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Documents to travel to Turkey

Europe is the favorite continent for tourists and Turkey, one of the most popular destinations. This country is very complete; its history and culture are the greatest attractions for its visitors, but they also delight in its landscapes, beaches, emblematic monuments and the exquisite gastronomy that characterizes it.

Istanbul, its most populous town, has been baptized as “the city of a thousand and one nights”. Some say that this nickname is due to the magic of its landscapes and constructions, in which a fascinating story can perfectly develop, similar to the one told in that famous literary work. Others affirm that there is so much to see and do in it, that this is the time it takes to enjoy it in its entirety. But the truth is, it is a wonderful destination.

Another of its popular cities is its capital, Ankara, which is the administrative center of the country. It is the most modern, but at the same time, it is full of museums, monuments and emblematic places, in which the bases of its culture are preserved. And the list goes on with other destinations such as Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Ephesus, Pergamon and Aphrodisias, all declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

So, there are plenty of reasons to visit this magnificent country and there is no doubt that it would be a serious mistake to miss the opportunity to get to know it. So, don’t waste time and start preparing your next trip to Turkey.

A determining aspect in the preparation of your trip is the compilation of the documentation required by the immigration authorities at the border points. Regarding Turkey, the elements that you must carry when you arrive in the country are:

  • Valid passport, whose validity extends, at least, until two months after leaving the country.
  • Visa according to the purpose of the trip, if applicable by virtue of your nationality.
  • Round trip ticket of any means of transport. If you travel to a third destination, they must show that they meet the entry requirements for that nation.
  • Documents that demonstrate family, academic or work ties in the place of origin.
  • Demonstrate the availability of sufficient funds to assume the expenses derived from your stay.
  • Accommodation reservation or letter of invitation, issued by a person residing in Turkey or a company operating in the country.
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These conditions may vary depending on your nationality. Similarly, keep in mind that, in addition to identification documents, you must observe customs regulations. For this reason, we recommend that you verify the information with the transport company that you contract to travel to Turkey.

General information about the tourist visa

There is a group of nations with which Turkey has concluded visa waiver agreements. By virtue of this, the citizens of these countries can enter only carrying a valid identity document and some are allowed entry by presenting a passport with a certain expiration time. To meet them, go to: https://www.mfa.gov.tr/countries-whose-citizens-are-allowed-to-enter-turkey-with-their-national-id_s.en.mfa

In this sense, one of the most effective steps that Turkey has taken based on this, is the establishment of a fully electronic process, in regard to the issuance of entry permits aimed at people who travel for leisure or with commercial purposes.

However, the power of consulates to carry out such procedures has not been abolished. Those who opt for this modality must make a pre-application by going to: https://www.konsolosluk.gov.tr/Visa On the scheduled date, they will have to go to the corresponding office with the required documentation.

Said system entered into force in April 2013 and its objective is that national tourists from countries that are not exempt from visas obtain their residence permit in a simpler way. On the official website created by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to receive applications, you can access the list of States whose citizens must complete the procedure: https://www.evisa.gov.tr/es/info/

The validity of this permit is 180 days, within which a maximum stay of 90 non-extendable days is allowed. Those who wish to opt for a longer stay will have to apply for a short-term residence visa.

How to apply for the e-Tourist Visa?

According to what is stated on the official website of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, any national of any of the selected countries can apply for an e-Visa from anywhere, since it is only enough to have access to the Internet. In accordance with the regulations that regulate the entry of foreigners, the requirements to process it are:

  • Passport validly issued by the competent national authority, whose expiration date is later than 60 days after leaving the country.
  • Fill out the e-Visa application form, available at: https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/apply/
  • Reservation of round trip transportation ticket.
  • Proof of reservation in a Turkish hotel or letter of invitation.
  • Visa, UnionPay or Mastercard credit card of your own or of a third party, with sufficient availability for the payment of fees.
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Those who accredit the lodging site through a letter of invitation must ensure that it contains the identification data of the host, contact information and an explanation of the purpose of the trip. If it is signed by a company or organization, it is imperative to indicate the tax registration certificate number.

Requirements may vary depending on the applicant’s nationality. In any case, you can find out the required documentation and the fees that you have to pay, starting the process, which, before being formalized, will provide the corresponding information.

Similarly, the credit card used must have the 3D Secure system enabled for international transactions. Likewise, it is necessary that the payment be made in American dollars (USD).

Entry conditions decreed due to COVID-19

Turkey is a country that, to date, is facing the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections. However, since January 2021 the government began vaccinating citizens, so, in June of that year, it was relaxed entry rules for foreign tourists. In view of this, entry is allowed only to those who present the following requirements:

  • Traveler’s health form in physical or digital format, filled out within 72 hours prior to the trip. You can access it here: https://register.health.gov.tr/
  • Passenger information form, which is handed out during the flight.
  • Complete vaccination certificate, verifying that the last dose was administered at least 14 days before the trip.
  • Those who have been infected in the last six months may enter with a certificate issued by a health entity, stating that at least 28 days have elapsed since the first PCR that yielded the positive result.
  • Those who do not have a vaccination certificate, nor have been recently infected, must undergo a PCR test within 72 hours prior to arrival in Turkey.

Keep in mind that these measures may vary, likewise, you may be subjected to a random PCR test upon arrival in the country. In any case, we recommend you contact your airline before your trip, in order to know the current regulations.

Maya Martinez

Legal advisor for immigration processes. In addition to providing support in the legal procedures, I offer integral and informative support in relation to the obligations that are acquired when arriving to a new country.

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