Policy Change in Turkish Citizenship by Investment, but not rising price
The Turkish Citizenship by Investment program, launched in 2017, has undergone several policy changes in its seven-year existence:
– In January 2017, the Turkish government enacted a citizenship-by-investment law, allowing individuals to invest $1 million in real estate, and $3 million in deposits for a three-year term to qualify for citizenship.
– In September 2018, after a year and a half of lukewarm response, the government reduced the investment amounts to $250,000 for real estate and $500,000 in deposits for citizenship eligibility.
– Following reasonable price adjustments, the popularity of the Turkish Citizenship by Investment program surged, prompting the government to implement restrictions on applicants:
– In June 2019, the initial residence card validity was reduced from two to one year.
– In January 2020, the property transfer tax in Turkey increased from 3% to 4%.
– In July 2020, stricter requirements were introduced, including no longer accepting English names for citizenship applications.
– In March 2021, the government further restricted the most popular real estate investment option, stating that the same property cannot be used for another foreign applicant’s citizenship application.
– In January 2022, the government mandated the conversion of applicants’ US dollars into Turkish lira for deposit and real estate modes, causing significant disruption due to the volatile exchange rates.
– In June 2022, the property investment amount increased significantly from $250,000 equivalent to $400,000 equivalent in real estate value.
– In December 2022, the government ceased allowing partial ownership of properties for citizenship applications, impacting shared ownership hotel projects.
– In February 2023, applicants were required to physically visit Turkey during the residence application stage, ending the fully remote nature of the investment citizenship program due to increased global mobility following the end of the pandemic.
As of December, rumors are suggesting that starting from January 1st of the following year, the property investment threshold for the Turkish Citizenship by Investment program will increase from $400,000 to $600,000. While these reports have not been officially confirmed, various sources have shared this information.
While these rumors are circulating, on December 12th, the Turkish government released an amendment to the “Regulation on Amendments to the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law (Decision Number: 7938),” with an effective date of December 11th. This amendment revises the citizenship law once again and concurrently implements it without any buffer period. The modification specifies that the real estate investment option for Turkish citizenship cannot directly purchase undeveloped land without a building permit.
Since 2018, when I first involved with the Turkish Citizenship by Investment program, approximately 55% of our clients have opted for the real estate investment model, primarily due to its relatively lower investment threshold compared to the deposit mode and its popularity as a mainstream option. With nearly six years of experience handling over 1,000 client cases, I have never encountered a single client choosing to purchase undeveloped land without a building permit for citizenship investment. While the recent revision may seem to have a limited impact by excluding undeveloped land without a building permit as an option, coupled with the escalating rumors of an increase to $600,000, the Turkish Citizenship by Investment program may indeed undergo more drastic changes.