Entering Turkey for a short-stay

Travelling to Turkey
Updated 2020-05-25 09:55

If you intend to move to Turkey, take the time to enquire about the travel and customs conditions that apply. There may be different regulations in place depending on your home country and on the duration of your stay in Turkey. Some foreign nationals may also be required to apply for a visa in case if they are planning to stay in the country for more than three months. This also has to do with the purpose of your stay. The good news is that you can apply for a Turkish visa online via the new application called e-visa. Plus, it takes less than 3 minutes to fill the forms.


Entry conditions in Turkey have been revised as of April 2014. Hence, Swiss, Luxembourg and French nationals are not required a tourist visa if they intend to stay for a maximum of 90 days in the country. The same applies to those who intend to make a full or split-up 180 days in the country.

However, the tourist visa is compulsory for Canadian citizens who hold ordinary passports. This visa generally has a 90 days validity. But it can also be used for a full or split-up 180 days stay in the country. You will need a valid passport. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the citizens of Austria, Belgium, Spain, Poland, and the United Kingdom will be exempt from tourist visas as of March 2020.

Citizens of European Council member countries can enter Turkey with their valid national ID per the ¨Movement of Persons between Member States of the Council of Europe Agreement¨. Note that your identity card and passport should be valid for more than 60 days beyond your duration of stay.

Work permit in Turkey

Foreigners who plan to work or study in Turkey should register to the nearest police station upon their arrival to acquire the necessary permits. In general, the duration of authorized stay cannot exceed the passport's validity period. Hence, your passport will be controlled regularly to enable its renewal if need be, which is at least two months before its expiry date. This will prevent any issues when you apply to extend your stay.

Concerning your work permit, if you are going to work in Turkey, the latter will have to be requested by your employer. A letter from the employer, along with a filled visa application, and a valid passport are all that you will need for that matter. You may also be granted a temporary residency permit by the foreigners' department. However, its extension will not be possible without a work visa. You are required to apply for the work visa at the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate to your place of residence in your home country. Alternatively, you can visit the local police department upon arrival as mentioned earlier.

Note that the visa stamp should be clearly displayed on your passport before you enter Turkey.

Importing your belongings to Turkey

If you have decided to settle in Turkey, your personal belongings such as domestic appliances, furniture, etc., have to be declared to the customs department upon their arrival in the country. Specific conditions may apply. It is best if you would just hire a forwarding agent. However, you will not be able to sell or give these imported belongings to someone else.

As regards to temporary import authorization during relocation, you will have to renew proceedings every year.

Good to know:

The importation of cigarettes and alcoholic drinks is strictly forbidden.

If you wish to import a personal vehicle, you will have to follow strict regulations. A single vehicle is allowed provided you have a work permit in Turkey. Your vehicle's original documents have to bear your name and details. Proceedings have to be undertaken within six months following your arrival in the country.

However, you are not allowed to sell your car in Turkey, except to a foreign national. Otherwise, you will have to take it back with you. Formalities regarding your car's registration will have to be filled in annually.

Useful tips

You are strongly advised to keep all your receipts till your final departure from Turkey. You do not have to move around the country with your identity document. But you should have your stay authorization with you at all times, just in case if any officer or other local authority demands to check. Most official formalities will require your identity documents: passport, identity card or stay authorisation.

Useful links:

Konsolosluk www.konsolosluk.gov.tr
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs www.mfa.gov.tr

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.