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Turkey Visa Application Explained

Traveling to Turkey can be an unforgettable experience, but a little frustrating if travelers are not familiar with the visa application process and the documents needed for a Turkish visa.  

Here is a step-by-step guide for foreign travelers to apply for a Turkish visa at the consulate.  

Preparing for the Application  

Visa application is a time-consuming procedure and it is important to be prepared. Applicants should have all the documents including passport and information about the date of the trip, flight tickets and accommodation details in handy.  

It is good to have soft copies of the biometric photographs downloaded onto the computer.  

The applicants should also make sure that they have a good internet connection before starting the process.  

Also, choose a Turkish consulate that they want to go for the in-person interview in advance. Be sure to select the closest one as all applicants will have to mandatorily visit the consulate to complete the visa application process.    

Turkey Visa Pre-Application  

In 2016, the Turkish government created an online pre-application process for all types of visas. The applicants should login to the pre-application system in the official website of Turkish immigration.  

Following the online application, the applicants must schedule an appointment with a Turkish mission that is closest to them.  

They can visit the mission, submit the visa application form and other necessary documents including passport and complete the process. 

Make sure to carry original copies of all the documents that they submitted via the online application system.  

If they are finding it difficult to fill in the online application form due to internet issues, they can still go to the Turkish mission. They will be guided through the online application system by the staff and can complete the procedure. 

Types of Visas Available 

All foreign travelers must have a visa to visit Turkey and the visa type varies based on the purpose of their visit. Applicants from some countries like Germany are exempt from having a visa.  

They can cross the Turkish borders with a valid passport or ID card issued by their governments. 

Citizens of some countries like the UK, and United States can apply for an eVisa in the official portal of the Turkish government. The process is simple and straightforward and the visa will be delivered in less than 48 hours. 

All the details must be checked before submitting and making the payment for the visa application.

Visitors from other countries have to obtain a visa for short-term stay in Turkey through the Turkish missions in their country.

The types of Turkish visas are as follows:  

Visa for Tourism

International travelers who wish to experience Turkey and explore its various tourist destinations can apply for this visa. 

The duration of the stay should be less than 90 days. In some cases, the applicant will be asked to produce a letter of invitation from a tour operator in the country. The letter should have all the basic details of the person who is inviting including his/her identity number. 

The applicants should also submit information about the duration of their stay and proof of funds to sustain themselves during their stay. 

This visa can also be issued to travelers who wish to transit through Turkey for a single time or more than one time.  

Business and Commerce Visa  

Foreigners visiting Turkey for business and commerce meetings or for seminars, fairs and exhibitions can also opt for this short-term tourist visa.  

Citizens of a foreign country who are planning to participate in sports and cultural events that will be concluded in three months can also apply for this visa. 

For those who want to pay a visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, this visa can come in handy. 

Official Visa  

A Turkish official visa covers service, special and diplomatic passports issued to people representing various foreign governments who are in Turkey on official duty.  

Student Visa 

Foreign students who are planning to pursue higher education in Turkey will have to opt for this visa. 

This visa does grant permission to work in Turkey and to do an internship. Students who wish to work while doing their course can get a work permit.  

This visa is preferred by foreign students who wish to learn Turkish languages in a university in Turkey.  

However, there are a few exceptions. If their home country has bilateral agreements with the Turkish government, if they are coming to Turkey for scientific studies, sport meets and cultural activities for a period less than four months or if they are visiting the country for programs conducted by EU education foundation, they do not need to apply for a work permit. 

Work Visa  

Foreign citizens who wish to work in Turkey need a work visa and for this, they have to apply through Turkish consular offices in the country of their nationality. 

A letter of invitation from an employer registered in Turkey, passport and completed visa application form are the mandatory documents needed for a visa. The Turkish ministry of labor and social security may ask for additional documents from the employer based on the nature of work and nationality of the applicant. 

This visa can also be granted to sportspersons, academicians and artists who are coming to Turkey on various assignments.     

