eligible for citizenship without the residency requirement by (1) purchasing real estate in Turkey with a value of at least US$400,000, or the equivalent in a foreign currency, under an agreement not to sell for three years, or (2) concluding a contract promising the sale of a condominium or a condominium easement (for an apartment that is not yet built or is in the process of being built) for a minimum of US$400,000, paid in cash, with a commitment not to transfer or cancel the easement for a period of three years. (Regulation art. 20(2)(b).)
Which date is taken into consideration to determine the exchange rate for the bank receipts presented to evidence payment?
If the bank receipt is paid in Turkish Lira, the effective sale rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the business day preceding the payment date is relied upon to calculate the USD equivalent of the value in the bank receipt.
If multiple bank receipts (paid in Turkish Lira) of different dates are submitted, how is the value found?
Total values calculated separately based on the effective sale rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the business day preceding the date, when each bank receipt is issued, must meet the value of USD 250.000.
If the payments are made after the sale, how is the value found?
For bank receipts, the effective sale rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day preceding payment date and for the value in the official deed, on the other hand, the effective sale rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the business day date of the actual sale will be relied upon. In this case, each value must meet the value of USD 400.000 separately.
Where to receive a valuation report from and is there an expiry date for it?
Valuation report is to be received from the valuation firms published on the website of Capital Market Board (CMB) or TDUB (The Turkish Association of Appraisers) . It is considered to be valid for three months following the date of issue. It will be considered valid starting from the time that it is submitted until the procedure is complete.
How must the sale price of the real estate be transferred?
It must be deposited by the purchaser or the purchaser’s representative to the bank account of the seller or the seller’s representative through means such as EFT etc. and this must be documented. For real estates owned by public institutions and enterprises, such as TOKİ and Emlak Konut, the transfer/payment of the price may also be evidenced by a bank receipt or official letter showing that the amount is received.
How to get a “Certificate of Eligibility”?
Once the undertaking sought under the regulations and circular regarding implementation thereof is entered into registry, the land registry directorate performing the procedure sends all the documents to General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre or the relevant regional directorate.
After the General Directorate/Regional Directorate examines the documents pertaining to the procedure, a Certificate of Eligibility is issued and it is sent to the General Directorate of Migration Management and General Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship Affairs through official means and to the person concerned by e-mail. The foreigners, who receive a certificate of eligibility, first apply to the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management for residence permit and to the General Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship Affairs for citizenship.
Is it possible to acquire Turkish citizenship through exceptional means with shares purchased in real estates?
It is possible to apply provided the minimum is USD 400,000.
Is it possible to purchase multiple real estates to acquire Turkish citizenship ?
It is sure possible.
Are all the real estates to be purchased at the same time?
No. It is possible to apply for the real estates purchased at different times.
What must be the quality of the real estate?
The quality of the real estate does not matter in the procedure or registering an undertaking through sale (can be residence, workplace, land, field, garden etc.). However, in case of an undertaking being registered through a notarized promise of sale, the real estate must have condominium or construction servitude created thereon.
Is it possible for the foreigners, who own or who are shareholders in companies with foreign capital, to apply for citizenship with real estates owned by the company?
No, it is not. The real estate must be registered to the natural person to file the application.
Does it matter from whom the real estate was purchased for the citizenship application?
The real estate(s) to be sold or to be promised for sale must be registered to Turkish citizens. Moreover, it also must not be a real estate transferred by a foreign natural person after the date 12.01.2017 (Including the foreign natural person to acquire, and his/her spouse and children).
Is it possible to sell the real estate before the annotation in the registry expires (3 years elapse)?
The procedure will rely on the response to be received from the Provincial Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship Affairs.
Is it possible to apply for citizenship in case the purchased real estate has mortgage or attachment on it?
It is possible for the same to take place along with an existing mortgage or attachment.
Is it possible to apply for citizenship if the real estate is purchased using a loan?
