Getting a Visa to Turkey for Indian Passport Holders (2019-2020)
Lately, Turkey has popularized itself as a sought-after tourist spot. Every year more and more Indians are visiting the picturesque semi-arid Cappadocia, culturally rich Istanbul, and several other places all over the country. However, obtaining a VISA for Turkey for Indian passport holders has become somewhat of a hassle. Before 2014, Turkey had a VISA on arrival for Indian citizens. After 2014, VFS global started issuing a sticker VISA to Turkey from offices across all major cities in India. Unfortunately, starting 1st January, 2019 VFS has discontinued the process. There’s no clear guideline relevant to Indians wanting to visit Turkey, so I thought I’ll do fellow travelers a solid and lay it all down for you.
Why you must always apply for a VISA yourself?
Apart from the experience and learning, getting a VISA by yourself will save you a lot of money. Agents usually have a service charge, and on top, they ask for unnecessary documents just to freak you out. It bodes well for them if you feel the VISA process is complicated.
I traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, in early October of 2019. Fortunately, I was eligible for an e-visa and got my VISA online, but the process can be cumbersome for those who aren’t. Here’s a step by step lowdown of information for you to obtain a VISA for Turkey with your Indian passport.
Check your eligibility for e-visa.
If you have an active valid VISA or residence permit from any of the Schengen countries, USA, UK, and Ireland, you are eligible for a Turkish e-visa. This is the most hassle-free way to get your VISA to Turkey. All you need to do is fill out an application on the Turkish e-visa website, make a payment of $43 (approx ₹ 3087), and the e-visa will be delivered to you via email in a matter of minutes.
What if you are not eligible for an e-visa
Visa applications for Indians are now processed through an organization called Gateway Global. The process is pretty similar to how you would get a VISA through VFS global, but the catch is that Gateway Global is not as widespread as VFS global is. Here’s what you need to do.
Step 1 – Find your VISA Application Centre (VAC)
Based on where your passport was issued, you will need to apply at the VAC that caters to your zone. Currently, 3 VACs across India accept VISA applications to Turkey. They are Mumbai, New Delhi, and Hyderabad. You can find which VAC you belong to by calling Gateway Global call centers on 022 67866029. Gateway is constantly expanding their presence, so ensure to ask if an agent or office is available in your city.
Step 2 – Fill out the application form
A short VISA form must be duly filled before you can start your application. You can find the application form HERE.
Step 3 – Get all your documents together
To proceed with your application, you will need your application form to be accompanied by the following documents
2 latest biometric photos (white background, full face including ears and all hair 2.5 x 2.5 inches)
Cover letter (stating the reason and details of your trip)
Confirmed hotel and flight reservations
Travel Insurance (covering up to € 30000 insurance can be purchased for as less as ₹500/- on HDFC Ergo, ICICI, Bajaj or any other insurance provider )
An Authorization Letter (only if applying via an agent)
Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
Professional and Financial Proofs
The Gateway Global website provides a comprehensive view of documents required and the procedure of different consulates.
Step 4 – Make an appointment
Call the Gateway Global call centers on 022 67866029 and make an appointment with the assigned VAC.
Step 4 – Appearing for the VISA application
On the day of your appointment each applicant must show up for the appointment with the said documents and a visa fee of ₹ 9600/- (can vary based on exchange rates – consult Global Gateway for the exact amount)
One applied your VISA should arrive at your chosen address via courier anywhere between 1-2 weeks.