To enter Turkey, you must have a visa, unless your country has a bilateral agreement with Turkey which exempts you from needing a visa. If you want to apply for a work visa, see Applying for a Work Permit from Outside of Turkey, which also covers the work visa process.
The Difference Between a Visa and a Residence Permit
A visa is permission to enter Turkey and stay here for a short time, with the expectation that you will leave Turkey when the visa expires. Visas cannot be extended. If you want to remain in Turkey beyond the amount of time allowed by your visa, you must apply for a residence permit. You should make this application within 30 days after arriving in Turkey.
A residence permit allows you to live in Turkey at a registered address on a permanent basis. Typically, a person wanting to stay in Turkey beyond the duration of their visa will apply for a short-term residence permit, which is valid for up to one year. Residence permits can also be extended.
The E-visa System
Citizens of European countries, the US, and many other countries can obtain an e-visa online. It is an easy system to use, much like buying an airline ticket. You pay for the visa with a credit card. The system will then e-mail your e-visa within 24 hours. Then you print the e-visa, and bring it with you when you enter Turkey. You must also keep it with you, along with your passport, while you are in Turkey.
Citizens of some countries must obtain a visa from their local Turkish embassy or consulate. Here you can find out if you are eligible for an e-visa, or if you need to get one from a Turkish embassy or consulate.
Your passport must be valid for:
- At least 180 days beyond the date you enter Turkey.
- At least 120 days from the date you leave Turkey.
- At least 60 days beyond the expiration date of your visa or residence permit.
Visas for citizens of Europe, the UK, and the US have a validity periods of 180 days. So your passport will have to be valid for 240 days beyond the start date of your visa.
If you want travel insurance which covers the duration of your stay, you can buy it online by searching for travel insurance companies. You can also get a free quote from the company we work with, World Nomads Travel Insurance.
Visas can be single-entry, which means you can enter Turkey one time and then leave, or multiple-entry, which means you can come and go as often as you like during the validity period of the visa.
Tourist e-visas issued to citizens of the UK, US, and European countries are valid for period of 180 days. But you can only be in Turkey for a total of 90 days during any 180-day period. This is called the 90-in-180-days rule.
The validity date of an e-visa will begin on the date you enter into the online e-visa system (your projected date of arrival). You don't have to enter Turkey on that date, but the 180-day validity period will begin on that date.
Entry to Turkey for Cruise Ship Passengers
If you arrive at a Turkish port on a cruise ship, you may enter Turkey for touristic purposes to see the local sights for up to seventy two (72) hours.
If Your Visa is Denied
If your visa application is rejected, you will receive a letter explaining why it was rejected. If you want to appeal the decision, first write a letter to the authority which rejected it. If your visa is still rejected, you can take the issue to court if you want.
Turkey's E-visa Application System: The site where you can apply for an e-visa, or at least find out if you are eligible for one.
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Visa Information for Foreigners: Shows the visa rules for citizens of all countries.