What are the changes? Turkey is moving away from airport-issued sticker visas and ramping up electronically-issued visas for visitors.

  • Implementation timeframe: Phase out of sticker visa will begin on April 10, 2014. (Note that electronic visas are already available online.)
  • Visas/permits affected: Tourist and business visitor visas only; student and work visas must still go through the regular process and be issued by an embassy or consulate.
  • Who is affected: Visitors who would normally purchase a sticker visa (or banderole) upon entry.
  • Impact on processing times: Faster processing of tourist entries.

Background: Turkey began an online visa system on April 17, 2013, with the intent to eventually replace the “sticker” visa issued at the borders. According to recent comments by the Minister of Culture and Tourism Ömer Çelik, the traditional visa stamps or banderole visas will be eliminated on April 10, 2014, as the e-system becomes more widespread.

The online system allows applicants to log on, provide required information, make an online payment by credit card and download their electronic visa in an estimated 10 minutes. Countries whose citizens are allowed to use the e-visa system include Canada, Indonesia, Ireland, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United States and most European countries. Citizens of some African and Asian countries are eligible to apply for an e-visa under certain conditions.

BAL analysis: The move to an electronic visa system will benefit those on tourist and commercial/business visitor visas by speeding up the entry process.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network partner in Turkey. For additional information, please contact

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