How to Get Visa on Arrival

Getting a visa without wasting so much time and energy is not a dream anymore If you’re reading this because you’re about to get informed about everything that you need to know to get a visa on arrival in Istanbul. Amount of money you need to pay, conditions and necessities, airports that you can apply for a visa in Istanbul and more is waiting for you just a click away! Keep scrolling down!

Istanbul catches so much attention from people of all nationalities, ages, and religions. This attention results in getting millions of visitors to Istanbul each year. If you wonder why Istanbul attracts this huge variety of people all over the world, you can check our other post and decide on your reason to get attracted by Istanbul.

If you find your own reason to visit this beautiful city, let’s talk about the things that you need to do. To visit Istanbul, there are some requirements as you expect. The first and most important one is getting a visa. Sometimes it might seem like it requires hard work and so much time but Turkey, a very welcoming country, makes sure that people from every corner of the world can have the opportunity to visit Istanbul, Turkey. Thus, the Turkish Government makes these legal procedures easier for its foreign visitors. Different alternatives are provided for travelers. Here is how to obtain these alternatives.

Can I Get a Visa on Arrival?

Forget about going to the consulates or embassies, spending long hours, tons of serious interviews, hard questions to be answered and everything you don’t like about getting a visa because you can get a visa at the airport when you land in Istanbul. This progress starts after you arrive in Istanbul.

How to Get a Visa on Arrival?

After getting off the plane, you will be directed to an office. At this office, you will find an officer that is waiting for you to help. By showing your required documents, you will be completing your legal procedures to get your official permission to enter Istanbul. At this point, you will be also expected to show up with your passport to finish your procedures with passport control. Moreover, don’t worry about finding your way. There will be signs and boards to show you the way. For example, you will see blue stripes on the floor on your way to the hall where arrival passengers wait and these stripes will lead you to the visa office. You can also keep an eye on a sign that says “Visa” to find your way. Moreover, feel free to ask directions If you are lost. Turkish people are known for being friendly and ready to help. If you can’t find anyone to help you, you can also use online maps below provided by airports in Istanbul to find the shortest way to get to the visa office.

For Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, you can use this map to find the place that you want to go and how to go there:
For Istanbul Airport, you can use this map to find the place that you want to go and how to go there:

When you arrive at the visa office, an authorized officer will be there to help you. In case you wonder, this visa office is open for all the passengers for  24/7 hours. Thus, don’t worry about the time of your arrival.

On the other hand, there is also another alternative for you. At the airport, you can get your visa quickly by using kiosks provided by Turkish Airlines. All you will need to do is to scan your passport, pay the fee and get your visa in a few minutes. If you prefer old-fashioned ways more and believe that getting things face to face is the best option, you can visit the office but using kiosks will definitely save more time.

Who Can Get a Visa on Arrival?

At this point, the country that you’re coming from has big importance as the opportunity that the Turkish government offers includes only a number of countries. If your country is on the list below, it means that you have the chance to get your visa on arrival. 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Grenada
  • Haiti
  • Ireland
  • Indonesia
  • Jamaica
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • Yemen

To keep up with the most recent updates and changes at regulations, don’t forget to check the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic.

Is Turkish Visa on Arrival Free?

Just like when you’re getting a regular visa that you apply at an embassy, you will need to pay for a visa on arrival too. Thus, we can’t say that it’s free. For that reason, we advise you not to forget to bring enough amount of money with you while you’re coming.

How Much You Need to Pay for a Visa on Arrival?

This fee can show some changes from time to time according to the recent regulations and the currency rate but recently, the approximate amount is 200 Turkish Liras which equals 30 dollars.

How Can I Pay the Fee?

For payment, you have different options too. A debit or credit card is available for payment. You can also use cash.  However, keep it in mind that If you want to use the kiosks, you can only pay by your credit or debit card. Moreover, it is guaranteed that your card information will not be reserved or shared with anyone.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Visa on Arrival?

Normally, when you apply for a visa to Istanbul, first you need to get an appointment from the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate. However, as you don’t need an appointment for a visa on arrival, there might be a chance to wait in a queue. Nevertheless, don’t think that it will last for hours. Approximately, we can assume that you will get your visa in a maximum of 10 minutes. This might show some changes according to how busy is the office. If you choose the cheapest months to visit Istanbul, there will be a higher chance to wait for a bit longer while in line as the office will be busier with more visitors. If you want to know the cheapest and the most expensive months to visit Istanbul, you can read the post below for more information:

What Do You Need to Apply for a Visa on Arrival?

Getting your visa on arrival would be easier and quicker but it definitely doesn’t mean that you don’t need to declare some necessary legal documents. If you’re about to set out for Istanbul, make sure that you have these documents in your baggage. 

