TURKEY’S EDGE IN THE CBI MARKET
Article By Basar Yucel & Marko Issever on December 15, 2020
Turkey’s citizenship by investment program has become more attractive for investors with the recent changes in the country’s legislation. Now, foreign investors can fast track their citizenship processes without meeting the condition of minimum period of residency. The country also has advantages over other countries like Grenada and Montenegro, which also offer CBI programs while maintaining E1/E2 treaties with the U.S.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR TURKEY’S PROGRAM
Anyone can apply to the CBI program as long as applicants have a clean criminal record. The amended Regulation of Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law, which became effective on Sept. 19, 2018, lets foreign investors acquire Turkish citizenship by either making a real estate investment of at least $250,000 or by making a cash investment.
 If they choose to make a cash investment, they have the following three options to invest in:
Deposit $500,000 in a Turkish bank recognized by the Council of Bank Audit and Regulation.
Invest $500,000 in Turkish government bonds recognized by the Undersecretary of Treasury.
Invest $500,000 in fixed capital recognized by the Ministry of Industry and Technology.
If applicants choose the real estate route, they will need to invest a minimum of $250,000 in real estate after a capital markets board-licensed company appraised it to be worth at least as much. The applicant must maintain the property investment for at least three years. A prospective investor should expect to spend an additional $25,000 to cover the fees of a local attorney, due diligence, filing, and administrative processing costs. The following list shows eligible investors and investments:
Foreigners may acquire any real estate in areas where private property is allowed (residential, commercial, land lot, agricultural, etc.).
If the real estate acquired does not include any previously-built construction, the owner must apply to the relevant public administration within two years to develop a project.
A foreigner can acquire real estate anywhere in Turkey of up to 30 hectares.
Foreigners cannot acquire and lease real estate within prohibited military zones or military security zones.
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