Europe, Travel, Turkey

Do Canadians Need a Visa to Travel to Turkey?

March 10, 2017
Do Canadians Need a Visa to Travel to Turkey? - View Over Istanbul

Do Canadians Need a Visa to Travel to Turkey?

In today’s complex world, travelling to other countries has become an unfortunate challenge. Whether it’s one country’s rather unnecessary travel ban, the strong possibility of Americans soon needing a visa to visit Europe, or the terrifying idea suggested by some far right parties to close European borders and terminate the Schengen agreement, it’s more important than ever to research visa requirements for your destination long before you embark on your travels.

Do your homework and try to get certain questions answered before you even consider booking flights, accommodations, tours etc. Will your passport suffice? Do you need a visa? If yes, how much time is needed for processing? Are there costs associated with the visa? Will your travels to this country impact your ability to travel to other countries in the future? Are you even permitted to enter the country you wish to visit? 

Typically government websites, like Visa Services Canada, will offer up all the information you need. When I was invited to Turkey to attend the World Tourism Forum and then visit Edirne last month, I used the site to find out whether or not Canadians need a visa to travel to Turkey

Do Canadians Need a Visa to Travel to Turkey?

Do Canadians Need a Visa to Travel to Turkey? - View Over Istanbul
I was shocked to discover that yes, Canadians need a visa before they travel to Turkey for business or pleasure. If you’re coming for study or work purposes, you’ll need to apply for a separate visa. 

Your tourist visa will be valid for up to 180 days (six months) and will permit you to stay in Turkey for a maximum of three months (90 days). You can even enter and exit the country multiple times during that period. The visa becomes valid on the date you plan to arrive into the country.  

Note – Canadian travellers are no longer able to get a visa on arrival at airports in Turkey. It’s mandatory that you get your visa before your arrival. 

An exception applies if you’re visiting Turkey on a cruise and you’re in and out of a port on the same day, even if you’re visiting multiple ports. However, if you’re sailing on your own, you’ll still need a tourist visa. 

Throughout my travels, I’ve come to take the power of my Canadian passport for granted. I’ve used it to travel all around North America, Asia, and Europe without any problems. But then I remembered how I’d almost not been able to travel to Rio de Janiero years ago because I didn’t know about the strict Brazilian tourist visa application process for Canadians

Because of that experience, I now always research visa requirements ahead of time. And I’m glad that I researched ahead of this trip to Turkey, otherwise my travel plans would have been foiled and that would have been embarrassing, not to mention, unprofessional considering I was traveling there for work. 

How Can Canadians Get a Visa for Turkey?

Do Canadians Need a Visa to Travel to Turkey? - Çırağan Palace
Luckily, the process of obtaining a Turkish visa can be done quickly and easily online through the application and purchase of an electronic “e-visa” via the Republic of Turkey’s Electronic Visa Application System website

Step 1 – Apply 

When you visit the site, click Apply Now to start a new application. Next, specify your country, which travel document you wish to use (I used my passport), and fill out the CAPTCHA. On the following screen, enter your date of arrival. Then fill out your personal information. You can actually add multiple people to a single application.

Note – be careful to ensure all of your information is accurate before you submit the application. Look for typos or other errors you may have made. If your passport details do not match what you enter on your visa, you could face issues upon entry into Turkey. 

Once your application is complete, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Click on the Approve button.

If you don’t respond to the email within one hour, it will be cancelled. Furthermore, if you don’t complete your application within 48 hours, it will also be cancelled. If this happens, you’ll need to restart the application process. 

Step 2 – Pay

You can pay by credit card or Union Pay. The fee is currently $60 US. Enter your financial details to proceed.

Step 3 – Download

After you’ve completed payment, you’ll receive one more email. Click Download to receive a PDF copy of your e-visa to Turkey. You can also download a payment receipt from the same page. 

I’m not sure if simply showing your e-visa from your phone at the airport is sufficient. Even though it seems a bit “old school”, I’d recommend printing off a piece of paper and showing that to customs officials instead. In addition, I’d suggest keeping a copy stored online somewhere in case you lose the paper at some point during your travels. 

Do Canadians Need a Visa to Travel to Turkey -Dolmabahçe Palace
And that’s it! Within just a few minutes, you’ll have a Turkish e-visa in your hands which you can use to travel to Turkey.

Looking for Turkey travel inspiration? Read this post about things to do in Edirne Turkey.

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Do Canadians Need a Visa to Travel to Turkey

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