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Visa for Turkey: All the Deets for an Easy Entry to the Republic of Türkiye 2024

Need a visa for Turkey but unsure of the visa application process?

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You’re in the right place to get all your questions answered.

When I first got to Turkey, I came on a “90 days within 6 months” visa but quickly applied for a short-term residence permit.

Since moving in 2019, I have had to renew my visa 3 times, and every time it has been different.

It can be a bit confusing and if I am honest, quite overwhelming. But there are a few things to make it easier and more clear.

So stick with me as I guide you through the Turkish visa process, so you can make an informed decision and travel confidently.

Things have changed recently and now America along with some other countries, no longer need a visa to enter. Since other countries still do, I am leaving this information here. Check this list to see if you need a visa.

Wing of a plane arriving at the airport - need a visa for Turkey

Visa for Turkey options

When planning a trip to Turkey, the first item you’ll likely need to check off your list is obtaining a visa or residence permit.

Since there are a few different visa types and different requirements for each country, it is important to make sure you look up the proper info for your country.

I will be sharing general requirements and will link to where you can find the proper info for your country.

  1. Sticker or electronic visa: The most important thing that you need to find out is whether your country is allowed to apply for an e-visa or if you are required to get a sticker visa.
    • Thankfully, the Turkish authorities have taken steps to streamline this process with the introduction of the e-visa system. Accessible around the clock, the e-Visa system lets you apply and receive your visa online, at any time, and from anywhere with an internet connection.
    • If you need to use the system for Turkish sticker visas you can apply HERE.
  2. Duration of Stay: From there you will need to figure out how long you plan on staying.
    If you plan to stay longer than 90 days, you must apply for one of the following within the first 90 days after your date of entry.

There is also a list of people who wish to visit Türkiye and are exempt from visa requirements.

The four main types of visas are as follows:

Tourism / Business Visa

The main purpose is transit, touristic visit, business meeting/commerce, conference/seminar/meeting, festival/fair/exhibition, sportive activity, cultural-artistic activity, official visit, or visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Requirement of Necessary Documents

I would provide a list but the chances of the list changing by the time you actually apply are like 98%.

All three times I have renewed, 4 if you include the original application, the list has been different. They are always refining the process.

That being said, I recommend jumping into an expat in Turkey Facebook group and asking around for people’s experiences of what was required most recently when it is time.

Sometimes they require travel documents, bank statements, or other such documents, and other times they don’t.

Education Visa

The main purpose is for doing an internship, attending a course, or other educational purposes (attending university), Turkish language course, in the Republic of Türkiye or the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

This type of visa must be applied for before you come to Turkey, however. So if you want to use this route, make sure to apply with the consulate in your country.

Requirement of Necessary Documents

The consulate’s office will help you with all the necessary documents for your application process.

Window of an airplane covered in rain of Turkish Airlines flight

Work Visa

The main purpose of your trip to Turkey is employment, or you are an assigned academic, sportsperson, artist, free zone worker, journalist to Turkey or locally employed.

The process for obtaining a work visa includes an application to the nearest Turkish mission and requires documents such as a letter from the employer.

Be sure to prepare all necessary documents ahead of time to avoid delays in your application process.

Securing a work visa for Turkey requires a specific procedure that candidates must diligently follow.

If you want to obtain work permit, applications must be submitted through the E-Permit System.

Before filing your application, ensure that you have all necessary documents at your disposal for submission.

Requirement of Necessary Documents

As with any official visa procedure, you must provide a collection of documents.

The exact nature of these documents may vary depending on your particular circumstances and employment details.

However, it generally includes items such as your passport and a color copy of your passport, a completed visa application form, passport-sized photos, and supporting documentation relating to your job placement, such as contracts and letters from the employer.

The Importance of the Employer’s Letter

One of the key documents that need to be submitted along with your work visa application is a letter from your employer.

This employment letter should clearly detail your role, the nature of your work, and its duration.

It provides confirmation of your employment status and is highly important in the visa-acquiring process.

By adhering strictly to these steps, you can ensure a smooth visa application process and ultimately enhance your chances of securing a Turkish work visa.

Official

The main purpose of your trip to Turkey is as a courier or on assignment for duty purposes.

Requirement of Necessary Documents

The consulate’s office will help you with all the necessary documents for your application process.

Other

Your main purpose falls into one of the other special cases like an archaeological excavation, exploration purpose, documentary purpose, tour operator representative, medical treatment purpose, accompaniment purpose, family unification purpose, freight visa, or seafarer visa.

Mosque outside of the New Istanbul International Airport

Visa Fees

When it comes to visa fees, it is worth noting that the fees for an evisa obtained through the official website are typically lower than visas obtained upon arrival at Turkish airports.

This cost difference might vary depending on your country of origin and the type of visa you are applying for.

E-Visa: On Turkey’s e-visa portal as of December 2023 the fee was $50 plus a small processing fee I am sure.

iVisa: A full-service provider with a 99% success rate with a fee of $127. This is a helpful service if you want someone to take care of all the details for you.

You may be asking, why would I pay so much more? Let me give you a few reasons:

  1. You can save time as application time is significantly shorter.
  2. Unlike most government sites, travelers can pay with several payment methods.
  3. Their platform reviews documents and scans to ensure that they won’t be rejected. They have a 99% success rate.
  4. They have a multilingual website and 24/7 customer support which is especially helpful if you’re coming from another country.

OnArrival: In some other countries, can apply for a visa upon arrival and the fee is typically a bit more than an e-visa though the fee isn’t posted anywhere.

