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Turkey Will No Longer Issue Visas on Arrival After April 10, 2014

by on February 5, 2014 · 28 comments

in Allied Passport, Points Guy Pointers

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Our friends over at Allied Passport let us know about a change coming to Turkey’s visa up on arrival process. Right now you can simply fly to Turkey, deplane and queue up at the visa window on the way to customs and immigration and buy a visa upon arrival for $20 in cash for a 90-day tourist entry then simply be on your way.

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However, the Turkish government has said that after April 10, 2014, it will not be possible to get a visa on arrival in Turkey. Visitors arriving in Turkey on or after this date will have to obtain an e-visa online before travel. The price will still be $20, and the visa will be valid for 180 days after the date of arrival and for multiple entries.

After you apply and pay, the e-Visa is emailed to you and you must print out your e-Visa, show it to airport officials and customs officers and carry it with you at all times during the travel. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of entry, and you can only pay with a Visa or Mastercard. You have to specify an entry date into Turkey, but even if you enter after that, your e-Visa is valid – it’s just valid for 180 days after the date you put down. The E-Visa is only valid for tourism or trade purposes. For other purposes such as work or study, you have to apply through an embassy or consulate.

So while it was easy just to arrive in Turkey, get your sticker visa and head to customs, now you have to plan ahead a bit and make sure you have your e-Visa ready to go before traveling. It’s pretty much the same system Australia has for US citizens. I think overall it makes the travel process easier and more streamlined – you just can’t hop the next flight and get a visa when you land, though, so it requires a minimal amount of planning ahead now.

Hopefully those of you who booked Turkish Airlines flights using pre-devaluation United miles are going to enjoy your trips to Turkey, but just remember to get your E-Visa first!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Aaron

    Do i need a visa if im staying in the airport for a stopover ?

  • OA

    Will the traveler still get a sticker placed in their passport? My brother (US passport) was sent right back to JFK after reaching customs in Istanbul when he didn’t have ONE fully-blank page for placement of the visa sticker. (I know, ridiculous.) While he really should have checked to make sure he had at least one more page, I’m also surprised no one at the check-in counter verified this in the US before he boarded for Istanbul.

  • Stephen Lioy

    Negative, there are separated security queues in arrivals where you can connect through to other international flights without clearing customs.

  • Stephen Lioy

    My understanding was that these are also valid for 90 out of the next 180 days, just for the record.

  • thepointsguy

    No, these will replace stickers.

  • richard

    ‘After 31 December 2012 all foreign (including British) passport holders will be refused entry to Turkey if their passport does not have a blank page for the entry visa and entry/exit stamps’

    But Turkey is not alone with such a requirement. I will be counting the number of blank pages in the passport tonight… Off to Doha & Athens in 4 weeks.

  • Scott

    $20? When I went to Turkey in 2001 it was $45!

  • Frances

    On our trip to the Maldives last August, our bags were only checked to Instanbul and apparently the gate agent at DFW couldn’t check them beyond that. Baggage was outside of security so we were forced to purchase a visa just to pick up our bags and come back in through security. Not sure how a mandatory pre-arrival visa would work in this situation and there were multiple people dealing with the same issue we were. We never left the airport but were forced to purchase the visa just to pick up our bags.

  • Curtis

    Yep, can’t wait to hear about the first person with this issue on 4/11. Airport personnel were NOT helpful to us at all and for some reason had no ability to understand why we were upset at paying $40 to go get our bags. Amazing Star Alliance lounge there, but most ridiculous airport design with bags outside of security for connecting passengers!

  • Curtis

    Unless you need to get your bag! Be careful!

  • Avi

    Flyertalk claims the date was updated from April to November. Not sure which info is accurate…

  • Carey

    Great heads up! I’ll be in IST in the middle of August 2014. It looks like I can’t select that travel date from the eVisa website. Can anyone confirm if there is some sort of limit on how early a Visa can be applied for? I assume the dates I’ll be in IST (8/13-8/15) will be available as that date approaches, but just wanted to check. Thanks again TPG.

