Everything You Need to Know About the U.S. Embassy in Istanbul

Are you thinking about coming and enjoying all the natural beauties of Istanbul? That’s a great idea! While enjoying your vacation in Istanbul, you might also conduct your legal procedures. At this point, the U.S Embassy in Istanbul helps you. But If you still have some questions in your mind about how and from where to get a visa, how much time and money you need, you’re about to find answers to your questions. Keep reading! 

What are these procedures?

These procedures might include getting a visa, any situation that might include birth, death or a marriage of the citizens of the represented country. Embassies are generally located in major, crowded and industrial cities. 

Is there an embassy in Istanbul?

When it’s about major, crowded and industrial cities, the first name that ever comes to your mind is probably Istanbul with its 15.52 million population. Naturally, that means there are more needs in good relations between the two countries as the more population you have. For this reason, it’s inevitable to have a U.S embassy in Istanbul.  

Why does the U.S have embassies in Turkey?

Turkish-American relations have improved since the late 18th century by maritime trade in Turkish ports in the Mediterranean and contacts between the Ottoman State and the USA have begun. Diplomatic relations between the US and the Republic of Turkey is made through an exchange of notes on February 17, 1927. Since 1927, Turkey and the USA have had strong relations. This close relationship dates back to old times and this has resulted in the emergence of a need. This need was all about finding a way to develop and maintain good relations. Having embassies in Turkey was a great step that was taken forward. This diplomacy has always been resulted in having peaceful relations between the two countries.

How many other embassies are there in Turkey?

    The US and Turkey, as two big countries, are always in need to be in contact. To meet this need, the US has 3 embassies in 3 different cities in Turkey. These cities are Ankara, Istanbul, and Adana respectively. 

Where is the U.S. Embassy in Istanbul?

The U.S. Embassy in Istanbul is located in Sariyer. In Sariyer’s neighbor, the building that belongs to the Embassy is on Istinye, Polygon Street.  

Can you visit the U.S. Embassy?

No matter what nationality you are from, you can’t visit the Embassy. So even if you’re a citizen of the U.S., you can’t drop in the Embassy anytime in a day and take a tour in the building. But, there is a but there. Does that mean that you can never head for the Embassy even when you have to deal with some procedures while getting a visa? Of course not. But that exactly means that you need to make an appointment first to visit.

How can I contact the Embassy?

If you have any questions to be answered, there is a special tab for the most frequently asked questions on the official website for The U.S. Embassy of Turkey which is https://tr.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/istanbul/

 If you still can’t find an answer to your question, then you need to go and visit the Embassy. It might disappoint you a bit not to phone the Embassy and search for your answer through the phone but unfortunately, there is no option to get in contact via phone. Instead, you’re expected to make an appointment for either Mondays or Thursdays to go and consult. But thankfully, making an appointment is just a click away. You can do it on the website below: 

How to get to the U.S. Embassy in Istanbul?

    One of the advantages of being in a big city is the variety of transportation options that it offers to you. To get to the Embassy you can choose one of the routes that will be listed above.

If you’re coming from the Anatolian Side: 

  1. From Kadiköy, first, make your route to Besiktas by taking the Kadiköy-Besiktas ferry. You can reach the U.S. Embassy when you take one of the buses number 40T or 22 from Bahcesehir University station from Besiktas and get off at Kaplicalar station.
  2. From Uskudar, take the Uskudar-Besiktas ferry to Besiktas. You can reach the U.S. Embassy when you take one of the buses 40T or 22 from the Bahcesehir University stop from Besiktas and get off at the Kaplicalar station.
  3. If you are coming from Kartal, Maltepe, Pendik, Tuzla, you can ride on a bus by getting off at Sanayi Street station. You can arrive at the U.S. Embassy when you get off at the Kaplicalar station by taking the bus number 29S from the bus stop here.

If you’re coming from the European Side: 

 You need to follow the following routes:

  1. If you come from Büyükçekmece, Beylikduzu, Avcilar, Kucukcekmece, Bahcelievler, you can reach the U.S Embassy when you get off the bus number 29S from Mecidiyekoy by taking the metro bus from any Metrobus station and get off at Kaplicalar station.
  2. If you are coming from Bagcilar, Gungoren, take the Kabatas-Bagcilar tram at Zeytinburnu station and go on with Metrobus. You can reach the U.S Embassy when you get off at the bus stop in Mecidiyekoy and take the bus number 29S.
  3. You can reach the U.S. Embassy after taking the 40T from Taksim and get off at the Kaplicalar station.

What are the working hours of the Embassy?

    The Embassy is open for its visitors from 8 in the morning to 4.30 in the evening. However, don’t forget that you need to make an appointment beforehand for non-emergency services. Unfortunately, the Embassy doesn’t provide service at the weekend. For that reason, try to make sure that you make your appointment as soon as possible. 

Who is an ambassador?

    An ambassador is a diplomat that is the highest representative of an ambassador country in another country. Ambassadors represent the head of the state of the country that they’re the citizens of.  