For instance, in 2014 the e-visa fee was $20 and on arrival was $30.

The one thing about the on-arrival visa is that it adds time to the customs process and if it isn’t approved for whatever reason, you have to hop back on a plane.

Plus with the current tensions regarding visas, they are more often than not requiring a visa before you get on the plane.

Tips and Important Infor About Applying for a Visa for Turkey

Applying for a Turkish visa can be a straightforward process if you understand the requirements and follow the correct procedures.

Typically you enter Turkey on a 90 days within 180 days visa and then apply for a longer short-term resident permit.

Depending on the type of visa, however, the requirements change regularly. For instance, if you want to come in on a work or education visa, you have to apply from your home country.

If, however, you are already on a resident visa, then you must have 6 months left and can apply for a work visa in the country.

In order to obtain the most up-to-date general information, I recommend you check with the Republic of Türkiye’s visa page.

Passport validity

Your passport should have a validity of 60 days past the date you’re expected to depart from Turkey.

There are a handful of exceptions for this.

Here are some valuable tips and crucial information that can assist you in this process.

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

Official Options: applying for your Visa

Be wary of potential scams. There are numerous fraudulent websites and agencies that claim to provide Turkish visas.

It is vital to use official channels for obtaining your Turkish visa, whether it’s an e-visa or a traditional visa, to avoid being duped.

iVisa

This is a full-service company to help with visas. While Turkey’s application system for e-visas is quite easy, that is not always the case for countries that can’t use the e-visa.

With iVisa, they handle all the details for you and make sure everything is done correctly for smooth sailing.

E-visa

The official websites provide the most accurate and updated information about visa requirements, fees, and processing times.

One notable advantage of applying for an e-visa is its 24/7 availability and the convenience of applying from anywhere in the world.

Moreover, the e-visa system is continuously being enhanced to include more languages and payment options, which further increases its accessibility.

The e-Visa system is continually refined and expanded to accommodate more languages and provide a wider variety of payment options.

This is in line with Turkey’s commitment to make traveling to their beautiful country as straightforward as possible.

Consider the cost advantage of applying for an e-visa: payments for e-visas obtained through the official website are significantly lower than the fees for visas obtained upon arrival at Turkish airports.

On Arrival

You can also do an on-arrival visa application, though, in my opinion, it is better to have it done and ready to go before you get there.

If not, you could be turned away and have to reboard a plane back without ever entering. Because of this, many airlines are requiring a visa before boarding.

If you decide to go this route, however, follow the signs in the airport for applying. Typically this is done at the customs desk but ask an employee upon arrival to make sure it is still handled this way.

Sticker Visa

You can apply HERE for that.

Visa for Turkey FAQs

What is an e-Visa for Turkey?

An e-visa for Turkey is a travel authorization document that can be obtained online, which permits visitors to travel to and within Turkey. It is a quicker and more convenient alternative to the traditional visa process, available to travelers from around 40 countries.

What are the advantages of obtaining an e-visa over a visa on arrival?

The e-visa offers several advantages over a visa on arrival. Firstly, the application can be completed at your leisure and from the comfort of your home, without requiring a visit to the Turkish Consulate or Embassy. Secondly, it is typically cheaper than a visa on arrival. Lastly, obtaining an e-visa beforehand can save you time at the airport.

What is required to obtain a Turkish work visa?

Work permit applications are required to be submitted through the E-Permit System. They require the foreign national’s passport, photo, a copy of the employment contract, and a letter from the employer in Turkey. Other documents may also be requested.

Are there possible scams related to Turkish visa applications?

Yes, there have been reported scams related to Turkish visa applications. Applicants are advised to use only the official website of the Turkish government or trusted full-service providers like iVisa to avoid falling victim to such scams.

visiting turkey during ramadan

Final Thoughts on Visas for Travel to Turkey

Staying informed about the visa process is crucial for a smooth journey to Turkey.

I have covered extensive aspects of the visa process, but let me recap the significant points:

  • It is possible to obtain an e-Visa for Turkey online, anytime, with an internet connection and it is the recommended way if possible.
  • If you prefer to have someone handle it for you or are from another country, iVisa is a great option with a 99% success rate (because not everyone gets approved even if you do it on your own.)
  • If you want to stay longer than the initial visa, you will have to apply for a residence permit.
  • If you are applying for education, you must do it in your home country. If you are coming on a residence permit, you must also apply in your home country.
  • Fees vary according to country and length of stay.

Basically, it is important to abide by the appropriate procedures when applying for a Turkish visa. Using an official website with the government or iVisa is key to safeguarding your personal information from potential scams.

Read More:

Turkey vacation basics

When I plan a trip these are the websites I use. Hope they help you plan your next adventure as well!

FLIGHTS: I am a huge fan of Skyscanner and WayAway.

VISAS: You can use the free e-visa portal here but for a few extra dollars you can use iVisa and someone else will handle any issues that may come up.

E-SIM: When I traveled to SE Asia I discovered e-sims and I’m never going back. Airalo has been easy and cheap!

TRAVEL INSURANCE: I use TravelInsurance.com for my trips abroad.

CAR RENTAL: I have loved working with Discover Cars when I rent cars in country.

AIRPORT TRANSFERS: I have used these transfers many times and they are always great. If you’d like more options, I also recommend GetTransfers.com as they allow you to compare companies.

ACCOMMODATION: Find the best Turkey hotel deals on Booking.com.

CITY TOURS & DAY TRIPS: You can browse GetYourGuide’s website to find just the tour you’re looking for!

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