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Passengers jetting to Istanbul, Ankara and other destinations in Turkey who need a visa to enter the country – a roster that includes Australian passport holders – can no longer obtain a Turkish e-Visa at the airport on arrival, with the country shutting down its airport visa-issuing kiosks this week.
Instead, travellers will need to obtain their e-Visa online before boarding their flight to Turkey, or can apply for a traditional sticker visa via their nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate.
Turkey’s online e-Visa system has been available since early 2013, and was already the best way to secure a visa when travelling on business or as a tourist – the airport kiosks being provided as more of a ‘backup’ for those who arrive in Turkey without one.
Australian travellers can obtain their Turkish e-Visa from the country’s official Ministry of Foreign Affairs website at a cost of USD$60 (A$85), allowing multiple entries over a six-month period, with the traveller able to spend up to 90 days in Turkey during that window.
The Turkish Government advises that the average e-Visa processing time is just three minutes, and this avoids having to visit a Turkish Consulate or Embassy in person, or mailing your passport to the same, to apply for a pre-arranged visa.
Once an e-Visa is granted, it’s electronically linked to your passport, and while there’s no requirement to travel with a printed copy of that e-Visa, it’s a wise move anyway in case of any issues at Turkish passport control, or when checking-in for your flight.
Travellers visiting Turkey for reasons other than business or tourism, or who plan to stay in the country for more than 90 days, still need to apply for a traditional visa through an Embassy or Consulate.
Unlike Australians, New Zealand citizens with an NZ passport can visit Turkey for up to three months, with no need for a pre-arranged sticker visa or online e-Visa.