Turkey tourist visa
Turkey has something to offer everyone, from beach resorts like Side to the ancient, historic city of Istanbul. If you're thinking of visiting it's usually very easy to get a visa - most people can just buy one at the airport when they arrive - but the rules are complex and some research is a good idea. Here's a brief guide to help you out.
No visa required for
holders of passports issued by Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Israel and a considerable number of other countries. Exact details of which countries are exempt can be obtained from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.
Visa on arrival available at
any international airport or border crossing point. Note that nationals of some countries, mostly in Africa, can only get a visa at Ataturk International Airport; others may need a valid Schengen Zone visa to be eligible to buy a Turkish visa on entry. Check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to see if any restrictions apply to you.
Visa on arrival available for
most other nationalities exceptIndia, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Indian and Pakistani passport holders who have a valid visa for the UK, USA or any Schengen Zone country can get a 30 day visa on arrival; all others must apply in advance. Passport holders of some nations may only be able to get a short-duration visa on arrival, as short as 15 days in some cases. Citizens of some nations are also required to enter Turkey by a Turkish Airlines flight to Ataturk International Airport if they don't get a visa in advance. These rules change frequently, so check the exact requirements for your country on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Where to get the visa
A visa application can be submitted at any Turkish embassy or consulate. It's best to apply at one in your own country, as using one in a third country can result in delays.
Which documents have to be provided
Applications should be submitted in person. When you go, take the following documents with you:
Completed visa application form. This can be downloaded here.
Passport, which must be valid for 90 days beyond the expiry date of the visa.
Evidence to support the purpose of the trip, e.g. Hotel bookings.
Evidence of return or onward travel plans.
Fee (in cash only.)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommend that you apply for the visa at least a month before travelling to Turkey. For nationals of some countries, including India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and many African countries, the application should be made at least eight weeks in advance. Ask at your local consulate as early as possible.
A tourist visa is normally valid for 90 days unless national restrictions apply. You can only get one 90-day visa in any 180 day period, so if you plan to make frequent longer visits you should ask at your Turkish consulate about longer-term visas or residency permits. The validity period of the visa begins on entry to Turkey and it allows for multiple visits.
The fee to apply for a tourist visa varies by nationality but is usually around 65 USD. Check the exact fee with your local Turkish consulate before applying.
Fees for visas on entry to Turkey also vary, but in almost all cases are 20 USD or 15 EUR. Most European nationals can also pay in sterling; the fee is 10 GBP. Details of visa fees on entry can be found here.
Process at the immigration desk of airport or land border
If you don't already have a visa you should go to the visa desk before the immigration controls. This is a very simple process; the staff will simply check the expiration date of your passport and, on receiving the fee in cash, will stick the visa in your passport.
When you have a visa go to the immigration desk, where your passport will be stamped. Again this is an easy process.
If you're eligible to get a visa on entry do it; it's much cheaper and easier.
If you're getting a visa on entry make sure you have the right change. You have to pay in cash; there are no exceptions.
Most people can pay for a visa in US dollars or Euros; the fee in Euros is slightly cheaper. If you can pay in sterling that's cheapest of all.
Make sure that your passport is valid for at least 90 days after your visa expires. Although the immigration process is simple the staff are very strict and will refuse entry if you don't meet the requirements.
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