New Turkish Visa Requirements

The Republic of Turkey has issued a bulletin announcing changes to their visa on arrival policy for foreign travelers:

Pursuant to new practice, visas for tourism and trade purposes will no longer be issued on arrival as of April 10, 2014.

From April 10, 2014 onwards, foreign travelers should obtain an e-visa electronically prior to their departure for Turkey through e-Visa Application System (www.evisa.gov.tr). Each traveler must obtain a separate e-Visa, including infants and kids. (Even though kids/infants are included in their parent’s passports)

E-Visa is only valid for tourism or trade purposes. For other purposes such as work or study, an application should be made through our Embassies or Consulates.

E-Visa application is possible from any place with internet connection. Applicants just need to go towww.evisa.gov.tr and click on “Apply Now”, enter required information and (after the application is approved) make online payment.

After successful application, e-Visa is e-mailed to the applicant. Applicants must print out their e-Visa, show it to airport officials and customs officers and carry it with them at all times during the travel.

Turkish Visa Application

Several countries utilize the e-visa method, and as long as you know to do the paperwork in advance the process is surprisingly efficient. I am frequently able to avoid needed a visa entirely due to my EU passport, but given the option I strongly prefer the e-visa. Submitting my information in advance (and paying via credit card!) is much easier than queuing and having to pay cash upon arrival, in my opinion.

It’s worth noting the price of the visa isn’t changing — just the methods through which you can get it.

There has been some discussion of the actual transition date not taking place until November, however every official source I’ve found is quite firm about the visa on arrival policy changing on April 10th, including this statement from The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey:

For the moment, Turkish visa can be obtained on arrival (if you are eligible), from the Turkish missions or over the e-Visa Application system (if you are eligible). Please note that visa on arrival will no longer be available as of 10 April 2014.

Anyways, it seemed worth mentioning, as I’m sure many of you have trips booked on Turkish Airlines this summer. The Turkish Government has set up a page with Frequently Asked Questions regarding the e-visa process, so you may want to look that over as well.

(Tip of the hat to The Points Guy)

Comments

  1. I see this as a bad thing. I just transited through Istanbul, taking in TK’s free tour of the city (not terribly wonderful), but it was super easy to get in line, pay the $20, and get the visa. Actually, there was no line when I got there! Took about a minute, IIRC.

    I didn’t have to submit this info in advance, I didn’t put my cc info at risk by sending it online, I got a neat visa thingie in my passport, and I had the choice until the very last minute of whether I wanted to venture out into Istanbul for the tour.

    (And yes, visa thingie is a technical term!)

  2. I’m in Istanbul next month. What would you do Lucky: the e-visa online for $20 or just do it at the airport on arrival?

  3. @ Michael — Can’t go wrong either way. I’d probably get it done in advance just so it’s done, but if your plans might change then I’d wait till you arrive.

  4. Why would you voluntarily get a visa when you don’t need it with an EU passport? Just to avoid showing 2 passports at check-in?

  5. I’ve got a pre-deval TK J award JFK-IST in April

    Just did the e-visa. It was super easy. You get a download link on completion. Took maybe four minutes total.

  6. I have tried several times to pay for the e-visa online and I keep on getting an error message. Additionally I called the contact number and asked me to leave a message on the website which no one has responded. Any ideas.

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