Principles and Procedures for Foreigners Investing in Government Debt Instruments to Apply for Turkish Citizenship
With the “Regulation Amending the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law (“Regulation“)”, which entered into force after being published in the Official Gazette dated September 19, 2018, and numbered 30540, it has been decided that foreign nationals who are determined by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance (“Ministry“) to have purchased government debt instruments amounting to at least USD 500,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency, provided that they are held for three years, maybe granted citizenship with the decision of the President. Under the aforementioned Regulation, the citizenship applications of foreign real persons will be evaluated within the framework of the procedures and principles set out below.
Table of Contents
a) The investor is required to open an investment account at the domestic branches of banks operating in Turkey subject to the Banking Law numbered 5411 and purchase Government debt instruments (Government domestic debt securities and bonds issued in foreign markets to provide external financing and lease certificates issued by the Undersecretariat of Treasury Asset Leasing Inc. in domestic and foreign markets within the scope of Law numbered 4749) amounting to net USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish Lira by the relevant provision of the Regulation.
b) To apply for citizenship by investing in government debt instruments, the government debt instrument investment account to be opened in the bank must be blocked for at least 3 years.
c) The minimum investment requirement of net USD 500,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency or Turkish Lira envisaged for government debt instruments is calculated by using the effective selling rate of USD and/or the cross-currency rate announced by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, which is valid for the date the government debt instruments are blocked in the investor account (if blocked in stages, valid for each blockage date if blocked at once, valid for this blockage date).
Actions to be taken by Banks
The investor’s declaration regarding the blocking of the investment account to be opened in the bank in the name of the foreign real person who wants to apply for citizenship within the scope of the Regulation for at least 3 years to hold the government debt instrument must be submitted to the Ministry together with a cover letter.
Actions to be taken by the Ministry
The Ministry shall notify the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs and the General Directorate of Migration Management of the eligibility of the applications that meet the conditions specified in the Regulation within 5 business days from the date on which the letter and its annex submitted by the bank are delivered to the Ministry, and a copy of the said letter shall be sent to the relevant bank to inform the investor.
Investors will be able to freely benefit from the interest/lease income of the Government debt instruments blocked in the investment account.
APPLICATION FOR A RESIDENCE PERMIT FOR CITIZENSHIP PURPOSES
For applications that meet the conditions set out in the Regulation, the Ministry notifies the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs, the General Directorate of Migration Management, and the investor, and the necessary documents and the letter of conformity are submitted to the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs, the General Directorate of Migration Management and the investor, and the application for a residence permit for Turkish citizenship is made as a prerequisite for the application for the acquisition of Turkish citizenship through the exceptional route.
APPLICATION FOR TURKISH CITIZENSHIP
Under the Regulation, foreigners who open an investment account at domestic branches of banks operating in Turkey subject to the Banking Law numbered 5411 and purchase a government debt instrument amounting to USD 500,000 net or its equivalent in foreign currency or Turkish Lira and block it for at least 3 years and who have a residence permit for citizenship purposes may apply for Turkish citizenship with the necessary documents and papers.
It should be noted that the foreigner’s spouse and children under the age of 18 will also have the right to apply for Turkish citizenship.
If the application is approved, Turkish citizenship is considered acquired. Subsequently, it is possible to complete the Turkish passport and identification procedures from the population directorates in Turkey and/or Turkish consulates in the country of nationality of the investor. It is mandatory to submit the “Approval Announcement Document” indicating that Turkish citizenship has been acquired exceptionally in the applications.
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