Turkey is this magical place is stuck somewhere between Asia and Europe. And with my Turkey online visa, I thankfully was able to visit Istanbul for a lovely 15 hour layover in mid-August 2019 on my way home from Thailand.
Even if one is visiting Turkey for less than 24 hours and plan to leave the airport you MUST get a tourist visa unless you are visa-exempt.
It’s great because the Turkey online visa or eVisa allows one to stay in the country for 6 months (180 days) from the date of application. The e-Visa is much cheaper than the visa on arrival if you are wondering. Let me explain what a Turkey eVisa is, who can get one, and how the whole process works.
Nationals of the USA can obtain a Turkey visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 3 months. They must be arriving from a country other than the USA and have a residence permit issued by the country they reside in.
What Is a Turkey Online Visa or eVisa
Ok, first things first: this is not a visa on arrival for Turkey. And it’s not a sticker visa either, that involves a visit to a Turkish embassy. It’s an e-visa which you apply for online and get an e-mail. As simple as that.
Getting a Turkey online visa is quick, easy and painless. For what it’s worth, you can sip a cup of mocha in a Starbucks casually and fill out the application- and get the e-Visa in a few minutes. All you need is to fill in a few details and have the means to make an online payment.
With an eVisa, you can go through the land border or fly in.
The eVisa for Turkey is only valid when the purpose of travel is tourism or commerce. For anything else, you need to get a visa from a Turkish embassy.
Who Can Get Turkey eVisa?
Now, this a million-dollar question. If you don’t have a visa waiver for Turkey, big chances are you are eligible for an e-Visa. The best way to know whether you belong to the list is to check on the official website of Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- 90-day Turkey e-Visa valid for multiple entries.
Most countries that are eligible for the e-Visa get it for 90 days which would be valid for multiple entries.
Examples- U.S.A, Australia, United Kingdom
- 30-day Turkey e-Visa valid for Single Entry
If you are a citizen of countries such as Mexico, Indonesia, you can get an e-Visa for 30 days, that too with a single entry.
- Conditional 30-day Turkey Single Entry e-Visa
Citizens of a lot of countries are eligible only if they already have a valid Schengen or USA, UK, Ireland visa or residence permit. Please note that they check the validity of the residence permit or visa at the airport. So even if you have the visa on a different passport, make sure than you have it on you.
Examples- India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Philippines
How Much is Turkey eVisa?
The Turkey eVisa fees vary a lot depending on which country you are from. While it’s free for a few countries like Malta and Mexico, it can go up to 60$ for some countries. For US citizens, it’s 20$.
Turkey eVisa Processing Time
The Turkish online visa or eTA is one of the fastest eVisas to get. I have applied for evisas for several countries, but the Turkey eVisa only took a few minutes to apply and get.
How to Get a Turkey Online Visa (in less than 10 minutes)
1.Apply at least 48 hours before arrival
You can apply for your e-Visa any time before your travel. However, give yourself at least 48 hours to apply for it before you plan to get to Turkey.
Turkey eVisa official website: https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/apply/.
There are many fake websites making rounds of Internet. Don’t fall into their trap.
Choose your country and click on Save and Continue.
2.Choose the Arrival date
The eVisa for Turkey will be valid for 180 days from the date of your arrival no matter which country you are from. But the number of days you can stay in Turkey, the no.of.entries you get and the visa fees will vary for different nationalities.
So choose the date of arrival and continue.
3. Fill in Personal Information
Enter your personal info. Do use the Calendar to choose different dates rather than filling them in manually. There are only specific special characters that you can use with your address. So keep an eye on that. When you click on any field, the portal will tell you the characters that are allowed. After you verify all the information, continue and they will send you an email.
If you are applying as a family, click on Add New Person and fill in the details for every person one after one. Of course, they all have to be from the same country.
4. Verify the Email in an hour
You receive the email almost instantly. If not, you can choose to resend the verification. But do verify it in an hour, otherwise they will cancel the application and you need to start from scratch. If you didn’t receive an email within a minute, look in your spam folder. Once you click on the Approve button, you will be forwarded to the same e-Visa portal to make payment.
5. Pay Turkey eVisa Fees within 48 Hours
You must make the payment within 48 hours, or else your application will be deleted.
You can make payment using a credit card from MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express,CB, JCB, Diner Club or through payment gateways like UnionPay, Alipay, eps, Bancontact, Przelewy, iDeal, WeChatPay, CB, Sofort, Knet, and PayU.
6. Receive Email with Turkey eVisa link to download it.
Once the payment goes through, you will see the success page. You can download your eVisa right there as a PDF. They also send you an email to download the eVisa ( they don’t email the eVisa as it is). Download it and take a print out to carry it with you when you enter Turkey. Keep it on you with your passport or identity card (whatever you chose while applying) during your stay in Turkey.
If the eVisa is for a business trip and you need an invoice for the eVisa, then click the invoice button.
Applying Turkey Online Visa as a Family?
If you are travelling as a family of 2-10 persons, you can apply for the Turkey online visa together. However the following things must be the same for all of you.
- Country of origin
- Arrival date
- Travel document type – passport or Identity card
The way you can do it is to add new persons by clicking on the Add a New Person button on the Personal Information page. You need to add them one by one and verify. Once you are done with all of them, continue to the next page. Keep the Email address same.
After verifying the Email, you can make a lump sum payment. After you pay, you will be able to download the e-Visas (under the name of the first applicant).
Note- This visa will not contain the names of all the applicants, only the first person.
Immigration in Turkey
At Immigration it was really easy and quick. At Istanbul airport the immigration officer looked me up in the computer and sent me on my way.
Do You Need Onward Ticket for Turkey eVisa?
Although they didn’t ask me for any return tickets at the immigration, it’s always a great idea to get an onward ticket that proves that you are leaving the country after your visa expires.
Have you applied for a Turkish Online Visa?
If you have applied for a Turkey Evisa, let us know in the comments. The visa process is constantly changing and it will help us updating the article if there is any change. Please feel free to ask any questions you might have.