Despite its new e-visa regime, it is still possible to obtain a visa on arrival in Istanbul.
Where To Obtain A Visa On Arrival In Istanbul (IST)
When Turkey transitioned to an e-visa system in 2013, numerous reports suggested that visa on arrival were no longer available. That is NOT the case. Even in Istanbul’s beautiful new airport, you can still obtain a visa on arrival.
When you land, follow the blue signs indicating passport control/transfer:
Eventually, you will come to a “Vize” sign (in black):
Follow the sign in the arrivals hall:
You’ll find a 24/7 staffed visa on arrival desk near the lines for passport control.
There’s even a photo booth, though most passport holders do not require a photo.
Who Can Obtain a Visa Upon Arrival In Istanbul?
Nationals from the following countries can obtain a visa on arrival in Istanbul:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Indonesia (single-entry only)
- Saudi Arabia
- “Southern” Cyprus
- United Arab Emirates
As recently as 2020, many EU counties and the UK incurred a visa fee, but citizens of these nations can now travel without visa fee to Turkey.
How Much Does It Cost To Obtain A Visa On Arrival in Istanbul?
A visa on arrival can be paid in cash only and the price varies based upon nationality. For U.S. citizens, the cost is 30USD/25EUR/20GBP. At the moment, that makes paying in GBP the best value.
Here is the current price list:
These are old-school sticker visas that are applied directly to your passport.
How Long Are Visa On Arrival In Istanbul Valid For?
Visa on arrival are valid for 180 days, but during that time you can spend no more than 90 days in Turkey. The visa are multiple-entry visas.
When It Makes Sense To Buy A Visa On Arrival
More nationalities than the list above can obtain visa in advance online through Turkey’s easy e-visa system. However, the e-visa has risen in price and often costs more than double the visa on arrival.
Furthermore, not everyone plans trips in advance. Turkey recommends you apply for an e-visa at least 48 hours in advance, though usually processing takes 24 hours and sometimes as little as one hour. But if you need a same-day trip to Istanbul, a visa on arrival can be a lifesaver.
The ability to secure a visa upon arrival in Istanbul is a great back-up option if you do not have the time to secure an e-visa or wish to save money. While the 50USD e-visa is more convenient, rest assured you can still easily obtain a visa on arrival in Istanbul.
> Read More: How I Tried (and Failed) to Enter Turkey
“Eventually, you will come to a “Vize” sign (in black):”
Which, also says “Visa”…
I’m traveling to Istanbul next week, 05/23/2022. I have attempted to get an e-Visa, but too expensive comprise, unlike one at the airport. Is it a good idea to wait and get one when I arrive? Thanks for the advice.
Hi Noah, just get one when you arrive. The sticker is nice in your passport.
Hello, any idea how long it takes to get the visa on arrival? Should I expect long lines? Arriving at 10am on a Sunday.
Do you know if Antalya does visa on arrival!?
I don’t know – please let us know if you find out.
yes, Antalya has a “visa on arrival” window. Our flight arrived very early (September 9, 2022, at 2; oo a.m) so we used a “call” button to wake up a man to sell us those stickers. There was no line, just us ;).
This is also nice as a backup option for someone connecting in IST on Turkish who might not normally get a Turkish visa, but might want one if (for example) your flight were cancelled and you would otherwise be stuck in the airport overnight. Getting a visa would allow you to get a good night’s sleep at a hotel in the city.
Damn if I had known that last week. Of course I have the evisa but would loved to have that old fashioned sticker!!!
In 2012, I tried to buy a visa-on-arrival with GBP, but I was told I had to go to an ATM and get US$, because I couldn’t pay for a visa with GBP for my U.S. passport.
In the last 12 months flying to IST with TK I have found that on line check in is not possible if you don’t have an e-visa, they will of course check you in at the airport without. Also while IST has 24 hour counters just beware that at other international arrival points the counters are not always open 24/7. I recently arrived at ADB late at night and had I not had the e-visa I would have had to sit there until the next morning when the counter opened!
