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Turkey Visa Policy

For the majority of visitors traveling to Turkey today, you’ll be able to apply for an e-Visa online, or your country may be visa-exempt. However, if you don’t reside in one of those countries, you’ll need to apply for your visa at your local Turkish embassy. These visa policies are in place to regulate the flow of visitors to the country and are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know to prepare for your next visit to Turkey.

Who Needs a Visa to Visit Turkey?

Visitors to Turkey from 78 countries currently don’t have to obtain a visa to enter the country. On top of that, 42 countries and territories are eligible to apply for an e-Visa online, making visiting Turkey more accessible than ever before. Just last year in 2020, the Turkish government also added another set of countries to the list of passport holders not needing a visa, including the United Kingdom, Poland, the Republic of Ireland, and a few more countries within Europe. If you don’t fall under any of these categories, it’s critical you apply for a visa before your trip to Turkey. On top of that, you’ll also need to consider applying for a visa if you are traveling to the country to work, study, or stay for an extended period of time. Turkey has a more complicated visa policy than other countries in the Schengen Area, and individuals from Cyprus and Schengen Annex II countries need a visa to enter.

When it comes to their visa categories, they are split into e-Visa, conditional e-Visa, and physical sticker visa. If you require a physical sticker visa, you’ll need to book an appointment with your local Turkish diplomatic mission. Countries that will need to obtain a visa this way include Bhutan, Cambodia, Nepal, and Myanmar. Between 2013 and 2017, Turkey granted over 16 million visas, and the most popular countries that visitors entered from included the UK, Iraq, and the Netherlands.

Popular Types of Turkish Visa

As with anywhere in the world, there are a wide variety of visas on offer for visitors to Turkey. Tourist visas are by far the most prevalent type of visa and are needed by anyone who is just planning to vacation here. Single and double transit visas are available if you are traveling through Turkey on your way to another country. If you are entering Turkey for business, you will find a variety of visas on offer, including for business meetings, conferences, and exhibitions. Finishing off the tourism category, you’ll also find sports and cultural visas.

For students visiting Turkey, you’ll find internship visas, language course visas, and general education visas. There are also opportunities for individuals to enter the country to work, and you may need a specialist visa if you are working as a sportsperson, artist, journalist, or academic. On top of that, there is a selection of specialist visas on offer in Turkey, including for tour operators, archaeological excavation, documentary work, and medical treatment.

Passport Validity for Turkish Visas

In comparison to other countries around the world, you’ll find the rules in regards to passport validity to be much stricter than elsewhere. You need to always have 60 days extra on your passport past the duration of stay on your visa. As an example, if you have a 90-day visa for Turkey, you’ll need your passport to be valid for 60 additional days on top of that, therefore requiring a 150 day additional expiration period on your passport. There are a few exceptions to these rules, such as for European national ID holders from certain countries and European countries where expired passports will be accepted. However, it’s something to be very careful about when planning your trip and applying for your visa.

How Do You Apply for a Turkish Visa?

If you are required to apply for a physical visa or one of the specialist visas instead of an e-Visa, you’ll need to contact your local embassy to book your appointment for your visa. Some countries don’t currently have a Turkish Consular office, and therefore you may need to travel to your nearest office as recommended online. In order to avoid any delays ahead of your trip, ensure you apply for your visa a minimum of one month before you plan to enter the country. The visa fee will be payable upon your application and is not refundable in case your application is rejected.

When applying for a visa for Turkey, you will be required to show proof of medical insurance for your trip. The length of stay of each visa is 90 days within a 180 day period, and this is a rule that’s strictly enforced in the country. To apply for the visa, you’ll need the standard documentation, such as an application form, passport, and proof of your trip or a letter of support for employment or education.

Turkey e-Visa

For individuals who are able to apply for an e-Visa for Turkey, you’ll find this to be a quick process that you can complete in the comfort of your own home. This visa also allows you to stay in the country for 90 days out of a 180 day period and offers you multiple entries to the country. You’ll simply need to complete the online application, pay for your e-Visa, and then await the confirmation that your application has been accepted. You’ll receive your e-Visa as a PDF, which you can then print ready to show to immigration upon your arrival into the country. Make sure you follow the passport rules stated above when applying for an e-Visa, as these will also apply to this type of entry document.

When visiting Turkey in the future, ensure you follow the advice listed above to complete the correct visa application depending on where you are from. With so many different visa options on offer, you’ll want to select the right visa to support the reason for your visit to Turkey this year.

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