Turkish Citizenship Through Bank Deposit and The Process

The Deposit Method, which is one of the ways to apply for Turkish citizenship through investment, is a commitment that deposits amounting to 500,000 USD or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent Turkish Lira specified in Article 20 of the Regulation on the Implementation of Turkish Citizenship Law[1]  No. 5627 will be deposited in banks operating in Turkey and held for three years.

The applicant has the right to apply for citizenship with deposits deposited in one or more accounts or in different accounts on different banks in all private and public banks operating in Turkey. For applications made at different banks, the investment requirement is met when the total amount in the accounts reach 500,000 USD. However, it should be noted that the deposits deposited in the subsidiary, foreign branch, or representative of the banks operating in Turkey are not valid.

In order for the foreign applicant to open a bank account, personal information including their mother’s maiden name, contact information, address document indicating foreign residence, potential tax number and tax number in the country where the investor is subject to taxation, and the Notarised passport translation are requested by banks. Considering that each bank has different procedures, it should be noted that the information and documents requested by the banks will differ.

It is possible for a third party or a representative to deposit money into the account on behalf of the applicant. In addition, the money can be transferred from the applicant’s company account. Sending the money from a company account that does not belong to the applicant is accepted by some banks if the applicant’s first name, surname, and the purpose of the money transfer (which is to obtain Turkish citizenship) are written in the transfer description.

One of the most frequently asked questions that applicants ask is whether the citizenship applications made through Deposits using joint accounts or not. If the account partner gives clear consent that the money in the bank will not be reduced within three years, the citizenship application can be made through the joint account.

One of the conveniences of the Deposit method is that citizens of certain countries who cannot apply for Turkish Citizenship through real estate can apply through the Deposit method. Thus, we recommend Deposit method for those that want to obtain Turkish Citizenship but cannot purchase a real estate in Turkey, and we can help you throughout the Turkish Citizenship by Deposit process. Citizens of countries such as Armenia, Cyprus, Syria, Taiwan, and North Korea who cannot obtain real estate from Turkey can obtain Turkish citizenship provided that they meet the conditions in the legislation.

Applicants can transfer the money from abroad or apply for citizenship using their deposits that is already in Turkey. In fact, the deposits in Turkey that were deposited before the Regulation can be the basis for the application of citizenship by putting an annotation on it. In this case, the period before the application will not be included in the three-year period sought for citizenship application. It should also be known that the money transferred from abroad will be evaluated[2] by the banks within the framework of the Financial Crimes Investigation Board regulations and transactions deemed suspicious will be cancelled.

When the deposit amount reaches 500,000 USD; the investor’s commitment to not withdraw the deposit for three years is overseen by the Banking Regulatory Supervision Agency (BRSA). If BRSA examines the applicant’s file and finds that the investment meets the conditions sought in the legislation, a document under the name of “Investment Letter” is issued and send to the e-mail address provided by the applicant within two or three weeks from the date of application. Subsequently, the applicant can apply for [3] “Short Term Residence Permit” and “Turkish citizenship” in accordance with paragraph “j” of article 31 of the Law No. 6458, based on this Investment Letter.

The three-year period committed for the citizenship process begins when the BRSA deems it eligible and informs the Ministry of Interior of the eligibility. Based on the investment made by the main applicant; citizenship applications can also be made for the individual’s spouse, non-adult children, and dependent children.

Banking transactions, including the opening of a bank account, initiation, and execution of the investment eligibility process, signing of necessary documents, residence, and citizenship application; can also be carried out by the proxy authorised by a special authorisation Power of Attorney document. Thus, all transactions can be completed remotely with a Power of Attorney document without the need for the foreign applicant to enter Turkey.

If another convertible foreign currency other than US Dollar or Turkish Lira is deposited into the bank, the BRSA determines whether the 500,000 USD requirement is met or not, based on the dollar rate at that date (at the time of eligibility determination).

The amount deposited in US Dollars can be converted into a different convertible currency of the BRSA or Turkish Lira within the period of three years with the request of the applicant. This will not cause the applicant’s Investment Letter to be revoked. In addition, the process initiated by a deposit can be continued with a different type of investment that is specified in the Regulation. In this case, it should be reported to the Ministry of Interior, the three-year period should not be interrupted and there should be no deduction on the amount invested.

One of the questions we often face is whether deposits can be withdrawn within the three-year period. Our legislation grants the applicant the freedom to withdraw the amount he/she has invested at any time. If the amount is reduced or withdrawn, the BRSA will be notified by the relevant bank without delay, and the situation will be immediately reported to the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs of the Ministry of Interior and the General Directorate of Migration Management. Thus, the citizenship acquisition process will be terminated and if citizenship is obtained is will be cancelled. If a new citizenship application has been made following this, the period of the previous application will not be taken into account[4].

One of the problems that can be encountered in the process is the imposition of legal restrictions such as pledges and foreclosures, which will prevent or reduce the use of money over the promised amount. In case of such a restriction, the situation is immediately notified by the bank to the BRSA and the matter in question is forwarded to the Ministry of Interior. Therefore, the applicant’s citizenship application can be rejected, or the acquired citizenship can be cancelled.

One of the reasons why the deposit route is frequently preferred by the applicants is that all kinds of interest, dividends and similar returns can be used if the deposits are not reduced below the limit sought in the Regulation.

Finally, it should be mentioned that applying for Turkish Citizenship through Deposit method can be considered as the most practical and risk-free way compared to other methods. Many factors such as the applicant’s freedom to withdraw the money and terminate the process whenever they wish, their ability to benefit from the returns of their deposits or make savings on the deposit, and the fact that the money is not affected by the exchange rate within three years, distinguish this method from others and allow the investor to invest in a safe ground.

[1] https://www.mevzuat.gov.tr/mevzuat?MevzuatNo=2010139&MevzuatTur=3&MevzuatTertip=5

[2] https://www.bddk.org.tr/Sss-Kategori/Yabanci-Kisi-Vatandaslik-Basvurulari/11

[3] https://www.mevzuat.gov.tr/mevzuat?MevzuatNo=6458&MevzuatTur=1&MevzuatTertip=5

[4] https://www.bddk.org.tr/Sss-Kategori/Yabanci-Kisi-Vatandaslik-Basvurulari/11

Author: Zümrüt Özgür