IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? Turkey is limiting the issuance of sticker visas upon entry to U.S. citizens; only those who have legal residence in at least one other country will be eligible.
What does the change mean? The change marks a departure from Turkey’s policy in the past month, under which U.S. nationals were consistently issued sticker visas at Turkish airports, provided their flights originated outside of the U.S. Turkish consulates outside the U.S., meanwhile, continue to issue in-person visas to U.S. nationals, with the need for an additional local residence permit determined on a case-by-case basis. Turkish consulates in the U.S. continue to offer visa appointments to U.S. nationals on a limited basis. Current valid Turkish visas, including sticker visas, continue to be accepted for entry into Turkey.
Background: The U.S. and Turkey halted nonimmigrant visa issuance in each other’s countries in October following the arrest of a U.S. consulate worker in Turkey. In November, the U.S. Mission in Turkey said that it would resume processing nonimmigrant visas on a limited basis and decreased the number of interview appointments. The Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C., in turn, posted a statement on its website saying that Turkish consulates in the U.S. would begin accepting visa applications from U.S. nationals on a limited basis. The recent change in policy on sticker visas was implemented this week and is a significant departure from the practice of the last month or so.
BAL Analysis: The situation between the U.S. and Turkey remains fluid, and the recent change on sticker visas further complicates travel to Turkey for U.S. nationals. Those planning travel between the U.S. and Turkey 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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