The Turkey Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI) was ranked 8th in the CBI Index for 2021, while the Dominica CBI Programme topped the rankings for the third time. Let us have a closer look at what Turkey can offer and what improvements its CBI programme requires.
The CBI Index compares CBI programmes available all over the world by evaluating each on nine criteria in its Point Based Scoring (PBS) model:
• Freedom of Movement
• Standard of Living
• Minimum Investment Outlay
• Mandatory Travel or Residence
• Citizenship Timeline
• Ease of Processing
• Due Diligence
• Certainty of Product
The Index’s ranking system takes into account key factors investors consider before selecting a CBI programme.
Dominica was the winner for 2021 along with St Kitts and Nevis. Grenada took the third-place position and Turkey ranked eighth from the 14 programmes evaluated.
The Caribbean programmes occupy top 5 positions of the CBI Index, primarily because they are the most affordable and offer balanced passport benefits. While in 2021, Dominica shared the crown with St Kitts and Nevis (same Total Points and Percentage), it also took the first place in 2020 and 2019, when Turkey ranked at 10 and 9, respectively.
European programmes have over time declined in popularity due to their costs, and countries such as Cyprus and Moldova have already closed their doors. Bulgaria plans to end its golden passport programme, and Montenegro will stop accepting applications at the end of 2022.
The World Citizenship Report (WCR) is the first-ever endeavour investigating the value of citizenship through the lens of a global citizen. Successively from about five years of research, the culmination of data has resulted in a ranking of almost every country in the world to demonstrate how they fare on the five key components of:
• Global Mobility
• Quality of Life
• Financial Freedom
• Economic Opportunity
• Safety and Security
The 2022 World Citizenship Report measures 187 countries against five motivators that are relevant to High Net-Worth Individuals. Dominica and Turkey are not in the top ten, but several European and Asian countries are.
Dominica takes 52nd place globally, and Turkey lands at 85. However, in the Safety and Security component’s regional breakdown, Dominica comes in 3rd for Latin America & Caribbean, while Turkey is not listed in any of those detailed rankings.
Unlike the Caribbean nation of Dominica, Turkey’s Citizenship by Investment Programme is a relative newcomer in the CBI industry. Launched in 2017 it found significant success among Middle Eastern applicants who are often met with some restrictions when applying for Caribbean citizenship by investment programmes.
There are five investment options available in Turkey from which the most affordable and popular is the purchase of property valued at US$400,000. The other options include a deposit into a Turkish bank, investment in government bonds or in fixed capital, which all must be valued at minimum of US$500,000.
|Amount||Investment Type||Required Official Approval||Hold Period|
|US$400,000||Property purchase||Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation||3 years|
|US$500,000||Deposit in a Turkish bank||Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency||3 years|
|US$500,000||Government bonds||Ministry of Treasury and Finance||3 years|
|US$500,000||Real estate investment fund share or venture capital investment fund share||Capital Markets Board of Türkiye||3 years|
|US$500,000||Fixed capital||Ministry of Industry and Technology||N/A|
|N/A||50 Jobs||Ministry of Family, Labour, and Social Security||N/A|
Applicants who seek to obtain citizenship of Turkey will face a less clear and more complex process, than those who choose a more transparent and established CBI programme.
Dominica, for instance, has a Citizenship by Investment Unit (CBIU) – a body dedicated to managing and processing citizenship by investment applications. The CBIU maintains up-to-date websites containing all the information an applicant will need during the CBI process, including a list of agents authorised to submit an application on their behalf.
Turkey, on the other hand, has no such dedicated body and applications are instead reviewed by the government. Applications are typically approved within 120 days, following which the citizenship documents are issued.
|Citizenship by Investment Unit||No||Yes|
|Approved Agents to Guide Applications||No||Yes|
Over the years, Dominica has implemented highly streamlined processes that meet the needs of investors. This is because the CBI Programme of Dominica is one of the most longstanding in the industry, being implemented in 1993.
By contrast, Turkey’s CBI provisions, in their current form, were implemented in 2017. Longevity plays an important role in ensuring both reputation and stability, but also in ensuring a programme develops the initiative to keep abreast of industry trends. In Dominica this initiative is reflected in recent changes to the programme.
Detecting increasing investor interest in family reunification following Covid-19, Dominica expanded the scope of family eligibility under its programme and it is now one of the most family-friendly CBI programmes in the world. On the contrary, Turkey makes provision for only the spouse of the main applicant and children under 18 years of age.
• Children under 18 years of age
• Children of the main applicant or of the spouse aged 18 or over with a medical condition that renders them dependent
• Children of the main applicant or of the spouse, if:
– Under the age of 18
– Aged between 18-30 and substantially supported by the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse
– Aged 18 or over, physically or mentally challenged, and substantially supported by the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse
• Parents or grandparents of the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse who are substantially supported by the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse
• Spouses of qualifying parents or grandparents who are themselves substantially supported by the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse
• Siblings of the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse, aged 25 or under, single, childless, and, if under 18, in receipt of consent to make an application from all persons with parental responsibility
Finally, CBI applicants in Turkey are subject to lax due diligence, with no external checks and a lack of emphasis on an applicant’s source of funds. The due diligence process in Dominica is far more stringent, with initial checks by agents, internal checks by the CBIU, and external checks by specialist firms and regional and international entities, including Interpol and the JRCC. Dominica’s multi-tiered approach to due diligence is one of the key reasons the island is a highly reputable destination for second citizenship.
Taking into account the above it seems obvious why Dominica is the first and Turkey the eighth in the CBI Index ranking, but Turkish citizenship may offer other benefits that can be worth consideration including:
• Living in a country, bordered by three seas, located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, in the land of significant geostrategic importance
• Turkey citizen’s rights – ability to live and work in Turkey, country that enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, beautiful scenery, and a high standard of living
• Full citizenship granted to the applicant and included family members
• Eligibility for an E-2 Investor Visa in the USA for a five-year renewable period
• Access to a transcontinental Eurasian country that is a stable economic, financial, and political hub between Europe, Western Asia and the Middle East
|Religion:||Christianity – 90%, other-10%||Islam – 82%, no religion – 13%, Christianity- 2%|
|Age Range:||0-14 years: 21.62%
15-64 years: 66.65%
65 years and more: 11.43%
|0-14 years: 23.94%
15-64 years: 67.08%
65 years and more: 8.98%
|Area:||751 km2||783,356 km2|
|Investment sectors:||Agriculture, Tourism, Manufacturing||Tourism, Infrastructure, Science and technology|
To get advice on investor immigration options, feel free to contact us for a consultation.
CS Global Partners has a team of experts with heaps of industry knowledge to help you decide what country and citizenship or residence programme may suit you best.