Turkey launches online system for visa issuance

The e-visa system aims to boost income from trade and tourism

The e-visa system aims to boost income from trade and tourism

ANKARA - Turkey on Wednesday launched a new online-based visa issuance system for foreign nationals visiting the country for tourism or trade purposes only.

The e-visa system replaces 'sticker' and 'stamp-type' visas formerly issued at the borders, and for the time being it is only available for foreigners arriving in Turkey on flights of the Turkish Airlines (THY), the country's state-owned air carrier, in line with a protocol signed between the government and THY.

"This is a revolutionary practice and there is no other country implementing this system at the scale we are implementing it," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters during a press conference in Ankara.

It is expected that around 7.5 million visas will be issued annually through the online system and while 600,000 people are still estimated to apply to Turkish consulates and embassies for visa issuance through regular system including applications with work and study purposes.

The online system at "www.evisa.gov.tr" will replace visa issuance at borders entirely within the next 3-4 months.

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