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How to Get a Turkish Visa

Important!
Passport Validity

Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date on which you plan to enter Turkey.

Uh… what?

Regulations published by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs state that foreign visitors to Turkey with valid passports are allowed to enter the country and to stay for a limited number of days (90 days for many visitors, but the number of days varies by country and passport).

If your passport is such that you are allowed to stay for 90 days, the validity of your passport must extend at least 90 days beyond the 90th day, or a total of 180 days from the date you enter Turkey.

Note that it doesn’t matter how long you intend to stay in Turkey, it matters how long you are allowed to stay.

Several months before leaving home, check the validity of your passport to see if it will remain valid for at least 6 months beyond the date when you plan to enter Turkey. Thus, if you plan to enter Turkey on May 1st, your passport should remain valid until at least November of that year. If you are in doubt, renew your passport to extend its period of validity.

You will not be allowed to enter Turkey if your passport is not valid for at least two months beyond the end of your PERMITTED period of stay.(Note that your “permitted period of stay”—usually 90 days—may be much longer than the number of days you will actually stay in Turkey. In other words, if your permitted period of stay is 90 days, your passport must be valid for at least 180 days (90 days’ permitted period of stay + 90 more days) from the date when you first enter Turkey.

Biometric Passports Only!

Passport with biometric symbol

I’ve drawn a red oval around the biometric symbol…

A biometric passport is one with a computer chip embedded in it. Look at the front cover of your passport. Do you see the symbol?—>

If your passport bears that little rectangular symbol, it contains a microprocessor which holds a photograph of you and enables other means of identification such as facial, fingerprint and iris recognition.

If your passport does not have the symbol, you have an old, traditional passport.

Starting on November 25, 2015only biometric passports will be accepted for travel anywhere in the world, including Turkey. Traditional passports will no longer be valid for travel.

(If your home country and the country to which you are traveling allow you to travel with some other identity document, such as a national ID card, that may still be acceptable. But as for passports, only biometric will be accepted.)

Do You Need a Visa?

Most visitors may enter Turkey without a visa or by buying an e-visa online from the official Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs e-visa website in advance of arrival in Turkey.

Do you need a visa? This Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs consular website can tell you, and you can find out on the e-visa website’s eligibility page if you can get your visa easily online. More…

Basically, the visa fee is just a tourist tax.

Must You Buy Your Visa Online in Advance?

In December 2014, the e-visa website FAQ showed this:

“I do not want to apply for an e-Visa. Can I get a visa on arrival?

“Yes. If you are a citizen of one of the countries listed below and you meet the required criteria, you can obtain a visa on arrival. Kindly visit the Ministry’s website (www.mfa.gov.tr) to learn more about these requirements.

There is no way of knowing whether, in 2015, you will be able to obtain a visa upon arrival in Turkey. The Ministry does not always announce its decisions in advance, or even in arrears.

You can get your visa in advance, before you arrive in Turkey, from any Turkish consulate, but it entails time, trouble, and extra expense (you’ll pay a “visa processing fee.”) It’s much simpler to just buy an e-visa online if you’re allowed to do so. More…

Port-of-Entry Visa

As stated above, according to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs e-visa website FAQ, as of January 1, 2015, there was still information regarding buying your visa upon arrival in Turkey, but it will cost you substantially more money. Here are the fees.

Obviously, it’s best to obtain your visa in advance. The e-visa website is admirably designed and user-friendly so I strongly recommend that you buy your e-visa online in advance.

You can buy a visa from a visa machine upon your arrival in Turkey…if the machine works. I received this report from a TTP traveler on October 1, 2014:

I went to istanbul for a short holiday on 24th Wednesday August, 2014 and I was told to pay an entry visa at the e-visa machine at the atturk airport. I had completed my transaction( 20 USD) at the machine but it refused to print my visa. The machine was not working and there were no staff to help me. After some searching around, I called the airport staff (secrity guard, Turkish airline counter personnel) but none were helpful. I was told to go to a counter to speak to the manager but, after the queue, the manager was not available and told me to go to another counter and after some wait at the queue, I was told to go to the VISA counter. At the VISA counter, I was told to pay 30 USD. By then, I was furious and told them that I had already paid at the e-VISA machine, but they just said that I needed to pay my Visa at the counter again because they did not have my record of payment. Reluctantly, I had to pay the 30 USD again. When I checked my bank acount after my holiday, my worst fear was confirmed- they have taken 50 USD + transaction charges.

As I said, it’s best to obtain and print your e-visa onlinebefore leaving home.

Turkish Visa Renewal

Pursuant to Turkish government regulations instituted on January 12, 2012, “90-day tourist visa” means that you can visit Turkey for up to 90 days within any 180-day period. This means that, after staying 90 days, you cannot simply cross the border into another country, stay outside of Turkey for a day or two, then re-enter Turkey on a new 90-day tourist visa. Instead, you must apply in advance at a Turkish consulate for a residence visa and, when you arrive in Turkey, for a residence permit (İkamet Tezkeresi).

You May Not Need a Visa

If your passport is from one of the countries below, you probably don’t have to obtain a visa from a Turkish consulate in advance of your trip. (Who does?)

The information below was obtained from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, but I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information! For definitive information you must check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or contact a Turkish consulate. (Please do not contact me—I have no more information. I will just tell you to contact a Turkish consulate.)

(S) means you may buy a sticker visa, valid for the number of days shown, upon entry to Turkey. Have the exact amount of euros or US dollars (or, for British passport holders only, UK pounds sterling)—in CASH!—to pay for your visa. No travelers checks, no credit cards, no other currencies, no change given, no exceptions!

No (S) means you may enter Turkey for the number of days shown with just a valid passport; you do not need a visa.

Passport No Visa Visa Needed
Days Days Euros US$
Albania (S) 90
Argentina 90
Armenia (S)

30 €10 $15
Australia (S)

90 €45 $60
Austria (S)

90 €15 $20
Azerbaijan 30

Belarus (S)

60 €15 $20
Belgium (S)

90 €15 $20
Bosnia-Herzegovina 60
Brazil 90
Bulgaria 90
Canada (S)

90 €45 $60
Chile 90

Cyprus (TRNC) ?
Cyprus (Greek) (S)

1 €15 $20
Croatia 90

Czech Republic 90

Denmark 90

Finland 90

France 90

Georgia 90

Germany 90

Greece 90

Hong Kong (BNO*)(S)

90 €15 $20
Hungary (S)

90 €15 $20
Iceland 90
India** 90
Iran 90
Ireland (S) 90 €15 $20
Israel 90

Italy 90

Japan 90

Click here for more countries…

*“Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC (SAR) Passport” holders are exempted from visa for their travels up to 90 days. “British National Overseas“ (BNO) passport holders may buy 90-day visas at Turkish borders. Holders of “Certificate of Identity-Hong Kong ( C.I. )” and “Document of Identity for Visa Purposes-Hong Kong( D.I. )” must get their visas from the Turkish representations abroad.

**India: Ordinary passport holders with a valid Schengen, UK or US visa may get a one-month single-entry visa at Turkish borders. Otherwise, you must apply for a visa in advance.

If your passport is not in the list above, or on Visa Page 2click here.

—Tom Brosnahan


More Countries…

Best Tours & Itineraries

Work & Study Visas

Customs Regulations

Turkish Visa Tips

Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

FAQ—Travel Details

Transport in Turkey

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