2020 was the year of evaluations. The pandemic and the conditions it brought led many to examine their lives from all angles: what is important? What do I want my life to look like? Where should I live?
For a growing number of Americans, the answer is: somewhere new. With gold visa programs available in an increasing number of countries, it has never been easier – or more attractive – for U.S. citizens to move elsewhere.
The British law firm Henley & Partners, which advises wealthy immigrants on the possibilities of a gold visa, recently reported that inquiries of American citizens jumped by 150%.
Turkish real estate agency director Cameron Deggin said his inquiries about Turkish property reflected that figure.
“We definitely had a lot more American interests than usual, especially from people who want to get citizenship in Turkey,” Deggin said.
He believed the pandemic was a turning point for many. “It’s a catalyst. They may have already thought about change, but the conditions the world is in with rollercoasters have given them an extra boost.”
The second passport is increasingly becoming a gold card, Deggin said. “It’s not called a gold visa for anything. With the instability we see, Americans see how valuable it is to have the option of a parachute. It’s like a form of insurance.”
Turkey’s growing popularity among American buyers is nothing new
Even before the pandemic, Turkey was already on American horizons.
Last year, there was an increase in American interest in Turkish real estate, with Americans entering the list of the 20 best for the first time. This was caused in part by the low lira, which made buying property attractive, and in part by political fatigue in the United States.
California’s Camila Hunter is one of many Americans hoping to move to Istanbul this year.
“I’ve been thinking a lot this year,” Hunter said. “Given what’s really important and what you need in life.”
Hunter is a financial consultant and works many hours. She is also the mother of three children. “Something had to change,” she said.
He hopes to work remotely or network his way into Istanbul’s own financial space.
Turkey has had a number of draws, she said.
“Fantastic healthcare, especially compared to the famous terrible American system: it was definitely in Turkey’s favor. Also great schools, opportunities to travel around Europe and within Turkey, and fascinating culture and history,” Hunter said.
Turkish citizenship by investment
Like many countries, Turkey offers citizenship to any investor who buys a property worth $ 250,000 or more. Applicants do not have to live full time in the country, but must hold the property for at least three years.
The simplified process means it is quick and easy, Deggin said. “We’ve been through a lot of clients through this process, and the obstacles along the way are less than you’d expect.”
Read more: how to acquire Turkish citizenship by investing
Deggin believes, however, that the offer will not be on the table indefinitely. With elections on the not-so-distant horizon, it is likely that the scheme will be postponed to appease voters.
“But while on offer, people see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a real difference.”