Turkey lifts visa requirements for six countries

Tourists in Turkey

Announced in the country’s Official Gazette on Saturday in a presidential decree, Turkey has lifted visa requirements for citizens of six new countries including the United States, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman.

Travel without visa for 90 days every 180 days

Under the new decree, tourists from the six countries can now travel to Turkey and spend 90 days in the country every 180 days without needing to apply for a visa. The decree was signed on December 23 by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The decision was made per Article 18 of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection No. 6458.

Visas needed before the change

Prior to the new change, visitors from the six countries needed to obtain a visa to enter Turkey. Citizens from Bahrain with ordinary passports had to apply online for a visa, granted a one-entry visa for 30 days. Canadian citizens could apply for e-Visas and obtain a three-month multiple-entry visa. Omani passport holders required e-Visas for up to 90 days within every six months. UAE nationals and Saudi Arabian passport holders could obtain multiple entry e-Visas for up to three months. Finally, citizens of the United States had to apply for e-Visas online.

Tourism contribution to Turkey’s GDP

A critical source of revenue for Turkey, tourism currently contributes around 10% to Turkey’s total gross domestic product (GDP) and employs around 1.7 million people in accommodation and food services, which is currently around 5% of total employment in Turkey. The Turkish government has focused on boosting tourism in recent years to reduce the current account deficit and to help tackle inflation.

Record number of tourists visiting Turkey

New data from January to November showed that 46.7 million tourists visited Turkey, which is a new record surpassing the pre-pandemic record of 42.9 million tourists in the same period. Turkey hopes to further boost tourism and Turkish hotel occupancy levels with the lifting of visa requirements for the aforementioned countries.


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