Visas for Turkey
Understanding the fundamentals
Tourist visas for Turkey
Nationals of certain countries have visa-free access to Turkey for the purpose of tourism, while selected other nationalities can get a tourist visa on arrival.
Turkey’s eVisa system allows travellers to apply for their visa online prior to arrival, helping them to avoid the long queues at the airport. All nationalities are eligible for an eVisa provided they meet certain criteria.
The new e-Visa application is straightforward and makes it possible to get a tourist or business visa easily and quickly. Travellers generally receive their approved visa within 24 hours of applying, but submitting an application 72 hours in advance of travelling to Turkey is recommended.
Visitors may stay in Turkey for a total of 90 days within a period of 180 days. The 90 days of travel within Turkey need not be consecutive, but they cannot be exceeded.
Work permits for Turkey
Generally, expats wishing to work in Turkey will need to secure a job offer before they can obtain a residence and work permit, all of which should happen prior to travelling to Turkey.
Applying for a work permit involves a double application process: both the expat employee and the sponsoring employer must apply with the necessary documents to the appropriate bodies within 10 days of each other. The expat employee will be required to submit their application to their nearest Turkish consulate, and their Turkish employer will have to deal with the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
Only expats who can prove they possess a specific skill not demonstrated by a member of the local Turkish population can qualify to receive a work permit, and only a business entity formally registered in Turkey can submit a work permit application. Expats should also note that there are a number of job categories that the Turkish government has specifically banned foreign nationals from working in.
Work permits for Turkey generally take 30 days to be processed and approved. Expats may not apply for their work permit more than two months prior to the start of their contract in Turkey.
It’s not necessary for expats working in Turkey to apply for their residence permit separately, as their work permit will include an expat's residence authorisation. However, foreigners who wish to live, study or work in Turkey are required to register at their nearest police department within one month of their arrival in Turkey in order to obtain their residence permit.