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Opening A Bank Account in Turkey for Foreigners

People who are not a citizen of Republic of Turkey, regardless of their origin and states, are regarded as foreigners. In this instance, they are subject to the foreigner-oriented regulations. Opening an account is a requirement much needed in various scenarios for foreigners. Foreigners studying, residing or wanting to invest and found a company or buy real estate, send money to their family in Turkey, investigate the ways of opening a bank account in Turkey.

In this article, we will explain the ways in which foreigners can open up a bank account, the conditions required to be met, required documents and the process of application, the opening process for foreign companies to open up an account, the necessity of a bank account while trying to get a Turkish citizenship and certain applications of banks along other important details. We advise a careful read in order to get the process right.

IMPORTANT: It is probable that some banks might want you to obtain documents extra to what we will talk about in a second. Also, the profile, resume, job done in prior and the reason for the bank account can be required in written form especially for foreign companies who want to open up an account. It is for this reason that we first communicate with the bank about what the extra documents are and get the approval for a bank account before the application itself and then invite our client for their signature.

How Can Foreigners Open a Bank Account? Application and Required Documents

Opening up a bank account for foreigners is dealt with in two different bases. One is the natural person in question for the bank account and the other is the foreign companies. First up, we will look at the natural person side of the matter.

Banks demand certain documents for foreigners. One who wishes to set up a bank account acquire these documents first. According to this, foreigners need to complete these steps:

  • Firstly, a correspondence address. Without this, it is a harder process to follow through.
  • Then, in sequence to the application said foreigner gave to the tax office, applicant will need a potential tax number appointed to him.
  • A passport is also highly required along with a residential address and tax number. The foreign applicant has to bring his passport along during the process.
  • Some banks may require a phone number from Turkey, or a billing made in his or her name. This number is a must for applications made for banks in this regard.

Foreign applicant will have a more economic opportunity for money transfer and will have access to his account once the process is done. He can also shop in Turkey with the card of said account. Shopping online with the same card is also possible.

Yet, having a bank account does not automatically mean that a credit card is an instant handout. Reasoning for this is that the credit card ownership is tied to harsher conditions than a simple bank account in Turkey.

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Opening a Bank Account for Foreign Companies. Application and Required Documents

Foreign companies feel the necessity to open up a bank account in Turkey for various reasons. The requirements for companies to follow the legal process of opening a bank account in Turkey are as follows:

  • Bank account for a company can be opened by some who is eligible for signature in the name of the company, namely an administrator, shareholder or an official.
  • Just like in natural person, a tax number is required to apply for a bank account for companies. Yet, the company does not have to be actively operating financially in Turkey in order to obtain a tax number. Any company with a permanent address is able to obtain this number. This tax number does not convey the idea that the company will pay taxes.
  • In order to set up a bank account for foreign countries in Turkey, articles of association, registration to chamber of commerce, certificate of formation, certificate of activity, and the documents that are in trade register. The person who will be applying on behalf of the foreign company will have to bring said documents along with the tax number and documents regarding residence to the bank they wish to open an account in.
  • Banks have a more tolerated look towards companies that operate in Turkey and make it easier for them to open up the account while lack the same ease for companies without a correspondence address, a branch and a liaison office in Turkey.
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The Practices and Differences of Banks in Opening Accounts for Foreigners

The conditions and procedures we notified here are the minimum requirements. Banks have the right to introduce extra conditions.

Most banks are hesitant about letting companies with problematic companies in international scene to have a bank account under them. As there are many differences in procedures in normal banks while opening a bank account, participation banks differs in the same sense than the normal banks.

We also have to notify that citizens and companies of countries such as Iran and Pakistan have a harder time opening a bank account. Funding of international terrorism and breach of American embargo are the reasons put out by banks in this decision.

How Long Does It Take for Foreigners to Open a Bank Account?

The time required to open up a bank account for foreigners in actual is only a mere couple of hours spend in bank. Yet the pre-requisites said above may take some time. Especially, applying to banks and getting a pre-approval, completing all of the extra documents and the matter of permanent address might get a little complicated and take a longer time completing.

A fundamental aspect that might dramatically change the time spent for foreign companies is without a doubt consulting a lawyer experienced in practicing law of foreigners. A Foreigners’ lawyer will have a positive impact on time spent by actively and effectively following the process.

Getting Turkish Citizenship Through Investment

Obtaining a Turkish citizenship via investment is generally a very popular and high in demand matter for foreigners. Especially after 2018, obtaining a Turkish citizenship via investment and its conditions have been eased.

Demand for this process in turn, have drastically increased. Yet our topic in this article is not how to obtain citizenship via investment. To read further in this topic and learn more you can check our other article named “Turkish Citizenship by Investment

Nevertheless, to give some brief information, it is possible for foreigners to Turkish citizenship through some capital investments. This capital investment should take place in Turkish banks. So, one who wants to obtain Turkish citizenship via investment also has to set up a bank account in a Turkish bank.

Naturally, prior to investment, the steps we talked about in this article regarding the bank accounts should be followed.

Opening a Bank Account for Russian Citizens After War

As we all know, a war outbroke between Russia and Ukraine in 2022 and because of this war there has been some embargoes and sanctions. Thus, it became harder for Russian citizens to carry out business and set up a bank account in a lot of counties.

Looking back at the jobs we had done; we have seen that the banks in Turkey tend to apply these sanctions and do not let Russian citizens to open up a bank account. Only a few banks in Turkey let Russian citizens to open up a bank account. And these banks set up even harsher procedures while doing so.

Thus, it is better for Russian citizens who want to set up a bank account in Turkey to work with a highly experienced lawyer.

The Help of a Lawyer in Opening a Bank Account

Like we said above, there are countless reasons to want to set up a bank account here in Turkey. Yet likewise, there can be some requirements for legal follow-up. It is important to carry this procedure out correctly. Lawyers experienced in this area of work, law of aliens, can prove helpful while getting legal help.

Otherwise, economic, and time-wise losses might come up. Foreigners’ lawyer can look up the conditions of the actual case and identify the most advantageous way in which the foreigner can obtain his aim and can carry the plan out effectively.