In this case, the cash payment after deducting the mortgage amount will be taken into consideration. For sales with legal mortgage, on the other hand, the portion paid in advance, must meet the value of USD 25.000 as minimum.
Is it possible to file applications for real estate acquisition through a power of attorney for the purpose of acquiring Turkish citizenship through exceptional means?
It is possible if this is clearly stated in the power of attorney.
Is it possible to apply for Turkish citizenship by an agreement for the promise of sale?
As applicable for 07.12.2018 and thereafter, the application may be filed after the undertaking not to transfer and cancel the agreement issued before the notary for a period of three years is entered into the land registry, provided that the minimum amount of USD 250.000 or equivalent thereof is paid in advance for the real estates with condominium or construction servitude is created thereon.
What kind of limitations apply for acquisition of real estates by foreigners?
• First of all, the foreign person, who would like to acquire a real estate, must be from a country, whose citizens are eligible to acquire real estates in our country as determined under article 35.
• Under article 35 of the Land Registry Law No 2644, acquisition by foreign natural persons is only possible within legal limitations.
• Under the Military Forbidden Zones and Security Zones Law No 2565, foreigners are not allowed to acquire real estates in military forbidden zones.
• A foreign natural person may acquire real estates and limited rights in rem up to 30 hectare maximum throughout the country. The President is authorized to increase such size up to double.
• Total area of the real estates and independent and continuous limited rights in rem acquired by natural persons of foreign origin may not exceed ten percent (10%) of the area, where private property is allowed, in a district.
• Acquisition by foreigners is not allowed in strategic zones, which are determined as the zones where the foreign natural and legal persons are not allowed to acquire real estates by the President, and special security zones.
Is residence permit required for acquisition of real estates by foreign natural persons?
Article 35 of the Land Registry Law No 2644 as amended by the Law No 6302 stipulates that “Natural persons of foreign origin, who are citizens of the countries as determined by the President, may acquire real estates and limited rights in rem, in cases where it is necessary for the country’s benefits and in accordance with the international bilateral relations, provided that the legal limitations are complied with”. Natural persons, who are the citizens of the countries as given in the list of designated countries, do not need to have a residence permit.
in addition in order to be able to acquire real estates and limited rights in rem.
Is the inquiry for military forbidden zones still applicable?
• By our Circular numbered 2017/4, inquiry for Military Forbidden Zones is cancelled for 81 cities.
Thus, it is ensured that the process for acquisition of real estates by foreign natural persons is identical with the process followed for acquisition by Turkish citizens.
Is it possible to use the blue card for an identity document?
• As the practice of Blue Card was started by the General Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship Affairs as of 12.04.2013, Blue Cards issued after such date may be used as identity document alone.
• Documents issued before 12.04.2013 to exercise the rights reserved under the Law No 4112/5203 (Blue/Pink Cards), on the other hand, will continue to be taken into consideration in conjunction with the identity document or passport of the country unless they are renewed.
• For people, who are entitled to the rights granted by the Law No 5901 and who apply by their passport or the identity card of their country of citizenship without presenting their Blue Cards, procedures will be performed if they are confirmed to have blue cards as a result of an inquiry in the blue card registry in MERNİS (Central Civil Registration Management System) environment or after presentation of the civil registration extract to be received from the Civil Registration Directorate for this purpose.
Is there any liability applicable for the foreign natural persons, who acquire unbuilt real estates?
A foreigner, who purchases an unbuilt real estate, needs to develop a project for the real estate acquired within two years starting from the acquisition date and to submit the same to the relevant Ministry, depending on the subject matter of the project, for approval. The relevant Ministry will determine the period for completion of the project.
Are the companies to develop projects when they acquire unbuilt real estate?
Incorporated trading companies, which are established according to the laws of their own countries, may acquire real estates in our country according to the special provisions in the applicable laws. There is no requirement to develop a project for the real estates acquired in this manner as they will be used in accordance with the purposes set forth in the reference legal provisions.