Hello, I am traveling to Istanbul on March 27, 2021
I would like to buy the old fashioned sticker visa at the IST airport, please let me know?
More expensive than e-visa, but still available.
How does this work when checking in for a flight? Am I going to get push back that I don’t have an e-visa? Will airline staff know that I can get a visa on arrival?
This is my question too. I just checked Timatic and it says that passengers with a US passport are not cleared to travel to Istanbul without a visa. There’s nothing in the small print that I can see that says that a passenger can obtain one on arrival. What am I missing?
@Jack I don’t recall being asked about my Turkish eVisa last time I flew to IST (Sept 2020). My girlfriend originated in AUS and wasn’t asked there. I originated in LHR and wasn’t asked there.
Is there also a Visa on Arrival kiosk for the other airport, Sabiha Gokcen (SAW)?
Yes, at least there was pre-pandemic.
Is the Visa-On-Arrival still an option and would you have a way to get the latest costs? I have reached out to Turkish authorities and the Istanbul airport without success
Travelling in the last week of Dec with a family of 5, so torn between the convenience of the evisa versus the savings of $100 with the Visa On Arrival. You are a lifesaver with this very detailed post, Thank You!
The visa on arrival will still be available—but that’s the only thing I can guarantee. My friend was just there and reports that prices have not changed as of 28 October.
I want to travel to Istanbul but my passport is only 4 months to expire and my stay there is from the 16 to the 29 January 2022 can I get a visa on arrival thanks
I have been trying to get a visa online but no luck and I’ll be arriving on the 16th. Can I just obtain a visa at the airport? Please help
Yes, you can buy one online.
@James The https://www.evisa.gov.tr/ website has been completely unreachable for a long time. I’m also crossing my fingers that I can get an on-arrival visa next week at SAW.
Hey! Were you able to get the visa on arrival? If so how much was it? I will be traveling to Turkey in two weeks, and trying to find legit information about this. Wondering if anything has changed!
I entered Turkey in 2016 with an Egyptian passport and received the visa in the airport. Egypt is not on the above list, but they have exceptions if you are 45 yr old or older.
April 2, 2022: i Applied and paid for a evisa. I never received the visa. Applied right after for my wife and the website warned that the site was not secure and I could compromise my CC info, identity, etc. I gave up the idea of going to Turkey. Now in Europe and reading theses articles, I am going to try to get visas upon arrival.
Yes, obtaining a visa on arrival will be no problem and you’ll receive a nifty sticker in your passport. Just bring cash (GBP, EUR, or USD).
Coming from USA on visit visa but nationality
Can I receive visa on arrival
And how much cost is on arrival visa
Yes, you can obtain visa on arrival at pricing indicated above.
Hello, we would like to leave the Istanbul airport and tour the city for a few hours during our long transit time. How long does getting the transit visa usually take upon arrival at the Istanbul airport?
Visit the transit desk – you may have to purchase you own visa, but ask – you may get a special stamp to avoid the visa.
Can I get visa on arrival coming from USA visit visa on Pakistan passport and
Please clear mention how much cost of visa on arrival
I have a UK residence permit with a biometric card but i hold a zimbabwean passport i intend to fly to instabul swb tomorrow will i be given a visa on arrival and allowed to fly by turkish airlines from London Stanstead airport do you know please help
I do not know – let us know if UK lets you in.
Looking forward to a family trip to Turkey in a few weeks. On a US passport, can we pay for the visa on arrival with pounds (which seems cheaper) or do we have to pay with dollars?
Thank you for your detailed post and informative photos of the Istanbul Airport. I’ve been trying to get e-Visa, here in Perth Australia, for my sister in law for the past three days, trying various Visa and Master Cards for payment, but getting this message :
The card number you entered is not included among the card numbers allowed by our payment system. Please try making payment with a different card. The card is not required to be under your name.
Please try making payment with a different card. The card is not required to be under your name.”
