You, your spouse, and your children can become Turkish citizens with a fast-track program for foreigners who invest in the Turkish economy. You can apply for this program whether you're in Turkey or not, and even have someone with power of attorney make the application for you. You don't have to speak Turkish.
You'll need to have the usual documents for an application for citizenship, and one additional document called a "Certificate of Compliance."
The Certificate of Compliance
The Certificate of Compliance proves you've met the investment requirements for citizenship. It's issued by the government ministry which oversees the type of investment you make. Once you make the investment and get the Certificate of Compliance, you submit it with the other documents in your citizenship application package.
You can make more than one type of investment and even transfer between them, provided the amount you've invested continues to meet the minimum standards. So, for example, you could invest in a house, and real estate investment funds, and venture capital funds, and government bonds, and put some cash in the bank, which all together meet or exceed the minimum investment amount for citizenship. Or you could invest everything into just one type of investment, such as a home.
Every type of investment fluctuates in value. Some more than others. If the value of your investment later dips below the required minimum, don't worry. You won't have to add more money to it. The value of the investment(s) is required to meet the minimum required amount only at the time they issue the Certificate of Compliance.
Methods of Investment, Amounts, and Who Issues the Certificate of Compliance
Property (Real Estate)
Buying property is the least expensive way you can make to become a Turkish citizen by investment. The minimum investment amount is the equivalent of $250,000 USD. The property must be appraised by a government-authorized appraisal company that issues a valuation report. The tapu (property title deed), must also have a notation that you won't sell the property for three years. The local land registry office will then request a Certificate of Compliance from the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.
The minimum deposit amount is the equivalent of $500,000 USD. You must sign a declaration stating that you won't withdraw the money for three years. The Certificate of Compliance is issued by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency.
The minimum investment amount is the equivalent of $500,000 USD. You must sign a declaration stating that you won't sell the bonds for three years. The Certificate of Compliance is issued by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance.
Real Estate Investment Funds or Venture Capital Funds
The minimum investment amount is the equivalent of $500,000 USD, into one or more mutual funds that primarily invest in real estate or in companies that are developing new products, services, or technology. You must sign a declaration that you won't sell your shares for three years. The Certificate of Compliance is issued by the Capital Markets Board.
Fixed Capital Assets
The minimum investment amount is the equivalent of $500,000 USD, into a company (or companies) for the purchase of fixed assets such as land, machinery, or other fixed assets. The purchase must be certified by a certified public accountant. You must sign a declaration that you won't withdraw your investment for three years. The Certificate of Compliance is issued by the Ministry of Industry and Technology.
Providing Employment for At Least 50 Turks
The Certificate of Compliance for this is issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
To learn more about how to get a Certificate of Compliance, contact the ministries or agencies involved.
Applying for Citizenship by Investment
If you're in Turkey, make an appointment with the Nüfus ve Vatandaşlık İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü (Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs, or Nüfus) office responsible for the district where you live. You can make an appointment online at https://randevu.nvi.gov.tr/.
If you're outside of Turkey, make an appointment at the nearest Turkish embassy or consulate. You can make an appointment online at https://www.konsolosluk.gov.tr/
During your appointment, you can fill out the required forms as part of a pre-application, and get more information on what investments, documents, and procedures are required to get a certificate of conformity from the relevant ministry.
You'll need to provide your identity documents, contact information, what type of investment you want to make, and fill out a form providing consent to access various records required to prove that you've made the required investment for citizenship. In general, the documents you'll need to take with you include:
- Application form, called an Exceptional Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship Application Form (VAT-4), downloadable from https://www.nvi.gov.tr/hizmetlerimiz/vatandaslik-hizmetleri/vatandaslik-formlari
- Notarized copy of your passport including the photo and identity pages
- Notarized copy of your marriage certificate, if married
- Notarized copy of your divorce certificate, if divorced
- Notarized copy of death certificate, if widowed
- Notarized copies of documents showing the family relationship of any children
- Residence permit or work permit (if you have one)
- Notarized letter of consent for access to bank accounts, securities accounts, land registry records, etc.
- Certificate of Compliance, if you already have one, if you don't, the Nüfus can tell you what procedures are required to get one
- Other documents according to the type of investment, such as the title deed, bank receipts for the money transfer, etc.
- Receipt of payment for the application fee (can usually be made at the embassy, consulate, or Nüfus)
To learn how to have a foreign document legalized with an apostille and translated for use in Turkey, see Apostille: What it is, How it Works and How to Get One from Turkey.
Passports don't need an apostille but will need to be translated if they don't use the western alphabet. To learn how to get an official translation, see Sworn Turkish Translators: What They Do and How to Find One.
Approval of Your Citizenship
Once your citizenship application package has all the necessary documents and the embassy, consulate, or Nüfus has approved it, they'll send it to the Ministry of Interior, which will forward it to the Office of the President for final approval. Applications for citizenship by investment are fast-tracked, so you may receive your Turkish citizen ID card in 30 days or so, which is much faster than the usual processing time.
Checking on the Status of Your Application
You can check to see if your Turkish citizenship application has been approved by going to https://vatan.nvi.gov.tr/moduller/basvuru/basvurudurumbilgi.aspx. Just enter the Başvuru Numarası (Application Number) and the Doğum Tarihi (Birth Date) and perform the "Captcha" check, then press the enter button on your keyboard.
Military Service of Children May Be Required
One thing that may be a drawback for you is the status of your children. When you become a Turkish citizen, your children can become citizens as well. If they're under 18 years of age when they become a citizen, The Turkish government can call them for service in the Turkish military. Be sure to ask about this and get any answers they give you in writing.
To learn about the military service obligation, see Turkish Citizenship and the Obligation to Serve in the Turkish Military.
Turkey has no laws which prohibit dual citizenship. However, some other countries do. So, before you apply for Turkish citizenship, you should check the laws of your own country first. To learn more about dual citizenship, see Dual Citizenship Rules.
You won't be required to change your name to a Turkish one, but you can adopt a Turkish name if you want one. To learn more about the name rules, see Rules for non-Turkish names.
Turkish Citizenship Law
Turkish Citizenship Law is the Turkish Nationality Act No. 5901 as amended.
Assistance and Support
The Nüfus handles citizenship applications made within Turkey. You can call their national helpline from any telephone in Turkey, at 150. Their international number is +90 312 591 2133 or 2389. It has an English option. For citizenship applications made outside of Turkey, contact your local Turkish embassy or consulate.