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Why Evaluation Report Should Gain More Attention in Turkish CBI

Ever since the introduction of Turkish citizenship through investment in January 2017, particularly with the reduction of the threshold to a bank deposit of $500,000 or property purchase worth $250,000 in September 2018, the Turkish Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program has gained immense popularity due to its favorable investment terms. By September 2019, when Globevisa facilitated the first Turkish passport through investment for a Chinese applicant, the program gained even more recognition and saw a significant surge in activity.

 

In response to an increase in applications and instances of abuse of immigration laws, the government implemented several policy changes to prevent exploitation. The key modifications include:

– September 2018: Property purchase of $250,000 or deposit of $500,000

– June 2022: Property purchase requirement increased to $400,000

– February 2023: During the residence application stage, the main applicant needs to go to Turkey to complete fingerprinting locally.

– January 2024: The main applicant and their spouse must provide a clean criminal record and personally submit the application in Turkey.

– March 2024: The Gabim review is canceled, and property evaluations are handled by Gedas; property evaluation reports not approved by Gedas need to be reassessed by Gedas.

 

On February 14th, 2024, Minister of Environment and Urbanization, Mr. Mehmet Özhaseki, indicated that the mandatory evaluation report could potentially be eliminated from the citizenship application process.

Source

 

This news was welcomed by applicants for citizenship by investment (CBI) because the report contributes to longer processing times, incurs third-party fees, and poses a risk of ineligibility even if the property’s purchase price exceeds USD 400K. Now, two months after the announcement, what is the Minister’s current stance on the evaluation report? To address this question, I conducted a brief interview with Globevisa’s in-house lawyer for Turkish CBI, Elif Izgi Uluyuz.

Hannah: Hi Elif, can you introduce yourself?

 

Elif: I was born and raised in the capital city of Turkey, Ankara. Later, I came to Istanbul to study for university, then I settled in Istanbul. After graduating from law school, in Turkey you need to do a one-year internship, so I completed half of my one-year internship at the firm specialized in maritime law and the other in a law firm cooperating with Globevisa. Now I’m providing legal support for the company as a legal counsel on investment and financial activities in Istanbul.

 

Hannah: Thanks for your introduction, Elif. Now one of the most popular topics among our clients is the evaluation report, which determines whether a property is eligible for CBI. Can you brief us about the history of this evaluation report policy?

 

Elif: An evaluation report is a report that determines the financial value of a real estate property. This report has been transferred to the government institution called GEDAS in Turkey. While evaluation reports were prepared by private companies before, they were now prepared by the government institution and also the government says there’s no question of eliminating these evaluation reports. It’s just that from now on evaluation reports are prepared by the government.

 

Hannah: But I heard some news released about a few months ago that the government will remove or cancel this evaluation report, do you think that’s possible?

 

Elif: Oh, no. During the period when private companies prepared this report there were indeed some abuses in private firms report. The private company’s reports’ values shown significantly above the actual value of the real estate. So I believe that after these are noticed, more objective valuation reports will be made from now on by the government. That’s why the government chose this way to using their institutions. But the government never eliminates these reports, I think.

 

As a key player in the Turkish CBI market, we anticipate and welcome the prospect of increased regulation in the property market within the CBI industry due to heightened compliance regulations.

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