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
(Last Updated On: November 24, 2017)

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.

Recommended reading: Looking for Turkey travel inspiration? Read this post about things to do in Edirne Turkey. In need of general travel inspiration, consider these travel quotes to fuel your wanderlust.

Or better yet, get travel advice from the experts with some of these Turkey travel guides:

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Do Canadians Need a Visa to Travel to Turkey

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12 Comments

  • Reply south america peru tours March 29, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Great article, i like all your post and your photo are great

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 29, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      Thanks so much! Hopefully, it proves to be useful information for my fellow Canadians. 🙂

  • Reply Jeremy April 24, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Thank you! This post helped me get an e-visa in five minutes just now 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 24, 2017 at 11:19 am

      Yay! So glad to hear this. Have a great time in Turkey!

  • Reply zeyad May 30, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    thanks you very much , we thought we could get it on arrival !

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 30, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      I thought so too! But glad I saw the website beforehand. And the process (although too expensive) is quick and easy.

  • Reply Kathy February 3, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Hello.
    I am a Canadian living in Germany with a Canadian passport. I am working with a aufenthaltstitel till 2025. Do I still need a visa to visit Turkey?
    Thanking in advance.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 3, 2018 at 9:12 am

      Hey Kathy! I’m a Canadian living in Germany as well. It does not matter where you live – if you’re a Canadian citizen with a Canadian passport, you still need to purchase a visa before you go. You’ll even be required to show it at the airport before you even board the plane. Hope this helps!

      – Cheryl

  • Reply John A. April 2, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    It is NOT true that they no longer provide visas for Canadians upon arrival! This service is still available as I used it last week. This is wrong information.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 2, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      Hey John –

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your experience. Not saying that you’re wrong or that I’m right, but it’s very well possible that you could be making an inaccurate assumption based solely on your own personal experience.

      I don’t want to provide misinformation to anyone here by any means – this was something I heavily researched before going to Turkey. As I mentioned in one of the comments above, I was requested to show my visa when I checked in at the airport in Berlin. The airline attendant told me I wasn’t allowed to board without it and that it was not a service offered at the airport in Istanbul.

      Because of your comment, I looked more into it and it’s downright confusing … it wasn’t this way at the time of writing this post! Nowadays, some official government websites state that you must have it before you go while others state that you can get it upon arrival. Even so, they do say that it’s still best to get it beforehand to save time at the airport.

      As it’s hard to know what’s right, I’d still recommend getting the visa beforehand to be on the safe side. It’s always best to plan in advance for these things.

      Thanks again for your comment.

      – Cheryl

  • Reply Sam July 15, 2018 at 11:09 am

    I am a Canadian citizen and got a visa upon arrival today at the airport

    • Reply Cheryl Howard July 15, 2018 at 11:49 am

      Hey Sam,

      We’ve received comments like this before – read above for more information. It’s still recommended to be careful and book your visa *before* you arrive.

      Kind regards,

      – Cheryl

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