TURKEY – Update on Entry for US Nationals; and Security Alert
There are some updates to the situation for US nationals wishing to obtain visas for Turkey, and a security alert for those already in Turkey and other middle-eastern countries.
The US Diplomatic Mission to Turkey (along with those in Sudan and Egypt) has issued a warning to US nationals of potentially violent political protests, following the recent announcement that the United States recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and plans to relocate the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Turkish Consulates in the United States
As of 6 December 2017, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has confirmed that all Turkish consular posts in the United States are now issuing business and tourist visa to US nationals.
Applicants in certain limited circumstances, such as those with medical needs, urgent family issues, and those participating in international conferences or sport events, can walk in to the Turkish consular posts without an appointment to submit a visa application.
All other applicants must use the MFA’s online visa appointment system at http://www.visa.gov.tr/. Note that the backlogs for appointments are anticipated to increase.
Turkish Consulates in Canada
The Turkish consulates in Vancouver and Ottawa are issuing visas to US nationals without requiring proof of residence in Canada, although this change has not been published by the MFA.
As previously reported, Turkish consulates outside the US are consistently issuing visas to US nationals physically present at that consular post - whether a particular consulate retains a local residence requirement should be checked on a case-by-case basis.
On 8 October 2017, the United States announced the immediate suspension of all non-immigrant visa services at all US diplomatic facilities in Turkey.
Turkey retaliated by suspending all visa services for US citizens at its diplomatic and consular missions in the United States, and at Turkey’s borders, and blocked US nationals from using its e-Visa service.
Current valid Turkish visas (including sticker visas) continue to be acceptable for entry into Turkey.
On 6 November 2017, the US mission to Turkey announced that it was resuming limited visa services in Turkey, based on assurances from the Government of Turkey about the security of local US diplomatic staff. Turkey reciprocated by announcing a limited resumption of processing of visa applications for US nationals in the United States.
US citizens (with no other nationality) are being issued sticker visas upon entry into Turkey ‘’’only if they can show legal residency (residence permits) in another country’’’ other than the US. (Note: this is in contrast with previous airport policy where US nationals were only being issued sticker visas at Turkish airports if their flight originated outside the US).
As of 6 December 2017, the Turkish e-visa system is still unavailable for US nationals.
Any employer sending US nationals to Turkey should consult an immigration specialist for advice and the latest updates.