I can’t believe how the Turkish government can allow such a fault to stay for days on their site !!!
Nice to know there is a good alternative to obtaining a visa on arrival. They would be arriving at the new Istanbul Airport so should not have any problems.
Hi Mehran, That’s too bad the online system is not working. Even so, your sister-in-law has nothing to worry about and will even get a nice visa sticker in her passport.
Yes Matthew, I agree. The stamps on the old passports bring memory. Today I called the Turkish consulate in Sydney and I was told that “the e-visa system is out of order, but Turkey has open doors and people can get visas upon arrival”.
we are US citizen visiting turkey this August 2022 . Arrival flight operated by Lufthansa at Istanbul Airport on a Sunday 9:15 pm only . Will the visa office be open that time ? Please advise and Thank you
Yes, it is open 24/7.
Thank you for taking your time to answer all these questions is so nice of you. I have a Schengen Visa and currently in Germany for Summer holiday and would love to visit Spain, Greece and Turkey but i hold a zimbabwean passport, will i be given a visa on arrival? Will be looking out for your response
Sadly, it does not appear Zimbabwe is a visa on arrival country. Please reach out to the Turkish embassy in Berlin or your closest Turkish consulate and ask whether a pre-arranged visa is necessary (and let us know what they say).
Thanks I will
I thought as a Schengen Visa holder I will be able to apply for E-Visa
I do not think so – I think it depends upon your passport.
Hi Mathew ,
My question is for E-Visa ( Electronic Visa) as a Schengen Visa holder will I be able to get E Visa at the airport to tour Turkey for few days ?
You asked about the visa on arrival. You can obtain an e-visa in advance as a citizen of Zim. Apply here:
Once approved, just print it out and proceed directly to the immigration line upon arrival in Istanbul. You’ll be able to enter.
Thank you Mathew,
I have been trying to Apply for E-Visa via the website but I keep getting error and not even able to pay for it. Is it possible to apply for it at the airport when coming from EU ? Thanks again
I have a transit at a new Istanbul airport for 22 hours. Can I get free hotel and can I get visa to visit Istanbul on arrival on5/8/22. I carry British passport. Thsnks
Did you choose the first available connection?
Hello. Can I get a visa upon arrival to Istanbul on an Australian passport ? Thank you
Hello. Coming from Netherlands (Schengen Holder) Can I get Electronic Visa at the airport I have more than 18hours transit time I can’t stay at the airport with kids with me, I tried to apply for it online, but the website does not process for Nigeria passport holders, can I get it at the airport? Thank you
You cannot get an electronic visa, but you can get a sticker visa on arrival (valid for 180 days, no more than 90 days within that period)
I’m glad to read these questions and your answers. I am not alone when it comes to the payment error on the e-visa webpage. It’s truly relieving to know there is on arrival visa at the airport. Do you happen to know the approximate cost for Canadians? The e-visa website displayed crazy costs for the visa, and once at check out they charge $60 for a PDF document. I am just worried as I booked a last minute flight to Turkey in the next few hours for family emergency.
I believe it is still the same price – 30USD, 25EUR, 20GBP.
Matthew, thanks so much for your detailed post on this! If you’re *not* leaving the airport and are merely connecting on international flight (SFO –> IST) to another a couple of hours later (IST –>BCN), do you need to bother with a visa? One reservation was made through United with miles (flying Turkish), and the connecting flight with Turkish (so we’ll probably have to grab our own bags and check-in in IST). We won’t be leaving the airport. The Turkish government sites say that you don’t need a transit visa if you won’t leave the “travel lounge” – but I don’t know if that puts us in the clear.
Pardon, just a nudge on the above in the event anyone knows (do you need a visa if you are doing a layover from one int’l flight to another, and if you likely need to hit the baggage claim and check in again)?
No need for a visa and your baggage will be checked through.
You’re the man, thank you!
