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 Turkey visa at the consulate.
Turkey visa application is a time-consuming procedure, and it is important to be prepared. Applicants should have all the documents, including their passport and information about the date of the trip, flight tickets, and accommodation details 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 to 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.
In 2016, the Turkish government created an online pre-application process for all types of visas. The applicants should log in to the pre-application system on the official website of the Turkish immigration department. 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 Turkish visa application form and other necessary documents, including a 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.
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 the United States can apply for an eVisa through 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 Turkey visa application. Visitors from other countries have to obtain a visa for a short-term stay in Turkey through Turkish missions in their country.
The types of Turkish visas are as follows:
International travelers who wish to experience the country and explore its various tourist destinations can apply for this Turkey tourist 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.
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 Turkey visa. For those who want to pay a visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, this visa can come in handy.
A Turkish official visa covers service, special and diplomatic passports issued to people representing various foreign governments who are in Turkey on official duty.
Foreign students who are planning to pursue higher education in the country will have to opt for this Turkish 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 at 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 of fewer 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.
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, a passport, and a 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.
Journalists visiting the country for a short period of time need to get a special Turkey 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.
This is issued for foreign tour operators. Foreign representatives of these tour operators do not need a visa for short stays.
International travelers with this visa can enter Turkey multiple times in one year.
They have to get special permission to work in Turkey from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Foreigners coming for archeological studies and exploration should obtain a relevant visa from the Turkey government.
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 of 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 for at least 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:
International travelers planning to apply for a Turkish visa need to enter various personal, passport, and travel information in the pre-application form. When they log in 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 within 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. A Turkey 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.
Name: It is the legal first name of the applicant. The name must match that on 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 to 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 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 on 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.
Travelers are required to submit information to contact them if there is a 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 the address of the office. Dishonesty can result in rejection.
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.
The 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.
Here, travelers need to submit a brief history of their previous international trips while applying for a Turkish visa. 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.
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 for 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 by invitation.
They also need to submit the identity of the person who will bear the expenses.
Before winding up the application process, the applicant is asked to upload various documents, including 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 the visit. For example, applicants seeking a student visa will need to upload details regarding the school (invitation letter).
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.
The applicants will get an authorization form with all the information that has been uploaded. There is an option to print the duly filled application form. If they wish to make changes to the form, they have the option to edit it. 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 the 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.
The applicants can track the status of their Turkey visa application using the reference number. They will get to know whether the Turkish 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 Turkey 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.