Policy Updates

Turkey Takes Undeveloped Land Off The CBI Menu Amid Rumors of Big Changes

Siren Chen

The Turkish Citizenship by Investment program, launched in 2017, has undergone several policy changes in its seven-year existence:

  • In January 2017, Turkey 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. Nine months and a disappointingly low number of applications later, the government announced its intentions to drastically “rethink” the program.
  • In September 2018, after a year and a half of a lukewarm response, the government reduced the investment amounts to $250,000 for real estate and $500,000 in deposits for citizenship eligibility. As a consequence, Turkey received nearly 10,000 applications in the following year.

This surge, in turn and over time, prompted the government to implement gradual restrictions:

Finally, last week, unconfirmed but widely disseminated reports suggested that, starting from January 1st, the property investment threshold for the Turkish CIP will once more rise, this time from $400,000 to $600,000.

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Yesterday, 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 changes 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.

What impact will this amendment have on the market?

Considering the perennial absence of statistical reports from the Turkish CIP, we can but rely anecdotal data: Since 2018, when I first got involved with the 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 route.

In my six years of processing clients for this program, I have never encountered a single client choosing to purchase undeveloped land without a building permit for citizenship investment. In other words, this new rule is unlikely to phase any significant number of applicants.

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Siren Chen AuthorSubscriberParticipant
Group Head of Project R&D , Globevisa

Siren is the Group Head of Project Research and Development at Globevisa, the world’s largest investment migration company, which she joined in 2013. 

She is also a member of the company’s Executive Committee.

A China-licensed attorney who studied Internal Law at Zhongnan University of Economics and Université de Cergy-Pontoise, she has more than a decade of experience from the immigration industry.

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