Visa for Journalists 

Journalists visiting the country for a short period of time need to get a special visa. A tourist visa will not be enough. They have to get a press card from Turkey's directorate general of press information if they want to stay for a longer period.  

They can stay in the country on this card for up to three months and it can be extended for three more months with special permission. 

Visa Annotated for Press is granted in special circumstances to foreign journalists and is subject to official permission.  

Tour Operator Representative Visa 

This is issued for foreign tour operators. Foreign representatives of these tour operators do not need a visa for short stays.  

Transportation Visa  

International travelers with this visa can enter Turkey multiple times for one year.  

Visa for the Personnel Assigned for Foreign Religious Foundations 

They have to get special permission to work in Turkey from the ministry of internal affairs.  

Visa for Archaeological Excavation, Exploration, Documentary Purpose 

Foreigners coming for archeological studies and exploration should obtain a relevant visa from the Turkey government. 

Passport Validity 

International travelers who wish to visit Turkey should carry an identification document. 

The identification document accepted globally is the biometric passport issued by the country of their nationality.

Visitors coming to Turkey should have a valid passport with an expiration date at least 60 days more than their expected period of stay in Turkey.  

If a foreigner is planning to stay in Turkey for 90 days, his/her passport should be valid at least for 60 more days. If they are in the country for only 30 days, their passport must have a minimum validity of 90 days.    

Some countries are exempt from this rule. They are eligible to enter Turkey with their national ID cards. They are as follows:  

  • Germany
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Georgia
  • The Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • İtaly
  • Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Portugal
  • Greece

Filling Out the Application Form  

International travelers planning to apply for the Turkish visa need to enter various personal, passport and travel information in the pre-application form.  

When they login to the Turkey government’s official website, a pop-up will ask them to choose the name of their country and the Turkish consulate they want to visit.  

Visa applicants are encouraged to apply one month in advance to avoid inconveniences caused by unexpected delays. 

Some applicants are also required to have medical insurance to cover health emergencies during their stay in Turkey.  

It is to be noted that all foreign travelers irrespective of their country of origin (visa-required or visa-exempt) are allowed to stay in Turkey only for a maximum of 90 days in a validity period of six months. 

Those who wish to remain in the country for a longer period should get a short-term residence permit.   

The visa does not guarantee absolute rights to enter the country. It is left to the discretion of the customs and immigration officers at the port of entry. If the officials reject the visa at the port of entry, the processing fee will not be refunded. 

Personal Details 

Name: It is the legal first name of the applicant. The name must match that in the passport.   

Surname: It is the last name of the applicant and should match the surname in the passport or other legal identification document.   

National ID: This is applicable for travelers who can enter Turkey without a visa. They can come to Turkey with their passport or national ID card.   

Gender of the applicant 

Date of Birth: This is a mandatory field. The applicant has to enter the date, month and the year of his/her birth and it should match the information in the passport.   

Place of Birth: The birthplace as appeared in the passport.   

Name of the father as given in the passport 

Name of the mother as appeared in the passport   

Nationality of the applicant: Name of the country that issued the applicant’s passport.   

Occupation: The employment details of the applicant 

Email address: An electronic mail address will have the given name and the electronic domain of the user. The reference number will be sent to this email ID. It is imperative to give the correct ID and if there is an error, the applicant will not receive the reference ID and will not be able to complete the application form. 

This reference ID can also be used to track the status of the visa application.   

Contact Details   

Travelers are required to submit information to contact them if there is need.  

Address: The complete address of the applicant including the name of the apartment number, street number, city and state.   

Name of the city where the applicant has residency status.

Postal code where the applicant has residency status.   

Country: Name of the country of the applicant.    

Telephone number: Both landline and mobile phone numbers.   

Email address: It is advised to keep the same email address across the application form.   

Foreigners also need to submit information about their job and address of the office. Dishonesty can result in rejection

Passport Details  

Passport number: The applicants should submit the number given on the passport information page. The visa can be denied in case of errors here.   

