The Investor Citizenship Programme in Turkey

4 January 2019 0 Comment(s)

After the amendment of the Turkish Citizenship Law with the Law No. 6735, 28.07.2016, foreigners who will  exceptionally be granted citizenship and the criteria to be fulfilled were  chaged as of 19.09.2018 as stated below.

In accordance with clause (j) of the first paragraph of Article 31 on the Foreigners and International Protection Law No. 6458, foreigners having obtained a residential permit and foreigners holding a Turquoise Card and their foreign spouses, their minor or dependent children or those of their spouses, will have the possibility of becoming Turkish citizens.

With this provision those who have obtained a residential permit in accordance with clause (j) of the first paragraph of Article 31/1 on the Foreigners and International Protection Law No. 6458 and foreigners holding a Turquoise Card in accordance with the International Labour Law No.6735 and their foreign spouses, their minor or dependent children or those of their spouses, will be able to obtain exceptionally the citizenship as two groups within the scope of Article 12 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901.

If these groups are to be analyzed separately,

  1. Those having obtained a residential permit in accordance with clause (j) of Article 31/1 on the Foreigners and International Protection Law.

Article 31 of the Foreigners and International Protection Law with the heading “Short-term residential permit” clause (j) is as below:

In Article 31/1 (j) of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection, those who do not work in Turkey but make an investment within the scope and amount determined by the council of ministers and their foreign spouses, minor or dependent children or that of their spouses are ranked among the persons that can obtain a short-term residential permit. The new law has envisaged that among the other persons stated in this article, persons included in this group envisaged in clause (j) can be granted a short-term residential permit.

Anyone fulfilling any of the below mentioned conditions can obtain Turkish citizenship with the resolution of a foreign ministry and the decision of the Council of Ministers:

Investors;

  1. a) that have been confirmed by the Ministry of Economy of having realized a capital investment of minimum 500.000 US Dollars,
  2. b) that have been confirmed by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization of having purchased property worth minimum 250.000 US Dollars with the condition of annotating to the land registration not to sell these for three years,
  3. c) that have been confirmed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of having provided employment for minimum 50 persons,

ç) that have been confirmed by the Banking regulation and Supervision Agency of having deposited an amount of minimum 500.000 US Dollars with the condition of maintained it for three years to a bank operating in Turkey,

  1. d) that have been confirmed by the Undersecretariat of Treasury of having purchased government debt instruments worth minimum 500.000 US Dollars with the condition of maintained it for three years,
  2. e) that have been confirmed by the Capital Markets Board of having purchased a share of real estate investment trust or share of venture capital fund worth minimum 500.000 US Dollars and maintained it for three years.

With the amendment of the regulation, in accordance with Article 12 of the Turkish Citizenship Law, it was determined which monetary value and quality the investment expected by persons “who do not work in Turkey but make an investment within the scope and amount determined by the council of ministers and their foreign spouses, minor or dependent children or that of their spouses” stated in the provision 31/1 (j) of the Foreigners and International Protection Law has to be.

Thereby, by the means of the amendment of Article 12 of the Turkish Citizenship Law and Article 20 in regard to the regulation of the implementation of this law, foreigners who;

  • make an investment above specific monetary values,
  • create employment of a specific number,
  • purchase assets worth a specific value,
  • hold a deposit above a specific value,
  • purchase government debt instruments above a specific value,
  • purchase a share of real estate investment trust or share of venture capital fund above a specific value in Turkey, have the possibility of obtaining exceptionally the Turkish citizenship.

 

In accordance with Article 11 of the International Labor Law, Turquoise Card holding foreigners and their foreign spouses, their minor or dependent children or those of their spouses, will have the possibility of becoming Turkish citizens with the (b) clause added on 28.07.2016 with the Law No.6735 to Article 12 of the Turkish Citizenship Law.

It is not defined in the Turkish Citizenship Law who Turquoise Card holding foreigners are. The Turquoise Card which has entered our law system with the International Labor Law, is defined in the same law.  First, it was stated that in the clause (ğ) of Article 3 with the heading “Definitions” of the International Labor Law, the Turquoise Card implied regarding its implementation “a document granting foreigners an unlimited working right in Turkey and their spouse and children they are responsible to care a residential permit according to the provisions of the legislation”.

In the third part with the heading “Working Permission and Exemption” of the law, the Turquoise card was regulated after Article 10 regulating the working permission types with Article 11 under the heading of “Turquoise Card”. According to the first paragraph of this article, “In accordance with the International Labor Policy; the Turquoise Card is given to foreigners whose application is seen suitable according to the methods and principles determined by the International Labor Policy Consultative Committee and the Ministry with their education level, professional experience, contribution to science and technology, their operations in Turkey or the effect of their investment to the economy of the country and to employment”.

The Turquoise Card can be given to foreigners who;

  1. a) are considered high quality labor regarding their education level, professional experience, contribution to science and technology and similar,
  2. b) are considered high quality investors regarding their investment or export level, the magnitude of the employment he/she will provide, the contribution made to scientific and technological development and similar properties,
  3. c) contribute to scientific and technological development or who are scientists or researchers that realize works and researches seen strategic in terms of the interest of the country at an international level,

ç) are internationally successful in the fields of culture, art or sports,

  1. d) contribute to Turkey or the recognition or promotion of the Turkish culture internationally, who take part in international activities regarding the national interests of Turkey.

As understood of the provision of the regulation, foreigners who can obtain a Turquoise Cars are foreigners that can contribute to the country in certain fields.

With the International Labor Law and the Turquoise Card Regulation, foreigners having obtained a Turquoise card have an exceptional status. According to Article 11/4 of the ILL, the spouse of the Turquoise Card holding foreigner and the children he/she has to care of, are given documents stating that they are relatives of a Turquoise card holder and documents substitutive of a residential permit.

According to Article 19 of the Turquoise Card Regulation, its holder can benefit from the rights provided by the unlimited working permission. Foreigners holding a Turquoise card;

  1. a) are exempted from the obligation of military service.
  2. b) cannot benefit from the right to elect and being elected, the right of making a civil service.
  3. c) have rights gained regarding social security and these rights are subject to the provisions of the regulation on the implication of these rights.

ç) the procedures regarding subjects as the residence, travel, working, investment, trading activities, legacy, acquisition of property of these persons in Turkey, will be performed by the relevant institutions according to the legislation applied on Turkish citizens.

(2) If the condition of being a Turkish citizen has been laid down in the implementation of these rights and obligations, Turquoise Card holders cannot demand to take advantage of these rights.

(3) Within the frame of the clause (b) of the first paragraph of Article 12 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901, 25.09.2009, the Turquoise Card holder and their relatives can obtain Turkish citizenship if recommended by the ministry with the condition of not constituting an obstacle to national security and public order and the condition that the record of period of transition is removed.

With these provisions, a privileged status has been granted to Turquoise Card holding foreigners in contrast to other foreigners.

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