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Obtaining a visa to enter Turkey as a visitor PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Dalaman customs

Below we explain how to get a visa, we show you what one looks like, and we tell you how the rules are being applied.

This article describes the position as we understand it for British citizens wishing to come to Turkey.  The rules may differ for other countries. 

You must have a valid passport
The rules pertaining to passports changed on 1st January 2015.  Click here to read more: New passport requirements

The cost of a visa
An eVisa costs US$20 per person - about £14.  Children pay the same as adults.  Please also see the section on the so called "transition period" below.

Where can I buy my visa
From 10th April 2014, all visas should to be bought online, before you travel

With the new e-visa system you print off your e-visa at home, and bring it with you, together with your passport, to the border checkpoint in Turkey.  It's also possible to have a "soft" copy of your eVisa on an electronic device such as an iPad, iPhone or other computer device, instead of a "hard" paper copy.

If you are flying to Turkey, you may have to show that you have your e-Visa at the airport you are flying from.  Once you are in Turkey keep your e-Visa safe - we suggest keeping it with your passport.

You can choose the date that you want the visa to start, but please note that the eVisa website will only allow you to buy your visa up to three months in advance of your travel date.  It is possible to buy a second visa whilst your first one is still valid - see below.

Turkey e-visa

Official secure web site
This is the link to the official government secure web site:

They have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that should tell you everything you need to know.

Please be aware that there are several websites offering Turkish visas at a higher cost than the official website and we would strongly recommend that you use only the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (link above) to obtain your visa.

What does an eVisa look like?
This is what an eVisa looks like.

eVisa example

Note the wording of the disclaimer on the eVisa document, (below).

eVisa disclaimer

Visa "transition period"
From 10th April 2014 it became mandatory for visitors to Turkey to obtain an e-Visa before travelling. 

But the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduced a so called "transition period", whereby a visa could still be obtained on arrival in Turkey until "some point after the 2014 tourist season".

We spoke to Dalaman Airport in 2015 and they told us that this transition period will continue until such time as they are advised to stop it.  We assume this applies to all international airports in Turkey.  Who knows if or when this facility will be removed.

However, our advice remains the same - it's better to buy an eVisa online before you travel.  It's quick and easy to do.  If you don't get on well with completing forms on the internet, get a friend to help you.

If you buy your visa at the airport after 10th April 2014 it's going to cost you more: US$30, or 25 euros or £20.

To get a full list of costs for all nationalities, for eVisas bought online in advance, and also at the airport, click on the following link to the MFA web page: Visa costs from 11th April 2014

If a visitor arrives in Turkey without having purchased an e-Visa

At Istanbul airport only there will be 3 options:

  • WiFi areas will be introduced in the arrivals areas for customers to apply for e-Visa on their own smart devices.
  • Self service kiosks (similar to the self service check-in machines) will be available for customers to use to apply for the e-Visa.  Three machines are being delivered in the first week of April, with more to follow.
  • The old sticker on arrival visa counters will remain operational.

At all other airports in Turkey, including our nearest ones, Dalaman and Antalya, there will be only the one option:

  • The old sticker on arrival visa counters will remain operational.  There will be no WiFi option or self service kiosks.

Family and group applications
A Family application allows up to 10 people travelling together to apply together. 

A Group application allows up to 100 people (e.g. tour groups) to apply in one go.

These application types require only one bulk payment at the end of the process.

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), has acted on customer feedback to introduce the use of debit cards as a payment method, in addition to credit cards.

Keep the eVisa with you
Once an e-Visa has been issued it must be printed out and kept safe to be shown if requested by immigration officers, upon arrival in Turkey.  We suggest keeping it with your passport.  It's also possible to have a "soft" copy of your eVisa on an electronic device such as an iPad, iPhone or other computer device, instead of a "hard" paper copy.

If you arrive without the "hard or soft" eVisa copy, in theory you should not have a problem on entry, as the information ought to appear on the border Police computer system.  However, the MFA do stress that it is highly advisable to carry your own copy of the e-Visa in case of problems with the computer systems.

How your eVisa works
Your visa allows you to remain in Turkey for a maximum of 90 days in a period of 180 days. The calculation on how many days you have spent in Turkey is made at your point of departure.  It does not matter if the previous 180 days are covered by one visa or two. 

The main thing here is that at the point of departure you must not have been in Turkey for more than 90 out of the previous 180 days.  See below.

Visa graphic

For information, every time you pass through border control, your passport is scanned in to register your date of entry and departure.  This way, the authorities can keep track on how many days you have been in the country. 

Turkish VisasWhat happens if I exceed 90 days?
The rules state that if you overstay and are fined, you must apply for your next visa at a Turkish Embassy or Consulate overseas before you travel.  You may also be banned from re-entering Turkey for a period of time. 

If you come to Turkey for long periods, you may want to consider obtaining residency permission.  It's not expensive, and the process is not as complicated as you may think.  Read the KTLN article on Obtaining Residency.

Here is a link to the GOV.UK Turkey page on entry requirements and visas.

Can a new visa be bought before the old one has expired?
Yes.  You are not prevented from buying multiple visas.  In some ways this kind of overlap is not so important - as long as you have one.  As stated above, the most important point is not to stay for more than 90 days, from your planned date of departure from Turkey.

Why you may require overlapping visas - an example
Let's assume you have travelled to Turkey early in the year, and you plan another visit later in the same year.  If your second visit straddles the expiry date of your first visa, (the 180th day), you would need to buy a second visa before your second journey.  By doing so, you will have permission to be in Turkey for the duration of your planned visit.

In the graphic below, a visa starts on 1st April and expires 180 days later (27th September).  The visitor comes to Turkey for 30 days in April.  The traveller returns on 1st September for a planned holiday of 45 days.  The original visa expires on 27th September, so a second visa is bought before the September trip.  This will provide permission to be in Turkey for the duration of the second visit, and beyond, if further trips are planned.

Second visa

eVisa online calculator
Here is a link to a handy calculator, which works out whether your planned trips are possible with the visa you have bought.  (Courtesy of KTLN member Colin Harriman).

Aligned to Schengen
The 90/180 days visa system - introduced on 1st February 2012, saw new rules that brought Turkey more in line with many other (25), European countries, operating under the Schengen Agreement.  To learn more about Schengen Visas, click here


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Last Updated on Monday, 02 April 2018