How to Enter Turkey

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

You need a passport and visa to travel to Turkey. Passports should be valid for at least 90 days from the date of entry into Turkey and must have enough blank space to allow for Turkish entry and exit stamps. If there is not enough space for entry and exit stamps in your passport, you will be denied entry into Turkey. If you are traveling as a tourist, you can purchase a tourist visa at a Turkish Embassy or Consulate outside of Turkey, or you can purchase a sticker visa at the Turkish airport or other port of entry for $20 (U.S.) cash. There is one exception: foreigners who are traveling to Turkey by cruise ship are allowed to enter Turkey without a visa for a maximum period of 72 hours, with permission given by the local security authorities at the port of entry. For additional information, please visit the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Frequently Asked Questions website.

If you are planning to work, study, or conduct academic or scientific research in Turkey, you should apply for a visa from a Turkish Embassy or Consulate before arriving in Turkey. Doing these activities while on a tourist visa in Turkey could lead to deportation.

If you are planning to stay more than three months for any purpose, you must obtain a visa from a Turkish Embassy or Consulate before entering Turkey. You must also apply for a residence/work permit or Turkish ID card within the first month of your arrival in Turkey. This includes anyone who plans to spend more than three months doing research, studying, or working in Turkey.

Official and diplomatic passport holders traveling on official business must obtain a visa from a Turkish Embassy or Consulate before arriving in Turkey. If traveling as a tourist, you may purchase a 90-day sticker visa at the port of entry for $20 (U.S.) cash.

Student visas

Visit the website of the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey to learn more about the process and requirements to apply for visas for study or research in Turkey. A letter of acceptance from an accredited Turkish educational institution is required.

Volunteer work with religious groups

If you intend to serve as a religious missionary, or as a volunteer, with a church or other religious group organized in Turkey as an “association” (dernek), please contact the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate to learn about the specific requirements to apply for the appropriate visa and related permits. Individuals who have not obtained the appropriate visa prior to travel to Turkey have been denied residence permits and have been forced to leave Turkey.

Although there is no specific law against religious proselytizing, some activities can lead to your arrest under laws that regulate expression, educational institutions, and religious meetings.

On March 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of State updated the Travel Warning for Syria. This travel warning remains in effect. The U.S. Embassy in Damascus closed in February 2012. If you are in Syria holding an expired U.S. passport and need to enter Turkey, please contact the U.S. Embassy in Ankara for assistance.

Residence Permits

U.S. citizens planning to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days within a 180-day period must get a Turkish residence permit. U.S. citizens who enter Turkey with a tourist visa and who wish to stay in Turkey for tourism purposes for longer than 90 days are now able to get a residence permit for tourism for a maximum period of six months. This will allow U.S. citizens to stay in Turkey for tourism for up to a total of nine months.

In order to obtain a tourist residence permit, or any other class of residence permit, please contact the nearest Foreigners Police office in Turkey. The U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S citizens not to overstay their visas and to maintain valid residence permits at all times. Turkish authorities do enforce the laws, by imposing fines, deporting violators, and banning future travel to Turkey for people who overstay their visas or do not maintain valid residence permits.

Foreigners who have overstayed their visas, residence permits, or visa-exempt periods and are subject to a fine can use the residence permit procedure to extend their stay as long as they pay their outstanding fines.

Requirements for work visas and work permits

U.S. citizens who would like to work in Turkey should first contact their prospective employer before arriving in Turkey. It is the responsibility of the employer to obtain approval from the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security to hire foreign employees and also to obtain the specific employee’s work permit. Employers must obtain work permit application forms at the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security. Completed applications should be returned to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security at Inonu Boulevard No. 42, Eskisehir Yolu Uzeri, Emek, Ankara, tel. 0-312-296-6000.

Upon approval from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the prospective employer should notify the U.S. citizen candidate and send the work permit and all appropriate documents to the individual. The U.S. citizen should then apply for a Turkish work visa at a Turkish Embassy or Consulate outside of Turkey. Work visa requirements, instructions, and application forms are available at the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey website.

Special Travel Circumstances in Turkey

On January 1, 2009, Turkey introduced a new, smaller-sized currency referred to as Turkish Lira. For more information, please see the website of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.

Disaster Preparedness: A seismically active country, earthquakes regularly occur throughout Turkey. A major earthquake east of Istanbul in 1999 killed approximately 18,000 people. You should make contingency plans for your travel in Turkey and leave emergency contact information with family members outside of Turkey.

Disclaimer

You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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