We knew that the golden visa offer for foreigners gaining Turkish citizenship was going to drop but we didn’t expect this news. The golden visa is the fast track method of gaining citizenship in Turkey and it is by way of investment, granting residency, citizenship and a second passport to a person who invests in real estate. Originally the amount for investment was $1 million and the investment went into real estate, government issued bonds or shares of Turkish companies. After 3 years of the applicant holding the investment they were granted citizenship.
It was expected that in 2018 the investment figure was to be reduced to around $300,000 for real estate investment but the forecast was wrong and its great news for foreign investors wanting Turkish citizenship. The official Gazette of Turkey recently announced the changes in September 2018 and this reduction has been put into place to attract higher investment from foreign sources into Turkey. If a foreigner invests just $250,000 they have the rights to become a Turkish citizen. Other reductions have been seen also with capital investments have been reduced from 2 million USD to $500,000 and bank deposits held for a minimum of 3 years have been reduced from 3 million USD to $500,000. Foreign firms who have gained Turkish citizenship has also seen a reduction in the amount of people they have to employ, that figure was previously 100 it is now 50.
Now, Turkey is the number 1 spot for offering the lowest amount for citizenship via buying property for just $250,000 and this will indeed attract more nationalities to invest. Greece is in second place as they ask for an investment of $300,000 and the United States of America want $500,000 for a property purchase to receive US citizenship. The biggest surprise is Cyprus, who wants a colossal $2.4 million for citizenship for a property purchase. For those who want a new country citizenship, Turkey offers by far the best deal; this can only boost the economy and strengthen its ties with foreign countries.
This latest announcement has been well received by the Turkish industry moguls and in particular the estate agents/real estate sector who have been urging the government to make reductions for some time. Turkey is once again flavour of the month with a surge of new investors wanting to buy a second home or live full time in Turkey. British, European and Russians tend to buy on the Mediterranean or the Aegean coasts, mainly in the popular resorts. Buyers from the Middle East prefer Istanbul and the North East coast of Turkey and prefer more sedate areas that culturally adhere with their own religious beliefs.
The advantages of gaining Turkish citizenship is the legal right to work, you can vote and you don’t need to keep applying for your resident permit yearly or every two years. It not only saves you time in the long run you save money too. If you wish you can contribute to the social security system which includes health and pension benefits. It goes without saying once you have citizenship; if you work you pay into this scheme automatically.
You will not have to renew visas, residency or work permits and the plus benefit is Turkey allows dual citizenship so you can retain your own nationality which is something most of us prefer to do. However, you do need to check within your own home country if you need to apply for dual citizenship in advance with the necessary authorities just to be clear.
This means younger families may opt to live and work in Turkey instead of waiting until the families are grown and its time for retirement. Being able to work is a massive bonus as at the moment it can be difficult to obtain a work permit as Turkey understandably protects its own nationals, preferring them to earn money and work. This injection of younger foreign families wanting to be based in Turkey can only be a good change, bringing diversity into the country and culture and new experiences will be learned by all.
It will be interesting to see what happens next, will this all time low investment charge for citizenship in Turkey, bring masses of enquires into the real estate market? What will the long term benefits be? For a start we should see more properties springing up in all areas of Turkey not just the tourist destinations. How many enquires will be received within the first few months? Let’s just wait and see!