In 2013, the Turkish government launched a new electronic visa to replace the old ‘sticker visa’ system and facilitate the visa for Turkey application process for eligible citizens. However, although the Turkish eVisa application saves time when applying for the visa and entering Turkey, there is one very important thing to keep in mind: It is essential to print at least 1 paper copy of the Turkey eVisa to present to Turkish border officials and gain entry to the country.
Recent reports have surfaced of travelers turned away at the departure gate and stopped from boarding flights to Turkey simply because they are not carrying a print out of the approved Turkey eVisa.
The Turkey e-Visa can be issued as either a single or multiple entry visa that allows stays of 30 or 90 days, depending on the nationality of the passport holder. It allows eligible citizens to travel to Turkey for tourism and business purposes.
The process of applying for a Turkey eVisa is simple and straightforward. Eligible citizens can complete a simple online application, which only takes minutes to fill in with basic personal and passport information. The approved Turkey online eVisa is electronically linked to the applicant’s passport and a copy is sent to a current email address provided during the application.
When traveling to Turkey, it is essential for eVisa holders to present the same passport as that used to complete the application. However, although Turkish border officials should be able to electronically read from the passport that the traveler has an eVisa, in practice the system has proven prone to malfunction.
Travel with a Turkey eVisa Print Out
In response to the problems with electronically reading the traveler’s eVisa, the Turkish government recommends that travelers should ensure they carry a copy of the eVisa for Turkey when entering the country.
The government has advised that either a hard (paper) copy or a soft copy (electronic, ie. on a tablet or smartphone) of the eVisa will allow travelers to successfully board a flight to Turkey. However, a report of over 30 passengers being turned away from an Easyjet flight to Bodrum after being told mobile phone copies of the eVisa are not accepted suggests otherwise.
Those who are refused entry to Turkey may be eligible to obtain a Turkey visa on arrival as a replacement, at an additional cost. However, travelers are warned not to rely on this process as it will soon be phased out completely by the new eVisa online system.
To be on the safe side, travelers are strongly advised to apply for and print the Turkey eVisa and carry the print out with them when boarding their flight, to ensure entry to the country. It is necessary to submit an application at least 48 hours before travel to ensure sufficient processing time.
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