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IST security/passport control/visa?

I have been to Europe before but never had to deal with a visa so far. Will I have to show it at my layover in Istanbul? (I have a layover in IST on the way to Munich, staying in Germany a week and then on to Eastern Europe and only visiting/stopping in IST on the way back).
Will I go through passport control only in Istanbul when I am on my way to Munich?
Will I go through security only at LAX or again in Istanbul? I am flying with Turkish Airlines for all flights.

On the way back I have a direct IST-LAX flight, will I have to show the visa paper again as I leave?


Posted by
1078 posts

When transferring in IST to other countries, no Visa is required. PP control is in Germany, and there is no security to pass through in IST. If you are staying in Turkey and leaving the airport, you will need the Visa.
When you de-plan in IST, you will be directed to the International Transfer corridor and will be able to spend $$ with wild abandon in the duty free area prior to your next flight-but don't drink anything but bottled water.
Coming back, however, you will go through PP control on your way to IST from the EU, and there is very tight security prior to boarding at the gate at IST for your flight to LAX. Security checks there are easily an hour because you will be checked and questioned at least 2 to 3 times, and here will also be random bag checks.

Posted by
252 posts

Thank you for your help Jerry!
Oh that'd be lovely no control/security in Istanbul on the way to Munich.
I will plan plenty of time for my return IST-LAX.

Posted by
7 posts

Hi, last time I traveled to Istanbul, we were able to obtain the visa stamp for $20 at a window in the airport. Is this still the case?

Posted by
6882 posts

Regarding previous post, if a Visa is needed (as in my case since I'm going to leave the airport due to the lengthy layovers), it's much easier to get it online. It takes a minute to apply and you can print right away. I'm not sure if they'll phase out getting it on the ground since it's impossible to steer everyone to electronic means, but I would opt for the e-option.

Posted by
38 posts

re Agnes's post: I can't seem to get the visa website to process anything through- it asks for all the passport information but never gets me to a payment step and just says I need to wait for a confirmation email within an hour.
Is this happening to anyone else?? I've tried several times this week on different browsers and can't seem to get it to work.

Posted by
106 posts

I arrived in IST on June 21 without an eVisa. I just didn't need another piece of paper to manage. There are two machines where you can print up your own eVisa but the machines did not work for me. I walk up to the Visa window, Gave the man 2 $20. Bills. He put a Visa in my passport and gave me $10. In change. Done
Pam from Bath