  1. Passport (It should be valid at least for a year)
  2. A hard copy of your passport
  3. You need to bring the visa application form and fill it completely. 
  4. Enough amount of money for the visa fee
  5. A document that proves your hotel reservation
  6. Your round-trip flight ticket
  7. At least 3 biometric photos
  8. Travel Health Insurance Documents
  9. A document that shows your bank account balance for the last 3 months at least.


Your international ID also is known as a passport is very important when it comes to visiting a foreign country. You can’t get a visa If you don’t have your passport with you even when you have all the other required documents with you. Moreover, the validity of your passport is also very important. It should be valid at least for a year and be careful about the blank pages in your passport. For each country that you visit, the visa officer will stick a stamp on your passport. If there are no empty pages left, you can’t use that passport and you can’t get a visa. Before starting your trip, don’t forget to make sure that you’ve done everything necessary.

How Long Is My Visa Valid?

If your purpose of the visit is to enjoy Istanbul and see this big, beautiful city that has witnessed different empires and civilizations, then you will need to get a tourist visa. There are different types of visa and the validity date of each visa is different. Here you will find different types of visa and you can decide on the visa type that you will get when you arrive in Istanbul.

  1. Visas for Visitors:  If your visit involves a tourist voyage or a business trip, it means that you will need to get a visitor visa. You can visit the country with this visa for 6 months.
  2. Visas for Students: If your visit aims to get an education in Turkey, then your visitor visa will not work. In special cases like getting an education, you will also choose your visa according to this purpose. 
  3. Visa for Workers Temporarily: If you will be in Turkey for a while to work in Istanbul, you need a work visa. This allows you to work in a certain amount of time. 
  4. Diplomatic Visa: If you are a diplomat and your purpose of the visit includes a diplomatic trip, then you will need a diplomatic visa.

The validity date for each type of visa can change in different countries. If we assume that you will visit Istanbul just for a touristic trip, then we can say that your visa will be valid for 90 days in 180 days. It simply means that with a visitor visa you can’t stay longer than 90 days in Istanbul in total.

Eligible Airports for Visa on Arrival in Istanbul

There are 3 widely known airports in Istanbul. These are:

  1. Ataturk International Airport (IATA)
  2. Istanbul International Airport (IST) – Located in Arnavutkoy
  3. Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) – Located in Pendik

 However, there is no entry for domestic or international arrivals in Ataturk Airport anymore. In 2019, all the flights were transferred to the newly built Istanbul Airport. Since then, Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport have been the only two airports available for new visitors. For that reason, you can either fly to Istanbul Airport or Sabiha Gokcen Aiport If you want to visit Istanbul. Accordingly, only these two airports are eligible for a visa on arrival in Istanbul. 


If you don’t like to leave it to the last moment, there is an easy way to complete these legal procedures before arriving in Istanbul. A few years ago, The Turkish Republic announced that they will offer an opportunity for its foreign visitors. An electronic system called e-visa makes everything easier. By visiting the official website below, you will need to complete an electronic visa application form, pay the fee and complete your all procedures before even visiting an embassy. After completing the form, you will download your visa approval document. And by showing this official document, you will visit Istanbul. Here is the website:

You might think that when you have a question, you don’t have anyone there to help you as you complete it all online but no need to worry because there is a section for you to get in contact with the officers on the website. By giving your personal information like your name, surname, document number, your country, you can ask your questions and you will be answered in a short while. However, don’t forget to send your feedback in English, no other languages are accepted.

You might wonder about other options to get a visa, there is one more here. Have you ever heard an invitation letter? If you haven’t, keep reading!

Invitation Letter

An invitation letter is a written document addressing the embassy of the country that you want to visit. However, this letter is not expected to be written by the visitors themselves, but by a resident that lives in that country. Thinking about Istanbul, we can simplify it like this: If you have a relative or someone you know from your home country living in Istanbul, Turkey, you can get an invitation letter from him or her to visit Turkey. This person needs to declare your name, surname, your purpose of the visit, your arrival, and departure date, etc. By providing an invitation letter to the Turkish Embassy, you will ensure that you have someone you know in Turkey and it will make you look more reliable. In a way, it will guarantee that you will come, visit and go back to your own country. However, don’t forget that an invitation letter doesn’t help you get a visa certainly. We can say that only an invitation letter is not enough. As a result of any other inconvenience, you might face a problem getting a visa. An invitation letter is just there to make it easier. 

As a result, we can say that there are different alternatives for you to get a visa to visit Istanbul. E-visa, regular visa provided by the embassy or a visa on arrival are known as the main and the most common options to get a visa for Turkey. You have got informed about the fee, required documents. This will help you find the best option that is suitable for you. Regardless of the option that you choose, Istanbul is waiting for you with open arms after getting your visa.

Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I love Istanbul. I have been to 10 different countries. Istanbul is in the top 3 cities. I like to play soccer too :)

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