Turkey's US$250,000 citizenship by investment scheme seems like a bargain as lira's value plunges

By Martin Choi martin.choi@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/business/article/3024609/turkeys-us250000-citizenship-investment-scheme-seems-bargain-liras-value?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | September 11, 2019 11:57 AM SGT
As a growing number of Hongkongers consider emigrating to other countries because of the social unrest drives, one migration agency is touting the benefits of seeking Turkish citizenship via a property investment scheme amid a rapid decline in the value of its currency.
Hyperlink Immigration Consulting, which is facilitating the investment programme, said that it was willing to buy back the property from the investor, should its value fall after three years.
In 2016, Turkey launched the citizenship acquisition by investment programme for foreign investors with a minimum property investment of US$1 million. Last September, this was reduced to US$250,000, and the period the property has to be held was cut down to three years after acquiring citizenship.
"We are very confident in Turkey's property market," said Angel Yao, director of market development at Hyperlink. "So if the price of the property goes down after three years, we will buy it back."
Migration agencies, which help people file applications to various countries, have reported a sharp increase in inquiries in recent months, and are struck by the number of young people keen to move to places in Asia such as Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia.
The anti-government protests " sparked by the now-abandoned extradition bill " have rocked Hong Kong since early June. There have been numerous clashes between residents and police, involving tear gas and rubber bullets, and outbreaks of street violence between protesters and armed gangs.
"To obtain Turkish citizenship, property only needs to be held for three years, which is quite a short period compared to the citizenship acquisition schemes of other countries," said Panda Chow, director at Hyperlink, adding that the minimum investment amount is also very low, compared to other property investment immigration programmes.
Residential and commercial buildings dot Istanbul. Turkey's economy is in the midst of a slowdown and is likely to contract this year. Photo: Bloomberg alt=Residential and commercial buildings dot Istanbul. Turkey's economy is in the midst of a slowdown and is likely to contract this year. Photo: Bloomberg