Most foreign nationals from western countries do not require a visa in advance for a visit to Turkey. Some countries do not require a visa at all while most others can purchase it at border posts and airports. Working and residency permits are more complicated. Check out our article on Visas & Permits in Turkey for more information at below.
Visas/Permits for Turkey
We have put together a basic guide for visas for travelling, working, studying and living in Turkey. Due to the changing nature of government regulations, those intending to visit Turkey should check up-to-date information at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before departing for Turkey.
Common visas and permits required for Turkey are listed below:
There are two types of tourist visas for Turkey:
Entry visa (single entry, multiple entry and entry with special annotations)
Transit visa (single and double transit)
A single entry visa is valid for 1 year for stays of up to three months and allows visitors to visit Turkey once.
A multiple entry visa is valid for up to 5 years and allows the holder to visit Turkey multiple times with a stay of 1-3 months each time he/she enters Turkey.
A Transit visa is valid for up to 3 months and allows the person to travel to another country while transiting through Turkey.
If the connecting flight to the third country does not require an overnight stay in Turkey, then no visa is necessary. Turkey doesn’t issue Airport Transit Visas (ATV).
Cruise ship passengers are allowed to enter Turkey and stay overnight in the port cities if permission is granted by local border police authorities. An entry visa is not required.
The following countries can enter Turkey for up to 3 months without a visa: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand , South Korea, Sweden and Switzerland.
The following countries can enter Turkey for up to 3 months by purchasing a visa sticker: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, UK and USA.
Citizens of South Africa, Hungary, Poland and many central Asian and eastern European countries can enter for up to one month by purchasing a visa sticker.
A comprehensive and up-to-date list of countries can be found here.
Visas can be purchased at borders. At Ataturk International Airport there is a visa booth from where a visa must be purchased before going through customs. Make sure to do this, otherwise you will be sent back to the customs area.
Work visas are given to work permit holders and are issued for single entry.
Work visas can be applied for after an employment contract has been signed with a Turkish employer and permission for a work permit has been submitted to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS) of Turkey.
Application for Work Permit inside Turkey
Foreigners who have already been granted a residence permit in Turkey which is valid for at least six months (for any reason except education and training) can apply for a work permit with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
Application for Work Permit from Abroad
Foreigners may submit their application forms for work permits through Turkish embassies or consulates. Work permits are usually valid for 1year.
Foreigners can apply for an education visa only after they have enrolled in a Turkish university, school or a language course certified by the Ministry of Education. Education visas are generally valid for one year for single entry. The person concerned should apply to the nearest Turkish Embassy/Consulate in person with the necessary documentation.
An entry visa enables the bearer to stay in Turkey for the duration stated on the visa sticker. However, if the person intends or is obliged to stay in Turkey longer than the permitted duration, this extension is subject to the approval of the Ministry of Interior. In this case, the person has to obtain a residence permit.
Applications for residence permits should be made to the Alien’s Branch of Local Police Departments (Emniyet Mudurlugu Yabancilar Subesi) within 30 days of arriving in Turkey. Applicants are generally required to submit work permit, work visa, education visa or research visa and a letter describing his/her circumstances (i.e. employment, education, marriage to a Turkish citizen).