  • Whiskarina

    I just went through Turkish immigration today with my pre-printed e-visa… It was easy peasy. Only complaint was they had this giant mouse trap / Disney line set up so walked quite a bit before actually getting to the immigration agent. Got my exercise for the day queuing up in the immigration line.

  • SeaBee3

    This is actually good news! The line for the visas is ridiculous, as is the fact that you have to bring the extra currency just for a visa. I would rather have that done way in advance. Australia is quite a bit easier, though, because it is good for a year. It is the same price as Turkey so they are a bit stingy only giving 180 days.

  • C;mon Now

    Yes. $20 for a 180-day-no-wait-no-hassle visa is stingy. OMG… The pompous attitude of these American travelers is quite alarming.

  • Joe

    I would play it safe and pay the $20 for the e-visa. Gives you peace of mind.

  • http://www.doctorofcredit.com/ doctorofcredit

    I don’t really understand why these countries with such strong tourism industries are getting rid of VoA’s.

  • http://www.doctorofcredit.com/ doctorofcredit

    That’s pretty standard, why was he flying without at least one blank page to begin with?

  • Big Boy Travel

    has been $20 for quite a few years. We have usually paid with a $20 while getting our Passports checked. Last time we went was a few months ago and even the old cash option was pretty easy.

  • Big Boy Travel

    Are they going to have a pay-in-person option as a backup? I would assume they will always have a cash option.
    Cambodia switched ton an online version recently but we still paid in cash when we got there. Not having the “require” paperwork and photo only cost us an extra $1.

  • SeaBee3

    The point was in comparison to Australia’s fee and visa length – that should have been pretty obvious. As a visa fee, yes, it is not high, but since they are eliminating the visa counter, they could drop the price a bit.

  • USvisa

    Are you aware that the US Department of State charges $180 for a visa? And they have weird requirements that you have to deposit the money into a bank account, get some sort of confirmation number and then go online to make an appointment to see a consular officer. Pretty tedious process. It is true that some foreign citizens are getting 10 years visas but a passport will expire while the visa is still valid and then to move it to a new passport it costs another $180. Can we stop complaining about a $20 visa fee?

  • iahphx

    Whew! When I saw your post, I thought I was now going to get hit with a nasty new visa for my family’s short IST stopover later this year. As you’ve mentioned, IST is a good stopover point for Star Alliance award bookings for numerous reasons like 1) geography; 2) Turkey is cheap; and 3) Turkey is fun; and 4) TK tends to have good award availability.
    Since $20 isn’t much for a visa, it’s not a big deal, but I assume Turkey does not have a Travel Without Visa policy for short stays? These are getting more popular, and are a godsend in places like China where visas are expensive and a hassle to get.

  • globetrotter

    I did not know American citizens need an entry visa to Australia. We are due to travel to Australia and New Zealand next Friday. What website can I apply? How much? What are the requirements? Does Japan require it too? Thanks

  • Christian

    You mean as ridiculous a design as every US airport!? How dare they!

  • Curtis

    I swear I’ve been through some airports that this is possible, but now that I think about it maybe I’m confusing Intl inbound and then domestic outbound… Anyway, I’m pretty sure in the US I could talk to the airline and they would comprehend the fact that they screwed up and would retrieve the bags and recheck to avoid a completely useless Visa that the customer would have to purchase just to get their bags otherwise. No one at IST was helpful. Regardless, with a single ticket, you should NOT have to go outside of security in Istanbul or the US, or if for some reason you do, an exemption or refund of the visa should be allowed (though I don’t know of one). Places like China wouldn’t be a problem anymore since they allow 3 day no-visa entry now at least.

  • Joseph Alberts

    try google

  • Johan

    Exactly! I spent two hours queuing last year! Much better IMO

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