Important! Passport Validity
Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date on which you plan to enter Turkey.
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 three months beyond the end of your PERMITTED period of stay.
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. (See the list below on this page.)
For most visitors, the visa fee is just a tourist tax.
Must You Buy Your Visa Online in Advance?
On 25 October 2018, 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 visis the Ministry’s website (www.mfa.gov.tr) to learn more about these requirements.”
The list of countries includes Armenia, Australia, Canada, most of those in Europe, some in the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom and the United States.
“Can the citizens of all the countries eligible for e-Visa obtain a visa on arrival?”
“No. While the citizens of the countries listed below can obtain an e-Visa, they are not eligible for visa on arrival.”
The list of countries included most of those in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, including China and India. It did not include any European, North or South American, or Australasian countries.
But whatever your passport, don’t take a chance! Buy your e-Visa online well before you arrive!
Visa from a Turkish Consulate?
You can get your visa in advance, before you arrive in Turkey, from any Turkish consulate, (start here) 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…
As of May 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website showed the information below:
“Visitors arriving to Turkey without visas may obtain their e-Visas via interactive kiosks placed in Turkish airports. Necessary arrangements will be made to allow foreign visitors to obtain e-Visas from authorized airline companies offices, including those companies’ offices in airports. Fees for e-Visas obtained via the e-Visa website (www.evisa.gov.tr) are lower than the fees for visas obtained upon arrival to Turkish airports.”
As stated above, according to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs e-visa website FAQ, it may still be possible to buy your visa upon arrival in Turkey, but it will cost you substantially more money. Here are the fees (in US dollars).
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?)
Citizens of some countries may enter Turkey using their national identification cards: Belgium*, Cyprus (Turkish Republic), France*, Georgia, Germany†, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg*, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal*, Spain*, Switzerland*, Ukraine.
(* = May enter with a passport expired within the last 5 years.)
(† = May enter with a passport or ID expired within the last year.)
Visa or No Visa?
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 an e-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!
The list below is not a complete list of countries and requirements. Here is the complete list of countries eligible for e-visa.
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|
|Cyprus (Greek) (S)||1||€15||$20|
|Hong Kong (BNO*)(S)||90||€15||$20|
*“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.