What is the change? Turkish diplomatic posts in the United States have restarted issuance of nonimmigrant visas to U.S. nationals, but only in specific, limited circumstances.

What does the change mean? Turkish diplomatic posts have confirmed that they are issuing visas on a “limited basis,” including visas issued for medical reasons, family emergencies, participation in international conferences, athletic activities, diplomatic needs and nontourist trips for children under the age of 18 (i.e., school). E-visa applications from U.S. nationals are still not being processed. The partial resumption of visa services comes about a month after a diplomatic row in which the U.S. and Turkey temporarily stopped issuing visas in each other’s countries.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Nonimmigrant visas issued at Turkish diplomatic posts in the U.S.
  • Who is affected: U.S. nationals applying for nonimmigrant Turkish visas in the U.S. (Turkish consulates in the U.S. continue to accept applications from non-U.S. nationals as they normally would.)
  • Impact on processing times: Even for those applying for a visa for one of the reasons listed above, processing times may be slower than normal.

Background: The U.S. and Turkey halted nonimmigrant visa issuance in each other’s countries last month following the arrest of a U.S. consulate worker in Turkey. The U.S. Mission in Turkey said earlier this week that it would resume processing nonimmigrant visas on a limited basis and decreased the number of interview appointments. The Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC, in turn, posted a statement on its website saying that Turkey would begin accepting visa applications from U.S. nationals on a limited basis in the U.S. BAL subsequently confirmed with its network partner in Turkey that, for now, visas are being issued only in limited cases, as described above.

BAL Analysis: The situation between the U.S. and Turkey remains fluid, and while some visa applications are now being accepted, additional changes are possible in the days and weeks ahead. Those planning travel from the U.S. to Turkey, or from Turkey to the U.S., should work with BAL to discuss the best visa options available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. and Global Practice groups and the Bener Law Office in Istanbul. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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