Turkey to start Visa-Free Travel Program To 10 European Countries

Istambul airport depaures terminal

The Turkish government has announced that it is soon to expand its visa-free travel program to 6 new countries. This will allow eligible passport holders of these 10 nations to visit Turkey for 90 days out of 180 without pre-arranged travel authorization.

Previously, it was necessary for citizens of these nations to travel on a Turkish Visa, which could either be procured online or on arrival at one of the country’s airports or land borders. This remains the case for more than 40 other nationalities.

The new developments are likely to lead to many changes in the way Europeans travel to Turkey once introduced. To explain the full scope of the new rules, this article details:

  • Who will now be able to travel visa-free
  • What non-visa-free travelers will need to visit Turkey
  • What requirements visa-free travelers will need to meet
  • Why these new rules are being introduced
  • When the new regulations will be formalized

Which Nationalities Can Now Travel to Turkey Visa-Free?

Citizens of 10 countries will soon be permitted visa-free access to Turkey. This includes 9 EU Schengen nations as well as ex-EU member Great Britain.

The full list of countries to benefit from the new regulations are as follows:

  • The UK
  • Spain
  • The Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Norway
  • Croatia
  • Ireland
  • Malta
  • Portugal

What to Do if You Need a Visa to Visit Turkey

When the new regulations come into effect, citizens of 83 countries will be able to visit Turkey visa-free. However, for travelers from all other nations, a visa is still a necessity.

Citizens of 40 eligible countries, can enter Turkey quickly and easily with an eVisa. This type of travel permit is obtainable online for travelers meeting the government’s requirements.

Tourists only need to apply for the online visa as little as 24 hours before traveling to Turkey for permission to enter the country. The visa will be sent directly to the applicant via email once approved.

Alternatively, eligible citizens can queue for a Visa on Arrival. However, some ports of entry no longer permit travelers to obtain this form of entry document and those that do often have prolonged waiting times.

Tourists who are ineligible for either the eVisa and Visa on Arrival, however, must obtain a pre-arranged visa. They will need to visit a Turkish embassy or consulate and make an application in person before traveling to the country.

What Do Visa-Free Travelers Need to Provide to Enter Turkey

Once a visa is no longer necessary, visitors from eligible visa-free countries will be able to enter Turkey with only their passport. However, they will still need to ensure that their document meets national requirements for tourists.

Before arriving in Turkey, visitors from the 6 new visa-free nations should ensure their passport conforms to the following standards:

  • It has over 6 months of validity remaining
  • It has at least 1 blank passport page for an entry and exit stamp

Why is Turkey Adding New Visa-Free Countries?

The principal motivation of abolishing visas for these 10 nations is to improve tourism and trade. Turkey is a major draw for vacationists from Europe, welcoming millions of arrivals from all over the continent each year.

Ankara’s Foreign Affairs Ministry commented that the new rules “aims at increasing our tourism potential with these countries as well as further developing our trade, economic and cultural relations.

When Will the New Visa-Free Rules Come into Effect?

The removal of visa restrictions for these 10 European countries is to take place as of March 2nd, 2020. From then on it will no longer be necessary for their citizens to travel to Turkey with an eVisa nor will it be obligatory to attain any kind of visa before entering for tourism or short-term business travel.

It’s safe to say that traveling to Turkey is getting easier all the time. It is an amazing country to visit as a tourist and its no surprise that millions choose to travel there each year. With the new visa-free travel rules and straightforward visa options like the eVisa it’s a great time to explore the Turkish landscape.