A total of 210 foreign investors have applied for Turkish citizenship after the country eased the process, the Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said yesterday.
"On Oct. 22, first efforts started for testing [the visa system]. Until Oct. 30, 210 applications were made in Istanbul and Ankara," Soylu said following a visit to the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management in Ankara.
Turkey revised the requirements for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship to encourage investment. The new regulations were published in the Official Gazette on Sept. 19. In October, the interior ministry had announced that it would open service offices to ease citizenship or long-term residence permit procedures for foreign investors.
The ministry said the offices will monitor the applicants' conditions, support investors, provide consultancy and track the applications.
Soylu said that foreigners who want to be Turkish citizen need to make an investment of $500,000; buy real estate worth $250,000 or create jobs for at least 50 people.
According to the new regulations, foreigners who own real estate in Turkey worth a minimum of $250,000, instead of a previous limit of $1 million, can now avail themselves of Turkish citizenship.
Also, the lower limit of fixed capital investments to acquire Turkish citizenship for foreigners has been reduced to $500,000 from $2 million.
The regulation also covers foreigners who deposit a minimum of $3 million in Turkish banks. The deposit requirement of minimum $3 million in Turkish banks has also been lowered to $500,000.
A similar regulation applies to foreign investors who hold government-issued bonds worth at least $500,000 that are not diversified for three years. Previously, the minimum requirement was $3 million for government bond holding foreigners.
Furthermore, foreigners who generate jobs for a minimum of 50 people, compared to the previous requirement of 100 jobs, will also be able to apply for Turkish citizenship. Interior Minister Soylu added that, once the investors who meet the requirements apply for citizenship via the special offices all across Turkey their procedures would be completed in 45 days.