News report | | 01-02-2024 | ±2 minutes reading time

On 23 December 2023, six countries were added to the list of countries whose citizens may travel to Turkey visa-free. The countries in question are Bahrain, Canada, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America. British and Irish passport holders have been allowed to travel to Turkey without a visa since 2020.

More countries benefit from the visa waiver

Since 23 December 2023, travellers with passports issued by Bahrain, Canada, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or the United States of America no longer need to apply for a visa for a short tourist trip to Turkey. The decision, announced by President Erdoğan, means that travellers from these countries can travel to Turkey without a visa, and stay in the country for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. However, the passport used to travel must be valid for at least six months from the day of arrival in Turkey. Previously, holders of passports issued by these countries had to apply for a Turkey (e-)visa in order to travel to the country.

Visa requirement already abolished for other nationalities

In 2013, Turkey implemented an e-visa system. For travellers from certain countries going to Turkey for tourism, this meant that they no longer needed to apply for a visa at the embassy or buy one upon arrival. However, travellers from most countries were still obliged to apply for a visa. Over the years, the visa waiver for Turkey has been granted to more and more countries, starting with Qatar and Kuwait, then Germany, Italy and France. In March 2020, the visa obligation for Turkey was lifted for more European countries, such as the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Spain, and Poland. For travellers, this meant that they were allowed to travel to Turkey without an (e-)visa under certain conditions. So the decision of the Turkish government to now allow even more nationalities to travel visa-free comes as no surprise.

Boosting tourism through visa waiver

Like in many countries before Turkey, the Turkish government has made these decisions to boost the tourism sector and thus also the economy. Between 2019 and 2022, the amount of tourists dropped dramatically as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The numbers started improving again in the first 10 months of 2023, when Turkey had 4.6 million more international travellers than the year before. Most travellers came from Germany, Russia and the UK, countries whose nationals can travel to Turkey without a visa. Therefore, offering visa-free travel to more countries is expected to increase the number of tourists in Turkey.

Visa required for other travel purposes

Travellers from countries not listed in Turkey’s visa waiver list must always apply for a visa to travel to Turkey. Moreover, travellers from countries that do appear on the list must apply for a visa if they are planning to visit Turkey for anything other than tourism. In fact, for other travel purposes, such as working or studying in Turkey, it is compulsory to apply for a specific visa through the Turkish embassy. Tourists who plan to stay in Turkey for longer than 90 days, or who want to visit the country several times within a 180-day period, must apply for a tourist visa. Depending on the traveller’s nationality, this can be done online or at the embassy.

e-Visa.ie is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the Turkey visa. e-Visa.ie acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (36,05 USD per visa, via www.evisa.gov.tr). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.ie, our support centre is available to you 24/7. We also check your application before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 36,05 USD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 21,16 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous Turkey visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.