Passport issue date: The date on which the passport is issued. The passport is valid from this date.   

Expiry date of the passport: The validity of the passport expires on this date. To apply for a Turkish visa, the passport will have to have a validity of 60 days more than the visa period.   

Passport issuing authority: The passport will be issued by the issuing authority of the applicant’s home country. Ensure to enter the name as given in the passport.   

Travel History  

Here, travelers need to submit a brief history of their previous international trips. There are specific queries related to earlier trips to Turkey if there are any.  

They have to declare if their visa application had been denied in their previous attempts or if they had ever been denied entry into the country. 

They also have to submit if they are on the way to another country or if they have any past criminal records. In some cases, the Turkish mission may ask the applicants to submit a police verification certificate to ascertain their admissibility.   

Travel Details  

Mode of transport: The applicant needs to specify if he/she is traveling by air, land or water. 

Date of arrival: The scheduled arrival date in Turkey 

Duration of stay: The applicant needs to declare how long he/she is planning to stay in Turkey. It is to be noted that the applicant can remain in the country only up to three months with a regular visa. Overstaying can cause punitive actions including hefty fines. 

Port of entry: Passengers need to specify the name of the international airport in Turkey  they are landing.    

Health/medical insurance: All foreigners visiting Turkey have to mandatorily have health/medical insurance. They have to enter the date of expiry of the insurance.  

Travelers are also required to give the name, telephone number and address including the postal code of the contact person or company in Turkey if they are coming on invitation.  

They also need to submit the identity of the person who will bear the expenses.   

Documents Required for the Visa (tourist)

  • Biometric Photos. They are nothing but usual passport size color photographs.
    Make sure to take professional help for taking the photograph and the size must be 2X2. Note that the photographs should be recent and should be taken in the last six months.  
  • Income proof: Documents to show the income status of the applicant. If they are arriving on invitation, they need to show proof that attest the financial status of the inviting person.
  • Information about flight reservation.
  • Accommodation details: Hotel reservation details
  • Documents to prove the applicant’s intent to return like land registration details in the home country, salary certificate and bank account details.

Uploading Documents 

Before winding up the application process, the applicant is asked to upload various documents including the biometric photographs, flight tickets, hotel reservation records and income proof (tourist visa). For this, different file types are accepted like jpg and pdf.

Keep in mind, the types of supporting documents needed can change depending on the visa type and purpose of visit. For example, applicants seeking a student visa will need to upload details regarding the school (invitation letter).             

If the Applicant is a Minor 

Turkish immigration needs a few additional documents if the applicant is a minor. 

Birth Certificate: This is to ascertain the real age of the applicant as the document has information like the date and place of birth and names of parents.  

Consent letter from both the parents or guardians. If the applicants' parents are no more, a death certificate should be submitted.   

Once the Application Form is Completed 

The  applicants will get an authorization form with all the information that had been uploaded. There is an option to print the duly filled application form.   

If they wish to make changes in the form, they have an option to edit.   

Make sure to print the completed application.

All applicants need to appear for an in-person interview in the Turkish consulate chosen by them.  

The date and time will be given on the same site. They can also track the status of the application at the same site using the reference number given during the process.   

On the day of interview, the applicants need to go to the Turkish mission with  original copies of the documents submitted on the website, and printed form. The officer assigned to them will scrutinize them and will ask a few questions with regard to the nature and purpose of the trip.   

The visa processing time varies in different Turkish missions. It can take up to 15 days for a tourist visa. For a work visa, it can take up to one month.  

What to Expect After the Appointment 

The applicants can track the status of the application using the reference number. They will get to know whether the visa is approved or denied in a month. If the visa is approved, they can get ready to explore Turkey.  

The visa can be denied due to various reasons like errors in the application form or the passport is about to expire. The Turkish mission will give the applicant the reason for the rejection in the mail.  

The right to reapply for the visa can vary from country to country and also based on the reason why the visa was denied in the first place. It is left to the discretion of the staff at the Turkish mission.  

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