And Matt, sorry for the extra ping – but you think it’s surefire that the baggage will be checked through even if the flights are under different reservations (Leg #1 SFO–> IST on one reservation, Leg #2 IST –> BCN on another)?
It won’t be a problem. Just make sure you bag tag and claim receipt includes the BCN flight.
Matthew, we are US citizens soon to visit Turkey. Are the current prices the same ($30/€25/£20) for a Visa on Arrival? Also, can US passport holders pay in any of these 3 currencies at the airport Visa desk, or just US dollars? If we can pay in any of these, is it possible to get Euros or Pounds out of an ATM at IST airport in the pre-immigration area?
Yes and yes (you can pay any currency). No way to get other currency at airport.
Hope you can help me too 🙂
Im Greek-Cypriot (southern side of Cyprus) and im travelling from Ercan Airport (north side) to Sabiha Airport (SAW) in 2 weeks.
Will i be able to issue a visa upon arrival?
Thanking you in advance
Yes, you will. It won’t be a problem.
We are Canadian couple travelling to Colombo by Turkish Airlines. We have about 8 hours wait at the airport. Do we need a visa to go a airport hotel for 6 hours to sleep?
If you leave the airport, yes. Not if you use the airside hotel.
Hi, I have a US passport and I’ll be flying LAX-LHR-IST (AA miles -British Airways) on 11/21/22 and land at IST at 11:35PM. Do you know if the visa on arrival is still available at IST and will I be allowed to board/fly out of LAX without already having a visa (e-visa)? Thanks
VOA still available. You should have no trouble boarding.
Thanks, I appreciate your help and info regarding the Turkish VOA.
I’m traveling to Turkey in February. Can I get a Turkish visa upon arrival? Also, where exactly do I exchange USD money to Turkish Lira? It’s my first time traveling out there and I’m not sure where to get a hold of Turkish lira for a low exchange rate. Thank you
You can obtain a visa on arrival. I don’t recommend black market exchanges, but you’ll find them in the Sultanahmet area.
Hi Mathew! Thank you for commenting back. I appreciate it truly as this was helpful information. Thank you again.
Hi Naz, I just moved back to the States earlier this year after 4 years in Istanbul. The currency exchange places are called doviz offices. Search for one on google maps near your hotel. They typically have very fair rates for exchanging paper currency. Their rates are normally shown out front of each location in an attempt to attract tourists and others needing exchanges.
Hi Kevin, thanks so much for commenting. That’s very useful information! Appreciate it.
This site was very helpful for me – so I would like to share my experience. Arrived in Izmir on US Passport on Dec 20. Visa counter is next to immigration. Rang the bell and a guy came out. Accepted the money (US $30 – cash only) and stuck the visa on our passports. One note – when checking in for our flight (SunExpress @ AMS), the counter lady spent some time reading the rules and then asked me if US citizens can get VOA. I said yes – and then she said okay makes sense because the wording on her side said visa is required for US citizens but not required to be shown to airline.
fling to Istanbul from LAX and have an 8-hour layover, want to get a Visa to stay a Hotel. Is it a quick and easy process to get the Visa on arrival or pay the $50 and get evisa?
I still prefer to obtain the visa on arrival.
My flight lands in IST at 12:35am. Will there be someone there to process a visa on arrival for me? Or, will I have to wait until they open hours later? How long does it take to get a visa? What is the current cost in USD? TIA
Should be open 24/7.
I wonder what happens if you don’t have cash
someone said above there are ATMs available
I just travelled to Istanbul (3/19/23) via SAW and can confirm that visa on arrival was available and so easy. (So glad I found this post.) I was the only one at the window, which was easily found right in front of the passport control line. The cost was $30 usd or 25 euros—they didn’t care what currency I used. The process took a minute and, yes, we got cool visa stickers in our passports. I did not want to do the evisa since it was more expensive, and it was non-refundable. I’ve had to cancel trips last minute in the past. I was glad that I waited til I arrived in Istanbul to get it.
Thanks for your comment! Enjoy your time in Turkey.