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How to get the Turkey visa?

by Luis Sánchez | Wed 28 Oct 2020
How to get the Turkey visa?

Turkey is a country located in the Eurasia region and is part of both Europe and Asia. It boasts an area of approximately 785,000 km2 and a population of about 85 million people. Turkey is one of the most visited countries in the world, offering a wide variety of landscapes suitable for all tastes.

The European and Asian sides are separated by the Bosporus Strait, a popular tourist area in Istanbul.


Do I need a visa to travel to Turkey?

The requirement for a visa to enter Turkey will depend on your reason for entering the country, the length of time you intend to stay and your nationality.

Visa regulations are continually being updated, and as recently as March 2020, Turkey exempted several nationalities from the requirement to obtain a visa if entering the country for tourism and staying less than 90 days. To be sure of whether you need a visa for Turkey or not, check out the exempted nationalities here.


Types of visas

To travel to Turkey for tourism purposes, you must apply for an online visa or e-visa. Several countries are not required to obtain an e-visa, meaning that their citizens are allowed to travel with only their passport. Check here to verify eligibility.

If we are exempt from visa requirements by virtue of your nationality, you must ensure that your passport has an expiry date of more than 6 months from initial entry into Turkey. You will also need to have at least one passport page free of any stamps. If your nationality is not exempt from the requirement to have a visa, then you must apply for a visa online (e-visa), and can choose between 2 options:

Multiple Entry

This visa allows a person to enter and leave the country as many times as required. You can stay in the country for a maximumof either 30 or 90 days per stay, depending on the nationality of your passport. A multiple entry visa for Turkey will bevalid from the time of approval for 180 days.

Single entry

The Single entry visa allows for a maximum 30 day stay in Turkey. Like the multiple entry visa, it is valid for 180 days from its approval, but once used, you will not be able to re-enter the country with the same visa. If your trip to Turkey is for any reason other than tourism, you must apply for a different visa. All nationalities are obliged to apply for the below visa types in person at the nearest Turkish consulate or embassy in your country of residence.

In the case of Spain, we can go to the Turkish Embassy in Madrid, or the Turkish Consulate General in Barcelona.
In both delegations we can apply for the different permits and visas:


Work visa

In order to apply for a visa that will allow you to work in Turkey, you must first have an employment contract and a letter from the employer in the country. You will also need to send in a series of personal documents that will be requested. You will need to process the application in person from a Turkish embassy, and have consistent contact with your employer to speed up the process. If you apply for a work permit and are going to work and live in Turkey, then you must also apply for a residence permit.

Visa for a residence permit

The residence permit is required if you are going to spend more than 90 days in Turkey. In order to apply for a residence permit, you must demonstrate the reason why you are going to spend an extended stay, or why you are going to reside permanently in the country.

The residence permit can be applied for once you are in Turkey, assuming you already have an approved work or study visa. You will have 30 days to process a residence permit, and upon entry you will need to register with the Foreigners Department of the Ministry of the Interior's General Directorate of Migration.

Study or research visa

To apply for a visa to study or research in Turkey, you must present your study registration or research contract. The relevant university or school must provide you with all of the appropriate documentation requested by the embassy. As with the work visa, you must also apply for a residence permit if you intend to be in the country for more than 90 days.

Erasmus students are also obliged to apply for a study or research visa. Residing in Turkey without the corresponding permit is illegal, and leads to expulsion and a fine. It is also possible that you will be refused further entry.

These visas and permits can also be obtained from within Turkey. You could enter the country with a tourist visa, and process your residence or corresponding additional permission before the original document expires. However, this process is not advisable. If there is any delay, you will have to leave the country without the permits and start the application process all over again.


How to apply for a Turkish visa?

How to apply for a visa to Turkey will depend on the type of visa required: If the visa is for tourism or business travel that does not involve payment for working in Turkey, then the procedure will be online. It is possible to fill in a simple form with your personal and passport data and make the payment online. In approximately 1-2 business days, you will have your request returned via email.

If the reason for the trip is going to need a stay longer than 90 days, you should contact the nearest Turkish embassy, which will inform you of the necessary documentation for your specific case.

Who needs a visa for Turkey?

For stays longer than 90 days, all foreign citizens need a visa to stay in Turkey. For stays of less than 90 days, Spanish citizens and most European citizens do not need to apply for a visa. Check out our eligibility verifier to see the current regulations for your nationality.

What are the requirements for applying for a visa to Turkey?

