In the broadest sense, Turkish visas are either single-entry (tek giris) or multiple-entry (muteaddit giris). Tourist visas and border visas (the visas many nationalities can obtain at their points of entry) are typically valid for a single entry. Work and student visas, however, may cover multiple entries.
Within these two broad categories, however, visas are issued to cover specific activities. To apply for a visa, you will need to submit the appropriate application to a Turkish embassy or consulate in your home country. Common application materials are listed below:
- Passport (valid for 90 days longer than the requested visa)
- Application form (available through the Foreign Ministry
- Two passport-size photos
- Letter of invitation or employment
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof of a return ticket or the financial means to purchase a return ticket
- Proof you have financial means to support yourself during your stay
- Visa processing fee (varies depending on visa type and your nationality
You should prepare all of these items regardless of what visa you need, in addition to any special requirements listed for that particular visa.
These visas are issued to travellers who are not eligible for visas at points of entry (those visas are also considered tourist visas). Tourist visas are issued for up to 90 days, and are valid for a single entry. If you purchase a visa at the border, you will not be allowed to leave and re-enter Turkey without purchasing a new visa. Tourists eligible to purchase visas at the Turkish border may also apply for their visas at a Turkish consulate or embassy in their home country.
Business visas are similar to tourist visas, but are issued to travellers visiting Turkey on temporary business (meetings, conferences, lectures). Like tourist visas, business visas are generally issued for up to 90 days, and are valid for a single entry. If you need a business visa, you will need proof of your business in Turkey. Your employer should be able to provide you with an appropriate letter or document.
Students may only apply for their visas after they enrol in a Turkish university, school, or language class recognized by the Turkish Ministry of Education. To apply for a student visa you need a letter from your school proving your enrolment (this takes the place of the letter of invitation or employment).
Once you arrive in Turkey you are required to register with the Foreigner´s Branch of your local police department within 30 days. Once registered, you will be issued a residence permit.
The student visa and residence permit allow you an unlimited umber of exits and entries as long as they are valid (usually around a year). Make arrangements to renew your visa and permit well before they expire. Otherwise, you risk illegal residence.
If you want to live in Turkey for longer than your visa exemption period or tourist visa allows, you need to apply for a residence visa. Submit the required application materials to the Turkish embassy or consulate at least two months before your departure to allow plenty of time for processing. You are not allowed to work in Turkey if you hold a residence visa, so take special care to demonstrate that you can support yourself financially during your stay.
Apply for a work visa at the Turkish embassy or consulate at least 2 months prior to your departure. At the same time, your employer should send certain documents to the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS). The Ministry provides an updated list of these documents on its website.
The submission of the required documents and forms begins the applications for your work visa and work permit simultaneously. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security will process your application within 90 days.
Once your application has been approved, you will go on to pay the work permit and work visa processing fees.
As with the student visa, you must apply for a residence permit within 30 days of your arrival in Turkey. You are not allowed to begin work until you have obtained all three of the required permits.
Researchers applying to conduct archaeological digs must submit their applications to the Turkish embassy or consulate. Research team members and leaders must submit 7 copies of their application forms and passport photos. Their applications are forwarded to Turkey for review. Once the applications are processed and approved they must then pay an application processing fee.
Researchers who are conducting academic research that does not involve any kind of archaeological dig only have to apply to the Turkish consulate or embassy with the standard application materials. In this case, a letter from a Turkish institution or museum sponsoring the research replaces the letter of employment or invitation. To obtain this letter, simply mail your project proposal to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. If your proposal is approved, you will receive the required letter in the mail.
If you intend to film a commercial or documentary film project in Turkey, you must submit an application to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Contact the Ministry for more information. You cannot apply for a film-related visa through a consulate or embassy.
Tourists shooting personal video for non-commercial purposes do not require these visas.