Turkey Visa Requirements for Foreigners 2021: General Guidelines & Rules
Foreigners who want to visit Turkey for any reason must obtain a visa first. Each country has its rules and requirements for applying and obtaining a visa, and so does Turkey. It might be challenging to try to get a visa if you do not know the steps you need to follow and the requirements that the country has for foreigners.
It is important to note that even though Turkey has its own rules and guidelines, the country of residence and application location plays a role in this process. In this guide, I will explain the general guidelines and rules for getting a visa for Turkey.
General Information About Turkey Visa
It would be best to understand the Turkey visa process by starting with general information, then going into the details. To get a Turkey visa, a foreigner needs to make an application first. The following are general information foreigners needs to know about the Turkey visa process:
- If the travel purpose is tourism or commerce, foreigners can get an e-visa within minutes online. The E-visa platform is available 7/24 all around the world, and the only things necessary are a passport, travel dates, personal information, and visa fee. The Visa fee can be paid online, and as the payment is made, your e-visa will be ready.
- As I mentioned earlier, e-visa is only valid for commerce and tourism purposes. For work, study, and other types of visas, a foreigner must visit Turkish Consulates or Embassies in person.
- The passport in the application process must be valid for another six months, the start date being your arrival in Turkey. Even though there are no obligations regarding when to get a visa, it is strongly recommended to start the processes at least a month before your travel to avoid any inconveniences. Additionally, obtaining a visa does not necessarily mean a foreigner has an absolute right to enter Turkey.
- The maximum visa duration for each application is 90 days. This rule is valid for every kind of visa type. Foreigners who intend to stay more than 90 days in Turkey must apply for a short-term residence permit in the Provincial Directorate of Migration Administration to extend their stay.
- If they can confirm their official duty, owners of United Nations (UN) Travel Document (Laissez-Passer) with blue UN travel documents may request for visa exemption with 90 days duration of stay during the previous 180 days during their official visit to Turkey.
- Holders of a Red UN Travel Document are excused from obtaining an entry visa and are permitted to stay in Turkey for 90 days inside the previous 180 days, regardless of the cause for their visit. Blue UN travel passport holders are subject to general visa rules and requirements specific to their home country.
- The short-term residence permit obtained by those who want to extend their stay in Turkey will be canceled if they exceed 120 days out of Turkey within the last year.
- In the cases where the visa application gets rejected, it is not possible to get the visa fee back. So, you must keep in mind that the money you paid for the visa fee is a sunk cost, and a refund is not possible.
- Within every 180 days, the length of stay granted by a visa or visa exemption cannot be more than 90 days. All foreigners coming to Turkey must adhere to the 90-day rule during the previous 180-day period.
- For those who hold two different passports, it is out of the question to stay in Turkey with each passport for 90 days within the last 180 days.
- Applicants under the age of 18 must have written permission from both parents to apply for a visa. For children under 18 that has divorced parents, deceased parent or parents, visas may be given depending on their purpose to visit (if the situation is proved).
- Visa-free entry permits might be given by governorates for those who want to enter Turkey through naval ports for touristic purposes. The duration of those permits is 72 hours maximum and is applicable only for sightseeing purposes within the surroundings of naval ports. The passports of those visitors are not taken by the authorities to be given back after their sightseeing. However, a “Harbor City Entry Permit” document is given, which needs to be returned after the sightseeing.
- During your visa process, any information you provide may be analyzed and stored in a database available for appropriate Turkish authorities in compliance with their authorities.
General Necessities to Apply for Turkey Visa
The information below is the necessary documents and other things a foreigner needs for a Turkey visa application. The necessary documents may change depending on your visa type. The Consulate you are applying to has all rights to demand another document or paper during your application.
- A passport or a travel document valid for another six months starting from your arrival day in Turkey (or 90 more days from your return date), which has a minimum of two blank pages.
- Copy of the first page of the passport or travel document, which includes personal information and previous visas if applicable.
- Document proving travel with approved both outbound and return tickets.
- Signed and completed visa application with two biometric photos, which were taken a maximum of 6 months ago.
- Details of accommodation with proof of hotel reservation or an invitation letter
- Proof of activity in the form of certified documents such as an employer letter, a student certificate, a registry document, or a pension fund display.
- Evidence of travel health insurance which covers your entire stay and is valid in the country
- Bank account information that illustrates the foreigner can supply for their whole travel.
If the foreigner is employed, additional documents might be required to complete the application process.
Employed foreigners need to present employment contracts, bank account information for the past six months, income tax returns, and approval letters of leave from the employer.
Self-employed foreigners need to present company registration or any proof of business license, bank account statement of the country for the past six months, and income tax return.
Retired foreigners need to present documentation for the last six months regarding their pension statement.
Students need to present documentation of their university enrollment and a no-objection certificate obtained by the school management.
Unemployed foreigners need to prove their financial resources. If the foreigner is not capable of finance their own needs throughout the travel, sponsor proof is obligatory.
Turkey Visa Rules
Besides those requirements, there are other visa rules that foreigners need to be aware of. The following are the Turkey visa rules for foreigners.
- Northern Cyprus citizens can enter, work, study, and reside in Turkey without any immigration restrictions.
- Foreigners visiting Turkey for documentary shooting, conducting research, and excavating on archeological sites must obtain the necessary permits from the authorized sources before their trip.
- Turkey visa requirements and rules may change compliant to the country of residence rules. It is essential to be informed by the local diplomatic missions in the country of residence.
- Turkey visa fees can change regarding the type of visa and the location of the application.
- Citizens of the countries listed below can enter Turkey with their national ID number:
- The Netherlands
- Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Countries listed below can enter Turkey with their expired passports (passports expired within the last five years):
Turkey Visa Types
Foreigners must apply for the visa type that they are eligible for their stay in Turkey. As I mentioned above, no type of visa is given more than 90 days within the last 180 days. The following are Turkey visa types.
- Tourist / Businessperson Visa: This type of visa can be given for purposes such as single transit, double transit, business meeting, commerce, conference, seminar, meeting, festival, fair, exhibition, sportive activity, official visit, visit Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, cultural, artistic activity.
- Official Visa: Official visas can be given to those assigned for official duty or a diplomatic courier.
- Student / Education Visa: This type of visa can be given in the form of internship visa, internship ERASMUS, internship AIESEC, and for course purposes, education purposes, education in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and Turkish language course purposes.
- Working Visa: Working visas can be given for the purposes of employment, particular employment, and to assigned lecturers, academics, sportsperson artists, free zone workers, journalists, and montage and repairman purposes.
- Other visas: Besides the visas I mentioned above, there are other visas in Turkey. Those visas include the purposes of archeological excavation, exploration, tour operator, documentary, medical treatment, accompaniment, family unification, in addition to freight visa and seafarer visa.