How to Obtain a Visa to Turkey
At the outset, we should point out that not all nationalities need a tourist or entry visa to enter Turkey. Passport holders for Greece, France, Germany, New Zealand, Japan and Singapore, as well as numerous other nationalities, for instance, are entitled to a 90 day stay in Turkey without having to get any visa at all.
Others - including visitors from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia and Spain - can arrive at the border, pay for a tourist permit or visa and just walk into the country. However, it is necessary to check with a travel agent regarding the visa requirement clause each time you visit Turkey, as there are often changes to the fees or to the rules between visits.
Do you need a visa? Country by country guide to Turkish visas
Should you choose, or need, to gain your visa from the Turkish consulate, embassy or high commissioner in your home country before you travel, there are certain points to remember to make your experience a more pleasant one.
Most embassies will require you to visit the consulate in person, though some may allow applications by mail in exceptional circumstances. They usually also allow family members (partners and children) to apply at the same time, although group applications are not usually allowed. Go there wearing your best clothes and be on your best behavior. It is essential to impress the embassy officials because they are the representatives of the country you wish to visit and are empowered to grant your visa.
Be informed about what you need to carry to the consulate - usually, a passport, completed visa application form (which you can often download first from their website), photos, letters of recommendations, air tickets and other documents. You may also need to show you have a lot of money in your bank account or provide guarantees for means of subsistence. You will also need to provide a non-refundable visa processing fee. Most embassies will now list their requirements on their website in order to expedite the process - it is worth looking that up before you go. That said, different embassies for the same country often behave differently and thus while some require lots of documents, others ask for nothing. It`s always best to be on the safe side and carry everything.
Visa application hours are only a few hours in the morning; it is best to get there early to avoid the hassle of standing in a long queue. Visa applications can normally take up to three days to process, during which time the passport generally stays with the embassy. For contingency, it`s better to ask for a receipt of the passport from the consulate authority. Citizens of some countries or complicated cases, however, may find that the process takes considerably longer if their application needs to be considered by the local authorities in the part of Turkey that they wish to visit. This can then take on average up to six to eight weeks. Holders of travel documents, such as alien´s passport and refugee status, cannot obtain visas at port of entry but should apply to the consulate in person for a visa at least six weeks in advance as their application has to be approved by the Ministry of Interior in Turkey.
Finally, make sure that there is minimum validity of six months on your passport from the date of your entry into Turkey.