The requirements for the visa application are:

Tourist e-visa

- A passport with more than 6 months of expiration from the initial entry date to Turkey, and at least one blank page.
- Additional documentation will depend on your nationality: Visa or Schengen countries permit residency, USA, UK or Ireland.

Work visa

- A passport with more than 6 months of expiration from the date of initial entry date to Turkey, and with at least one blank page.
- Recent photo.
- Invitation letter from the Turkish company.
- Employment contract signed by both parties.

Student visa

- A passport with more than 6 months of expiration from the date of initial entry to Turkey, and with at least one blank page.
- Recent photo.
- Letter of acceptance from the university or educational institution in Turkey.
- Letter of award, applicable, from the university in your country.
- Erasmus agreement.
- In the case of research, a project letter and invitation from the research team.


Can the visa be modified once it has been processed?

Once the visa has been processed, no changes are possible. In case of an error or modification in any section, a new visa must be requested.

How much does a Turkey visa cost?

The price of the online tourist visa (e-visa)fees varies depending on the nationality of the applicant. For better information, you can consult our eligibility verifier, which will tell you if your nationality requires a visa, and the associated cost of fees.

The cost of fees for long term visas will depend not only on the nationality but also on the reason for the application. In this case, you should ask for information at your nearest Turkish embassy or consulate.

How far in advance do I need to apply for a Turkey visa?

The tourist visa, or E-visa, is a quick and easy procedure. Filling out the application form will take no more than 10 minutes, and we will get a response within 24 hours. However, for a work or study visa, we recommend that you start the process 6 months in advance, to avoid any unnecessary delays.

What are the ports of entry to Turkey?

You can enter Turkey by air, land and sea. If you intend to enter Turkey by means of a cruise, with a stopover in the country, you can stay for 72 hours without needing to apply for a visa. This is assuming that your accommodation is on the cruise ship. We can enter the country through Istanbul, Izmir, Çanakkale, Mugla, Antalya, Içel, Hatay or Aydin.

If you intend to arrive by air, you can do so through the Istanbul International Airport (IST), Istanbul Sabiha Airport (SAW), Izmir Airport (ADB), Ankara Airport (ESB), Antalya Airport (AYT), or Dalaman Airport (DLM).

If you intend to enter the country by land, either by organised trip or by your own vehicle, the borders on the European side will be more straightforward than the borders on the Asian side.


Are vaccines required for travel to Turkey?

There are no compulsory vaccinations required to travel to Turkey. It is advisable to consult with your local doctor or international vaccination centre, in case of any doubt.

Which is the currency of Turkey?

The official currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira. Due to its proximity to other European countries, and to its reliance on tourism, most major cities allow for payment in Euros and American dollars. If your trip will go outside of the metropolitan areas, it is advisable to have local currency.

You can withdraw money from ATMs and pay with credit or debit cards in most places throughout Turkey. If you are going to change currency in the country, it is best to do so at a bank or bureau de change which can be found at all of the international airports.

What is the best time to travel to Turkey?

Turkey has the same winter and summer months as the United Kingdom, so if you want to have as much daylight as possible for your travels, we recommend that you go between May and October.


Is it safe to travel to Turkey?

Turkey is generally a safe country to travel to; however, it is a country at risk of terrorist attacks. We recommend that you avoid the border conflicts in the east and southeast of the country, particularly around the borders with Syria and Iraq.

The border with Georgia and Armenia is not a problem, and the coastal cities and the area bordering Greece and Bulgaria are safe and used to tourism.

Tips for travelling in Turkey

- Turkey is two hours ahead in time from the United Kingdom.
- Turkey has a wide variety of landscapes and travel routes, from spending a weekend in Istanbul to taking a hot air balloon trip to Cappadocia.
- If you're visiting Istanbul, you can't leave without seeing the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest bazaars in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can see an infinite number of curious and unique objects.
- Turkish food is undoubtedly one of its strongest drawcards for visiting the country. Culinary delights include the well-known döner to the Lokum, a typical Turkish dessert, so try to enjoy Turkish cuisine to the fullest!

Update, October 29 2020: New additions and corrections.


About the author
Luis Sánchez

Luis Sánchez
Hello! I'm Luis, a boy from Extremadura who loves to travel and share his experiences with readers. I write articles for Visagov.com and I also help users to process electronic visas for all countries in the world that require it. I'm more of the mountains than the beach, so the quiet destinations with green landscapes are my favorites.


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