Turkey changes to online short stay visa system from April

by Ray Clancy on February 21, 2014

Visas to enter Turkey will no longer be available on arrival from April this year and must be bought and paid for online using the country’s new e-visa system.

The new online visa application system was launched last year and currently runs alongside the traditional system that grants visas at airports. But from 10 April this year temporary holiday visas will no longer be obtainable on arrival at an airport terminal in Turkey.

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As of 10 April 2014 temporary holiday visas will no longer be obtainable on arrival at an airport terminal in Turkey

Visitors will have to apply online for an electronic visa before travel and it will cost the same amount as before, £10. It will be emailed to travellers for them to print out at home after providing their name, date and place of birth, email address and passport details. They will then be required to present the document to immigration on arrival.

According to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) cruise ship passengers don’t need an e-visa if they don’t leave the ship or if they only tour in the respective port city of Turkey, in which case, visitors will be given permission by local border police authorities to enter Turkey.

‘We have already informed our members about the need for consumers travelling to Turkey to apply online for a visa for travel after April 10, 2014 and we will be reminding them again. Turkey is an extremely important destination for our members and we are concerned that consumers, particularly those who have not booked through ABTA members, may not be aware of the new requirement and may be refused entry,’ said a spokesman.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry reported in January that since the launch of the on-line application system it has received more than 833,000 applications and issued 712,300 e-visas. The largest number of visa applicants came from Iraq, followed by the UK and the USA.

In the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has warned holidaymakers about unauthorised websites which could try to charge an additional application fee for the visas.

Instead, it advises travellers to use the official Turkish government website which will only charge the £10 flat fee for a 90 day, multiple entry visa.

‘Some unauthorised websites may charge for information about e-visas, and for submitting applications. These websites are not endorsed by or associated with the Turkish government. Be wary of such sites and businesses, particularly those that seek additional fees for other services,’ a spokesman said.

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