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Complete guide to applying for a Turkish Transit Visa

A Turkey Transit Visa is a permit to travel through Turkey to reach another country. The permit is obligatory for all travelers under the Turkey visa regime, who intend to:

  • Pass through the immigration.
  • Stay in Turkey overnight for a connection.

Do I Need a Visa For a Layover in Turkey?

If you are planning to use Turkey as a transit to reach your destination country, and you have to pass through the immigration or stay in Turkey overnight, then you may need a visa.

All those who need a visa to enter Turkey for tourism and the other purposes of entry need a visa for transit purposes as well.

Depending on your nationality, you may need one of the following to transit through Turkey:

  • A Turkish e-Visa
  • A Turkish Sticker Visa

Sometimes, even if according to your nationality you need one of the visas listed above to transit Turkey, you can still not need one if you belong to one of the visa-exempt categories.

How to Apply for a Turkey Transit Visa?

When applying for a Turkey Transit Visa you will need to complete several procedures. These procedures are as follows:

  1. Figure out what Turkish Transit Visa you need.
  2. Check when is the right time to apply.
  3. Find out where to apply.
  4. Complete the online form at the Turkish Pre-Application System.
  5. Collect the documents required to apply for a Turkey Transit Visa.
  6. Attend the Turkish Transit Visa interview.

Make sure you complete each procedure according to the given criteria and in their order. Find all the application process for a transit visa for Turkey explained below in details.

Figure out what Turkish Transit Visa you need

Depending on your nationality, you may need one of the following visas to transit Turkey.

  • E-Visa. The process for this visa is easy, quick and cheap. You can find it explained below in this article.
  • Sticker visa. To get a transit sticker visa you need to collect documents, attend a visa interview and pay a visa fee. The sticker visa for transit can be:
    • Single Transit
    • Double Transit

Check our article on who needs a Turkey visa, to learn which visa you need. If you figure out you need a Turkey Sticker Visa, then continue with the steps listed below.

Check when is the right time to apply

The earliest you can apply for a Turkey Transit visa is two months before the date of your planned trip to Turkey. Whereas, the latest you can apply is one month before your trip. Make sure you apply as soon as possible in order to avoid any possible delay in the processing of your visa.

Find out where to apply

Apply for a Turkish visa at the Turkish mission in your country of residence, which can be a Turkish embassy or consulate. Note that in several countries across the globe, Turkey has outsourced visa submission to third-party visa processing centers.

You should check with the Turkish mission in your country of residence for the exact place of application.

Complete the online form at the Turkey Visa Pre-Application System

The first concrete step you need to undertake when applying for a Turkish Transit Visa is to complete the online form, at the Turkish Visa pre-application system. The form contains questions on your identity, nationality and the purpose of your trip to Turkey. Answer each question correctly.

Upon completion, the system will then give you a date and time for your visa interview, which you need to attend.

Documents to apply for a Turkey Transit Visa

To apply for a Turkish Visa, you need to submit a few documents on the day of your interview. Make sure these documents comply with the criteria and specifications set by the Turkish embassy.

The required documents for a Turkish transit visa application are:

Note that depending on your nationality and the country of your residence, you may be asked to submit additional documents, to the ones listed so far.

For a more detailed overview of the required documents for a Turkish visa, visit the article.

Turkish Transit Visa interview

The interview is mandatory for a sticker visa for transit through Turkey. You should attend the interview on the right day, at the specified time.

The interview is a meeting with a consular officer, who will ask you a few questions regarding your trip. You should have all your documents with you, as listed in this article.

How Long Does it Take to Obtain a Transit Visa for Turkey?

The Turkey embassy in your country of residence will process your visa application for about 15 working days. In some countries, this period may be as short as three working days.

You can track the status of your application at the same website from where you started your application.

Applying for a Turkish e-Visa for Transit

If you qualify for a Turkish eVisa, then you do not need to go through all the process of getting a sticker visa. Instead, within minutes, you can apply for an eVisa that enables you to enter Turkey for transit purposes.

  1. To get an e-Visa you should first complete the online application form at the Turkish eVisa Website. Within minutes, you will receive an email asking you to confirm that you have started an application for an eVisa. This email may be stored in your inbox or your spam folder.
  2. Through the email, you will confirm the application, which will take you to the same website to pay the eVisa fee.
  3. You will then receive another email with a button that will take you again to the same website, where you will have to download your eVisa.
  4. Print the document so you can present it at the Turkish port of entry.

Do I Need a Different Visa to Transit Through the Airports of Istanbul?

You may need a Turkish Transit Visa to transit through the Istanbul Ataturk Airport on the European side of Turkey or the Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the Asian side.

So, you will need an Istanbul Transit Visa to travel through an Istanbul airport to reach your destination country, only if you would also need a Turkish visa for tourism or commercial purposes.

An Istanbul Transit Visa is actually a Transit visa, and its sole official name is Turkey Transit Visa. Yet, this visa is also known as the Istanbul Transit among travelers that transit through one of these two airports.

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