Who is the current US ambassador to Turkey?

David M. Satterfield was nominated to become the U.S. ambassador to Turkey by the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump on February 15. Currently, as an ambassador, Satterfield carries out the duty in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. He’s known for his membership in the Senior Foreign Service and duty of Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs since 2017.

Who is the current US ambassador in Istanbul?

Jennifer Davis the current U.S. ambassador in Istanbul. She started her duty as the ambassador in Istanbul in 2016. It’s known that she worked as a lawyer before she started her diplomacy career. Having become the ambassador of the U.S. in a metropolitan city when was only 44 years old makes her even more popular in Turkey. Just another reason why she becomes a public figure is the campaigns that she carries out for women’s rights. As a female diplomat, she represents a good example for women. 

How Can I travel to Turkey?

    Just like every other country, you need to complete some legal procedures to visit Turkey. The first and most important one of these procedures is to have a visa. Before hopping on a plane to Turkey, you must complete all the paperwork that is necessary.

What is a visa?

    It’s simply an official permit taken from the authorities of that country in order to visit that foreign country. More specifically, it is a registration document showing that a foreigner who can legally travel to another country and that they can enter the border authorities by going to the border gate of his country.

Where do you get the visa from?

    You can get a visa from the following institutions: 

  1. From the Consulate Section of the Embassy of the country.
  2. From the Consulate General
  3. Or some countries may also give visas through their Honorary Consulates.

Which legal documents are needed for getting visas?

  1. Passport: Passport is a document that enables people to go to a foreign country for business, touristic or health purposes. Shortly, it’s your international ID. Don’t forget to make sure that your passport has been valid for at least 6 months from the date of return.
  2. Visa Application Form: It’s a form for the country of destination. 
  3. Visa Request Petition: Addressing the embassy/consulate of the country; visa request petition covering the purpose of departure, the city to be visited, the round trip date and the travel plan. It’s necessary to write by hand. You can’t write it online. 
  4. A Biometric Photo: To put it on your international ID, your passport.
  5. Reservations and Flight Tickets: The country that you want to travel to wants to know about your purpose of visit and the places you want to go to. For that reason, you need to show your hotel reservations and flight tickets.
  6. Travel Health Insurance: A document that starts 1 day before your travel date and must end 1 day after your return date. During your visit, in case of a health problem, they pay money. 
  7. Professional Documents: The aim of these documents is to prove your profession legally.
  8. Property Records: Records of immovable property owned by the person.
  9. Bank Account Information: It is a document showing your economic situation. While traveling abroad, the embassy/consulate expects the traveler to show a certain amount of money in the bank account.

How long time needed to get a visa for Turkey?

    Getting your visa by the Turkish Government might last up to 12 hours. If you make your appointment before 11 in the morning, you can get the visa the same day. It is advised to apply for a visa online. The reason is that you can start your application at least 90 days before your arrival in Turkey. This makes everything easier for you and enables you not to waste your time.

How much does a Turkey visa cost?
    It’s better to apply for the visa online through the official website of the Republic of Turkey. If you order your visa through the website, it costs $35. Besides, you need to pay a $1.05 service fee. You have different options for the payment. These options include paying by credit or debit cards. If you want to use the online application, there are some points that you need to be careful about. You should apply at least 48 hours before you’re traveling and you can do it up to 3 months in advance.

How can I pass my visa interview?

    Before giving a visa, you need to pass an interview. This interview will take place in the embassy of the country that you want to visit. Here are some tips for you to pass it easily:

  1. Talk about Your Country: Showing that you have strong ties with your hometown will make a good impression.
  2. Speak for Yourself: Being confident always works. Don’t hesitate to speak your mind and feel confident.
  3. Documentation: Make sure that all the required documents are ready. 
  4. A Positive Attitude: Try to be positive and not get into an argument with the consular.

What currency should I take to Turkey?

    Turkey’s official currency is the Turkish Lira. For that reason, it’d be for your good to bring Turkish Lira with you when you want to visit Turkey. There’re exchange offices in Istanbul and all the other cities in Turkey so you can exchange your money into Turkish Lira, too. But the important thing is that bringing euros might cause a lose out.

How much money should I take to Istanbul for a week?

    After getting your visa and completing all the necessary procedures, when you’re finally ready to go to Turkey, make sure that you take enough money with you to enjoy Istanbul as much as possible. On average, it is usually enough to take 214.56 dollars for a vocation that lasts for a week.  But don’t forget to exchange your money into Turkish Liras when you arrive. For your information, 214,56 dollars equal to 1,324 Turkish Liras. There might be changes in the currency, tho. It’s an average price and for one person. 

Just like in many different citizens of many different countries, U.S. citizens are highly interested in trips and vacations to Istanbul. If you are one of them, don’t forget to follow the steps above before coming to Turkey. They all will help things work easier. Here is one last but not the least piece of advice: Don’t forget to take a ferry tour in the Bosphorus. 

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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