Companies with Foreign Capital are governed by article 36 of the Civil Registry Law No 2644, and the real estate acquisition procedure is also set forth in our circular numbered 2012/13. The requirement to develop a project, which is set forth in article 35 of the Land Registry Law No 2644, is not applicable for companies with foreign capital.
If the shareholder of the company established in Turkey is not included into the list determined under article 35, will that prevent the company from acquiring real estate?
Companies with foreign capital are legal persons established in Turkey under the Turkish laws and they are addressed in article 36 of the Land Registry Law. During the acquisition of a real estate, if the shareholders of the company are not in the list of the countries mentioned in article 35, whose citizens are eligible to acquire real estate in our country, this does not prevent real estate acquisition.
Do all the companies with foreign capital need to apply to the governorship for procedures involving real estate acquisition?
• As set forth in article 36 of the Land Registry Law No 2644 and our circular regarding “acquisition of real estates and limited rights in rem by companies with foreign capital” numbered 2012/13, the phrases “within the scope of article 36” and “excluded from the scope of article 36” contained in the letter of authorization issued by the Trade Registry Directorates will be taken into consideration for real estate acquisition by companies with foreign capital. Acquisition by companies within the scope of article 36 alone is subject to governorship procedure. Therefore, the companies excluded from the scope of article 36 are not required to apply to the governorship.
Is there a difference between the foreigners and Turkish citizens in terms of the financial aspect of the land registry procedures?
There is no distinction between foreigners and Turkish citizens in terms of land registry fees. However, for the procedures resulting in the liability to transfer ownership performed according to article 35 of the Land Registry Law No 2644, service charge shall be collected by the land registry directorate during the procedure and in addition to the circulating capital charge set for the procedure.
Is it possible for the real estate to be transferred to foreign natural persons by inheritance?
Real estate may be transferred to foreign natural persons by inheritance. However, if the real estate transferred is in a region, where a foreign natural person may not acquire a real estate, the real estate must be disposed of following transfer, failing which it will have to be nationalized. Moreover, if a real estate is transferred by inheritance to the citizen of a country that is not included in the list determined within the scope of article 35, i.e. countries, whose citizens are not eligible to acquire real estate in Turkey, the real estate in question must be disposed of following transfer, failing which it will have to be nationalized.
How can I access the list of the countries, whose citizens are eligible to acquire real estates in Turkey?
According to article 35 of the Land Registry Law No 2644, the list of the countries, whose citizens are eligible to acquire real estates in Turkey is not publicly available, it is possible to learn about the status regarding acquisition for the specific country in question from any directorate of ours.
Does the passport have to be translated?
As provided for in our circular regarding “identification for land registry procedures involving foreigners” numbered 2013/13, Turkish translation of the passports and identification documents of foreign countries issued in any alphabet other than the Latin alphabet may be asked if considered necessary by the Land Registry Directorate.
What are the limitations applicable for acquisition of real estates by companies with foreign capital?
There is no limitation for real estate acquisition by companies with foreign capital; and they may acquire real estates to the extent they consider desirable as long as the real estates are suitable for their operations.
Can I perform land registry procedures with a power of attorney issued abroad?
It is possible to perform land registry procedures using power of attorney issued by the Turkish Consulates abroad and the authorities competent to issue power of attorney of the relevant country. However, the power of attorney must meet the criteria sought.
Can I perform my land registry procedures using any power of attorney issued by a notary public of a foreign country?
In order for any power of attorney issued by a notary public in a foreign country to be acceptable to land registry directorates, the power of attorney must first:
• Be issued in the official language of the country of issue, and
• Contain photo of the person in question and the photo must be sealed.
• In addition, depending on whether the country of issue is a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Hague Convention) or not, the power of attorney must either contain “Apostille” or the signature and seal on the power of attorney must be certified by the competent authority for the issuing notary public; and signature and seal of such authority must be certified by the Turkish Consulate in the country in question,
• It must contain powers regarding the demanded procedure,
• Also, notarized Turkish translation thereof must also be submitted to the land registry directorate.