Dual Citizenship in Turkey: An Expats Guide

Embracing the richness of two cultures is a remarkable journey, and Turkey offers a unique tapestry of history, culture, and modernity for those considering dual citizenship.

This guide is your compass, navigating the intricate process and illuminating the path towards becoming a part of Turkey’s vibrant community as a dual citizen.

Let’s dive in!

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What Is Dual Citizenship?

If someone has dual nationality, they are legally recognized in both countries as a citizen. They share the same rights and responsibilities as citizens without dual nationality.

Sometimes, dual citizenship happens automatically. 

For example, in the United States, if a child is born to parents of another country, by default, they will be citizens of both the US and their parent’s home country.

Dual nationality is also often granted through legal processes, such as marriage. 

If someone marries a citizen of another country, they may be entitled to citizenship of their spouse’s country, and vice versa.

Not all countries allow their citizens to hold dual nationality. It is necessary to check whether the country you are currently a citizen of allows it before applying for a new citizenship.

In countries that do not allow dual citizenship, citizens must surrender their nationality to become citizens of another country.

What Are The Benefits Of Dual Citizenship?

There are many benefits to being a dual citizen, from quality of living to global mobility:

✅ Security

A second passport from a stable country can be life-saving in any political, economic, or social unrest in one’s home country.

✅ Global Mobility

Passports are restrictive in their visa-free mobility, forcing citizens to obtain visas whenever they need to travel abroad. A second passport can offer individuals from these countries increased global mobility.

✅ Business

New business opportunities open up to dual citizens who can now do business in the host country and travel abroad more freely.

✅ Tax Optimization

Dual citizenship may prove advantageous for tax optimization purposes. For example, some countries only tax income earned from that country and do not subject capital gains to taxes. 

This allows investors to manage their wealth more efficiently and effectively.

✅ Quality of Life

Second, citizenships can offer access to world-class health care, education, and an improved lifestyle.

What Is Turkey Citizenship?

Turkish citizenship eligibility criteria may vary based on factors like investment in the country, duration of residency, or being married to a Turkish national. 

Some aspiring citizens may acquire citizenship through investments in the Turkish economy or real estate market. 

In contrast, others might be eligible because of their professional or personal connections to the country.

However, understanding the steps and requirements in the application process can be challenging — especially for those unfamiliar with the Turkish legal system and language. 

Important considerations include the necessary documentation, the interview process, and dealing with potential challenges. 

In addition, one must remember the possibility of dual citizenship and its implications for your life in Turkey.

Does Turkey Allow Dual Citizenship?

Turkey also allows dual and multiple citizenship, regardless of the country you come from. So there is no need to renounce your old passport of your country of origin.

What Is The Eligibility Criteria For Turkish Citizenship?

Residency-Based Citizenship

Residing in Turkey for an uninterrupted period of five years is the most common pathway towards obtaining citizenship. During this period, expats must spend at most one year outside the country. 

The applicant must also prove that they can comfortably support themselves financially and possess no criminal record in Turkey or their home country.

Citizenship by Marriage

Being married to a Turkish citizen for at least three years qualifies an expat for citizenship, provided the marriage is harmonious and ongoing. 

However, the authorities may conduct interviews and home visits to ensure the genuineness and stability of the marriage.

Employment in Turkey

Expats with a service contract or work permit for at least five years in Turkey can also claim citizenship. 

They should demonstrate financial stability throughout their employment and possess a clean criminal record in Turkey and their country of origin.

Citizenship by Investment

Turkey offers a fast track to citizenship by investment. 

Options include investing a specified amount in Turkey’s real estate market or industries, having a fixed-capital investment, or depositing a certain sum in Turkish banks. 

Each investment route has specific requirements that must be met and maintained to secure citizenship.

What Is The Application Process For Turkish Citizenship?

Gather Required Documentation

The first step in the citizenship application process is accumulating all necessary documents. 

These may include proof of residency (residence permit), proof of financial stability, criminal record checks, marriage certificate (if applicable), and proof of investment (if necessary).

Obtain Document Translations

Ensure that all non-Turkish documents are translated into Turkish by a certified translator approved by a Turkish consulate or embassy in your home country.

Submit the Application

Once you have gathered and translated all the required documents, the completed application should be submitted to the nearest immigration office, Turkish consulate, or embassy in your home country. 

After submitting the documents, the relevant authorities will review your application, and you may be asked to attend an interview as part of the assessment process.

Citizenship Approval and Ceremony

Approval for citizenship can take several months, during which time you must maintain your eligibility criteria. 

Once you receive approval, you’ll be invited to a citizenship ceremony to receive your Turkish identity card and officially become a Turkish citizen.

Do Dual Citizens Pay Taxes In Both Countries?

Typically, yes, you will be subject to taxation obligations in both countries if you hold dual citizenship.

If the tax rates in the 2 countries are different, you’ll pay the higher tax rate. The tax year may start on different days in different countries.

You are eligible for potential tax obligations for both countries in which you have citizenship. 

This could be foreign income tax, residency tax if you own property in either country, or other situations where tax is payable.

You should always double-check if you are subject to paying income tax in either the countries you hold citizenship for or the country you reside in. 

There may also be tax in the country where the income was earned.

Most countries submit that taxation should be only national, not global.

The two exceptions lie in the United States and China, which both require their citizens living abroad to pay domestic taxes on worldwide income, regardless of whether they are resident aliens or not.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Dual Citizenship?

So, what are the advantages of dual citizenship?

A dual citizen is obliged under the national laws and regulations of both countries with which they have citizenship.

For instance, some disadvantages could include:

❌Career limitations

❌Double taxation in line with tax laws

❌Dual responsibilities and obligations

❌Complex citizenship process

❌Limited assistance from your native country.

Is It Worth Having A Turkey’s Citizenship?

A Turkish passport offers a variety of benefits, including traveling to 113 countries visa-free and receiving long-term visas to the USA and Schengen states.

You can visit Turkey anytime. A second passport also allows leaving the country of first citizenship if its borders are closed.

Turkey signed a double taxation avoidance treaty with 82 countries, including Pakistan, India, and China. If you are a citizen of one of these countries, you won’t need to pay taxes to both governments.

Conclusion

With every document submitted and procedure followed, you’re not just gaining a passport, you’re weaving yourself into the rich, cultural mosaic that is Turkey.

Dual citizenship opens up a realm of possibilities, from voting rights to property ownership, setting the stage for a life filled with the best of two worlds.

Happy blending!

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