US and Canadian Citizens No Longer Need a Tourist Visa to Visit Turkey: What You Need to Know

US and Canadian Citizens No Longer Need a Tourist Visa to Visit Turkey

In an exciting development for travelers, Turkey (also known as Turkiye) has officially lifted its tourist visa requirements for citizens of six countries, including the United States and Canada. This significant change follows a presidential decree signed by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on December 22 and published in the Turkish Official Gazette on December 23.

Key Details of the Visa Exemption

Countries Affected: In addition to the United States and Canada, the new visa exemption applies to citizens of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.

Duration of Stay: Citizens from these countries can now visit Turkey for up to 90 days within any 180-day period without needing a tourist visa.

Background and Context

Previously, travelers from the U.S. and Canada, as well as the other four countries, were required to obtain an e-visa for tourist visits. The e-visa process was relatively straightforward but came with a fee of approximately $20. While not overly burdensome, this requirement did add an extra step and cost for travelers planning their trips to Turkey.

The decision to lift the visa requirements is part of Turkey’s broader initiative to enhance its international relations and boost tourism. By simplifying entry requirements, Turkey aims to attract more visitors and strengthen its position as a top travel destination.

Official Confirmation and Current Status

Although the decree was officially published on December 23, there has been some confusion due to conflicting information on official websites. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Turkey, along with Turkey’s e-visa application site, still list that U.S. and Canadian citizens need an e-visa for entry. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkiye has confirmed the change. In a statement to The Points Guy (TPG), the ministry clarified: “Visa exemption for citizens of six countries (USA, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Oman) has been approved. These passport holders no longer need a visa and are exempted from visa requirements for 90 days within any 180-day period.”

What This Means for Travelers

For U.S. and Canadian citizens, this development simplifies travel plans to Turkey. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. No E-Visa Required: You no longer need to apply for and purchase an e-visa for short-term tourist visits.
  2. 90 Days Stay: You can stay in Turkey for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. This flexibility allows for extended vacations, multiple short trips, or longer stays without the need for additional paperwork.
  3. Easier Travel Planning: With one less step in the travel process, planning a trip to Turkey becomes more straightforward. This change is likely to encourage more spontaneous travel, as the need to secure a visa in advance is eliminated.

Impact on Turkey’s Tourism

Turkey has long been a popular destination for its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning landscapes. The visa exemption is expected to boost tourism from the affected countries, especially from the United States and Canada. Travelers can now more easily explore Turkey’s many attractions, from the bustling streets of Istanbul to the ancient ruins of Ephesus and the breathtaking scenery of Cappadocia.

Practical Tips for Travelers

To make the most of your visa-free travel to Turkey, consider the following tips:

  • Check Travel Advisories: Stay informed about any travel advisories or updates from your home country’s government regarding travel to Turkey.
  • Travel Insurance: Even without the need for a visa, travel insurance is highly recommended. It can provide coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other unforeseen events.
  • Accommodation and Transportation: Book your accommodations and transportation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Turkey is a popular destination, and early planning can help ensure a smoother trip.
  • Local Currency: Familiarize yourself with the local currency (Turkish Lira) and consider exchanging some money before your trip. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, but having some cash on hand is always a good idea.
  • Cultural Etiquette: Learn about Turkish customs and etiquette to ensure respectful and enjoyable interactions with locals. Understanding basic phrases in Turkish can also enhance your travel experience.


The removal of the tourist visa requirement for U.S. and Canadian citizens marks a significant and positive change in Turkey’s travel policies. This development simplifies travel to one of the world’s most captivating destinations, allowing for easier access and longer stays. Whether you’re planning a short getaway or an extended exploration of Turkey’s diverse regions, this new policy enhances the appeal of visiting this beautiful country.

Editorial Disclaimer

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain. Always verify travel information and requirements from official sources before planning your trip.

source MSN