Turkish visa changes: What investors need to know

Photo credit: Arjen Stilklik

The Banderole Visa is being phased out and will be ultimately be replaced by the E-Visa, which is already in operation.

Adil Yaman, Director of property investment consultancy Universal21.com, explains how the change may affect investors in the country’s real estate: he fact that a visa needs to be obtained by citizens of some countries including the UK may come as a surprise to some investors. Not all countries require a visa of course as some will have ongoing treaties with Turkey. It is also useful to find out the rules on how long you can stay in Turkey before requiring a residency permit. Some people have been caught out by failing to understand the rules on entering and re-entering the country, which proved costly and stressful.” 

Indeed, the fines can be around €50 for each day over the 90 day limit and you can even be barred from the country for a period of time for missing the deadline.  According to official rules, British passport holders have the right to stay in Turkey for 90 days out of 180 days. The 90-day period starts on the day a visitor enters Turkey.

After the 10 April 2014 the Banderole visa will be abolished and completely replaced by the e-visa application. Once the E-Visa is fully operational, investors and visitors will have to apply online in advance of their travel, which will speed up arrivals at airports.

Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Omer Celik said at a meeting of G20 Tourism Ministers last year that there was a ten percent of increase in the number of tourists who visited Turkey in 2013 compared to the previous year.

He revealed that much of the increase in tourists came as a result of lifting visa restrictions on citizens of more than 50 countries. 

For more information on visas, visit evisa.gov.tr or turkishconsulate.org.uk.