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Visa question (and don't do what I did!)

Need a visa for my October RS trip to Turkey. Googled "visa for Turkey" and picked the first site on the list. Big mistake! Don't use Travels to Turkey; they're a travel agency and charged $89. I immediately emailed them and asked them to cancel the application because I thought I used the wrong agency. Of course, that didn't happen, and of course, they say they won't refund anything. The really annoying part is that the visa is unusable because it doesn't match my passport, since they asked for only my first and surname, and my passport has my middle name also. I'll try to get my credit card company to intervene, but I'm prepared to eat that $89.

My real question, now that I've found the correct site, I've filled out their application and sent it, twice, but have never received their confirmation email asking for the payment. Also, the application did not ask for the date of entry. Has anyone else had this experience? I've emailed their "customer service," but so far, nothing. Not panicked, but puzzled.

Posted by
8293 posts

I suggest, since it is an RS tour, that you phone the RS Office. When I went to Turkey we just paid for and got our visas at the airport, but I guess it is different now.

Posted by
826 posts

Have to do it online ahead of time now. If nobody has an answer before the west coast wakes up, I'll call.

Posted by
8889 posts

Googled "visa for Turkey" and picked the first site on the list.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER do such a reckless thing. Not for visas, not for hotel bookings, not for transport, not for anything.
The first few sites on Google listings are advertisements, you can tell because it has [Ad] in a small box.
You need to look at the site, are they legit? Are they resellers with a huge markup?, or are they the official site?
For hotels particularly, the official hotel site is way down the list, the booking agents know how to play Google to get high up in the listing.
Visas are government documents (as are passports), so you want a government site.

I just Googled "visa for turkey", the first site is labelled [Ad]:
1) Not a Turkish government site. it is ".com", a commercial site.
2) At the foot of the page it says: " is a one of website of Visa Online Services Pte Ltd. Leading on Travel online & Relating services. This is a commercial/private website, NOT an official website of the Government."

Run from such a site.

Posted by
503 posts

Oh Ruth, I'm sorry this happened to you and what an easy mistake to make. I hope it all works out for you and that your cc company will take care of it. Thanks for the head-up as I am taking this tour next year and will be dealing with the Visa issue. Have a wonderful trip.

Posted by
2419 posts

Note that it's the same as dealing with any government agency here.
If it is a "Dot-gov" then it's the agency. If it is a "Dot-com" then it a private enterprise masquerading as a government agency to get you fees, often for something that the government does not charge for.

Posted by
1 posts

I had a similar problem, and I've been going to Turkey for decades. I was in a rush and wasn't paying attention. It can happen. Two things: my credit card said it will help challenge the charge.
Second-this is best resolved by phone, nut email. I called the consulate, visa section. I was then directed to the call center off the turkish mfa. In my case, I wanted to know if the visa was valid and they walked me through how to check. It was. But you can also explain the problem with the name and that you have not received the confirmation. Ur usually comes within minutes, if not seconds with the e-visa system, so there's definitely a problem. Maybe they think you're applying for two overlapping visas with the same passport number. (It's linked to that, not really your name as there are so many variations with name format). I'd bet that your visa is valid, even without your middle name - as long as your passport and first and last name match. But, for peace of mind, call the consulate, visa section. The revised message is long and they speak fast, have a pencil and paper, but wait it out. They'll ask if you want to be transferred to the call center at the end.

Posted by
826 posts

Thank you msmuscio for your most useful advice! I did have better luck resolving my problem by phone, though it took several tries to actually get an English speaker. My original visa lacking my middle name was not valid. They attributed my problems getting a response from the official site to my domain name, and suggested I use one of the very common ones like gmail or yahoo. I have neither, but when I tried my husband's email, which is a much more personalized domain name than mine, voila -- it worked! Go figure. But thanks again for your help. Now I need to try to get VISA to dispute the first charge. I think I can make the case that they asked for only my first and last names without any additional info to add a middle name to the first name line, like the official site made clear. Thanks again!

Posted by
807 posts

Maybe you can save a few $ to buy visa on line, but i always buy at the airport. If you fly into IST, then there is a little counter outside the custom you can pay wit USD or EUO. If you come in via a smaller custom you pay the custom officer, it's very straight forward.

Posted by
403 posts

I am so sorry about your problems with the scammers.

I had some minor issues trying to e-visas for me and for my traveling companion, who doesn't use email. I used the same email address for both applications, and it went into a black hole. I called the phone number on the site. They explained (in almost unintelligibly accented English) that each submission has to have a different email address. We were able to straighten it out, and I got the visas.

Posted by
21 posts

Please clarify: can a tourist buy the visa for Turkey at the airport upon arrival? If so, about how much does it cost, and what's the duration of the visa?