A few months ago, a couple of friends had stopped over in Istanbul, on their way back from one the Schengen states.
While their trip was great, what got me curious is why they applied for a physical Turkish visa sticker, when they could have availed of an e-visa. Neither their travel agent, nor the local VFS office was particularly forthcoming with this vital bit of information.
Indian passport holders have been able to avail of the e-visa option since the first quarter of 2013, with certain conditions. Whilst there is the usual validity of passport that must be more than six months… the most important condition is that you have an active US / UK / Schengen visa during your stay in Turkey. I am aware that it is open to citizens of more than a hundred countries. However, I’d advise you to personally check for yourself, as the fees and rules could be different, based on your nationality.
So, if you have any of the aforementioned active visas, all you need to do is log on to the official website, fill in the form and pay the fee of US$ 43. You also need to specify which of the three visas it is that you plan on sharing with the immigration authorities. If it is the UK visa, then you will need to type in the UK visa number. Make sure you enter the details accurately as these will be verified with the actual visa pasted on your passport.
Once you’ve filled in the details and made the payment, the final step will give you a link to your single-entry e-visa, with a validity of six months and a maximum stay of 30 days. Just make sure that your travel date is within three months of the e-visa issue date. You will also receive a link in your registered email. Print it or save in on your mobile phone and you are set.
That’s it. All done in under 10 minutes, so long as you have inputted all the information correctly. No more visits to your Turkish local embassy or consulate, or the official representative, with reams of printouts to support your application. More importantly, no waiting for a week or longer to collect your passport.
Note: While this article considers e-visas for Indian passport holders, please check whether your nationality is eligible for an e-visa. However, some nationalities may need to apply in their respective countries. I suggest you confirm the same before you make any plans.