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visa for Turkey

We are going to arrive at the Istanbul airport at 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 11th. Is it reasonable to wait until then to get a visa? (We are US citizens) Extensive research on the web tells me that a tourism single entry visa costs $29, but I can't find a way to pre-purchase one except from a service that charges $90 to $115. My thrifty soul objects to this! Calling the Turkey consulate in LA (the one that handles Colorado) results only in 3 minutes of push this, push that, a referral to a commercial service, then a disconnect. Thanks in advance for any input.

Posted by
4555 posts

From the State Department's website. "Currently, holders of all types of passports can purchase a 90-day sticker visa at the port of entry for $20 cash if they are traveling to Turkey as tourists." If you want to double-check, contact the embassy's consular affairs division to confirm, and tell them of the problem with their L-A consulate.

Posted by
25 posts

Norm, thanks for the reply. My concern is depending on getting a visa at the airport when the plane doesn't arrive until 11:30 p.m., assuming it is on time. I know it is possible in theory, but will it work in practice, without a lengthy delay? Carol

Posted by
4555 posts

Carol...I would assume that if planes are arriving at the country's border airports, they'd have customs and immigration officials on hand to process people, so, by default, they should be issuing visas too. If you're concerned, check with the embassy's consular affairs section in Washington...and again, tell them of the hassle with L.A. consulate.

Posted by
112 posts

We were in Turkey several years ago and I don't
remeber even getting a visa. If we did, it wasn't
in the u.s. Maybe we got one when we got our
car.

Posted by
27 posts

We visited Turkey four years ago and we just got our visas at the airport like everyone above has been saying. They want your money so the visa windows will be open if foreigners are arriving. I wouldn't worry about it.

Posted by
658 posts

You hand over cash at a grubby little hole in the wall at the airport and they stamp your passport. It's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please note, they only deal in cash and they won't accept Turkish Lire for the visa. When they say they want $20.00 they mean you have to give them a 20 Dollar note ( they will grudgingly take two tens, but they give you a dirty look ). If you think the immigration staff there hand over all the cash to their government you would be very mistaken. I reckon about a third goes straight into the back pocket. It's a scam but there's nothing you can do about it and if ever Turkey is admitted into the EU it will be the first thing to go.

Posted by
473 posts

Our Frommer's Turkey book was adamant about waiting until you arrive to get a visa. As per Frommer's: "An entry visa is required for citizens of the US (US$26 for a single entry for stays up to 3 months, or $87 for multiple entries valid for up to 5 years for stays as long as 3 months at a time). It's unnecessary to acquire an entry visa prior to departure, as visas can easily be obtained upon arrival. Visa windows are conveniently located adjacent to the immigration line at the port of entry; simply proceed to the visas counter before you get in the immigration line, and have your money ready. Visas obtained on entry can be paid in cash in US dollars or in euros; UK residents can pay in pounds. Depending on your nationality, visas are valid for 3 months; visas for multiple entry within a 90-day period are also available for a higher fee."

Posted by
2862 posts

Yes, Carol. Take a $20 bill with you, no need for currency exchange for your visa.

Posted by
1356 posts

Yes, still the same procedure. Did this last May - took less than 5 mins of waiting in line. Good for multiple entries over the 3 month period.

Posted by
1 posts

This is not a reply but a question. Most questions above are from 2007. Does it still hold true that you can get a visa at the airport for $20.00 US?

Posted by
5301 posts

In fact the last I knew, they insist that the funds be in USD or Euros, rather than Turkish Lira.

Posted by
990 posts

As of last fall, you could pay in euros, pounds sterling or US dollars. Not lira, though. Best rate was for dollars.

Posted by
120 posts

Just got back from Turkey yesterday and no problem with the visa...just have your $20 bill ready and off you go. Actually, the authorities were very nice and I didn't find it offensive to pay for this visa. Every country seems to have its own "thing". Right now the euro is worth two lira so you make up for paying for the visa quickly.

Posted by
115 posts

I'm wonderingthe same thing. does this apply at any entry, besides airport?
Thanks,

Posted by
2862 posts

Yes, airport, seaport or border crossing via train and bus.