Turkey with its unique geographical location on two continents connects everywhere worldwide with modern transportation capabilities. As home to different cultures and civilizations through time, their rich and deep history has evolved into a treasure of its own with natural beauties and heritage. Many people worldwide choose Turkey to start a new life, work, retire or invest for these reasons and much more.
According to the laws and regulations of the Republic of Turkey, visitors with the purpose of tourism can not stay for more than 90 days in Turkey. Visitors without Turkish citizenship must obtain a residence permit to stay longer than 90 days. Depending on the purpose of visiting Turkey, there are many types of residence permits. These include students, employees, foreigners marrying Turkish citizens who have not yet obtained citizenship, scientific research, and foreign property owners. So, those who wish to reside and stay longer than 90 days must have a residence permit.
The duration of a residence permit in Turkey ranges from six months to five years. Six-month residence visas are mainly given to seasonal workers. Those who want to reside for a more extended period can obtain a 1-2-year residence permit first, and this period may extend to five years when the visa is due for renewal. With the new regulation, foreign nationals can acquire Turkish citizenship and long-term residence permits by purchasing real estate in our country.
What are the Advantages of Buying Real Estate for a Residence Permit?
● The deed of real estate is the most crucial factor in the renewal of a residence permit and the key to being a Turkish citizen.
● When one of the individuals who have a family home in Turkey (if the husband or wife) gets a residence permit, the remaining family members (except for children over the age of 18) would automatically have the same rights.
● A residence permit obtained with a lease contract or rental agreement is a tourist visa and gives no right to obtain citizenship.
● Foreigners who own real estate in Turkey will have a right to apply for Turkish citizenship after 5 years, and they do not need to make a visa extension process with a lease agreement.
Conditions required for a residence permit in Turkey
According to the residence permit procedure, you must first apply online to the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM). To make an appointment at the nearest DGMM office, you must fill in the online form in which you will share all your required information. When you fill in the form, the system will direct you to the nearest DGMM office and give you an appointment. The amount needed for the residence permit payment may vary depending on the residence time you apply for. The system will calculate the correct amount for you. You can also inquire about the residence permit through the online system.
The documents required for the residence permit application are as follows:
● Residence permit application form,
● Original and photocopy of the passport or replacement document,
● Four passport photos,
● Statement that you have sufficient and regular financial opportunities during your stay,
● Submission of the previous residence permit document,
● Valid health insurance, bilateral social document on how you can benefit from health services in Turkey within the scope of contracts,
● Document provision taken from the Social Security Agency, confirming the application to be made universal health insurance to Social Security, private health insurance.
If these documents are received from Turkish authorities, they must be e-signed / signed and stamped/sealed, if they are obtained from abroad, they must be legalized, and their Turkish translation must be notarized. In case of being a citizen of a country that is not a party to the Apostille agreement, the documents in question must be approved by the authorities of the relevant country (consular approval and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or authorized Turkish authorities in this regard).
Residence Permit by Purchasing Real Estate in Turkey
To apply for this type of residence permit, the real estate must be a residence. With the decisions published in the Official Gazette dated 19.09.2018 and 07.12.2018, some regulations were made regarding the relaxation of obtaining Turkish citizenship with this type of resident permit. Foreigners buying property in Turkey both have the right to get Turkish passports and to obtain Turkish citizenship.
To qualify for Turkish citizenship, an applicant must meet any of the following conditions;
● To invest at least USD 500,000 in any Turkish bank, Government Bonds or real estate investment funds (REIT) for 3 years
● To purchase real estate worth at least 250,000 USD, provided that it does not sell for 3 years. The source of mutual funds must be self-financed and paid in full. (No bank financing or credit is allowed under this category.)
● To create employment for at least 50 employees, to provide social security for all employees, to maintain workflow and social security payments of employees for a minimum of 3 years.
What should foreigners do to buy property in Turkey?
Foreign nationals can purchase property such as residences, workplaces, land, and fields in Turkey, provided that they comply with the restrictions specified in the law. If the foreign national is going to buy a field or land, he has to inform the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization within 2 years what kind of a structure he will build on this land.
What are the limitations on the purchase of property by foreigners?
According to the relevant law, the following restrictions apply to the purchase of property by foreigners:
● A foreign national can purchase a maximum of 30 hectares of real estate throughout Turkey.
● A foreign national cannot buy property in military forbidden zones and security zones. Renting is possible only with special permission.
● Foreign natural persons can purchase real estate up to 10% of the district area subject to private ownership.
● Properties that are determined by legal institutions that they are not used in accordance with the purpose of purchase, and that are not informed about the building type within 2 years, although they were purchased to construct the building, can be liquidated by official institutions.
The limitations mentioned above do not apply to companies with legal personalities established in accordance with the laws of their home country.
What procedure should be followed to buy a property?
A preliminary application should be made to the land registry offices for the transfer process. It is necessary to obtain a sequence number for pre-application. For this, phone number 181 can be called, and an application can be made at https://randevu.tkgm.gov.tr/
After the preliminary application, a day is determined for the transfer process to those who will sell and buy the property.
The following documents must be prepared within the specified day:
- Title deed of the real estate
- Passport and photocopy of the foreign national who will buy it (Turkish translation may be required)
- "Real Estate Market Value Certificate" to be obtained from the municipality where the property is located
- Residence and workplace etc. Compulsory earthquake insurance policy for buildings such as
- 1 passport photo of the seller and 2 passport photos of the buyer
- Sworn translator if the buyer does not speak Turkish
- If the transfer process is carried out with a power of attorney issued abroad, the original or certified copy of a power of attorney (it must be translated into Turkish).
Other issues you need to consider
You should find out if there are restrictions on immovable property, such as mortgages, liens. For this, you can get the necessary information from the land registry office. A residence permit is not required to buy property in Turkey.
Long-Term Residence Permit
Foreign nationals who have lived a particular time in Turkey may apply for this type of residence permit if they fulfill the following conditions:
- At least 8 years of continuous living in Turkey. Short-term absentee of 6 months is allowed.
- Those who have not received any financial support from the Turkish Government in the last 3 years.
- Those with valid private health insurance
- Those who have no criminal record or that pose no threat to the public.
Turkey's demographic characteristics and economic profile enable those who want to start a business in the country and want to invest in real estate to consider Turkey as one of their first choices. For this reason, more and more foreign investors are demanding real estate investments every year.