Depending on your nationality, you can stay in Turkey for 30 to 90 days, with visa requirements also contingent upon nationality.
Regardless of visa requirements, however, the maximum period of stay remains the same across the board.
The current law and regulations dictate that you cannot stay in Turkey continuously for more than your visa duration within 180 days.
It doesn’t matter if you have come:
- on an e-tourist visa (which you can apply for through https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ and obtain electronically for trade or tourism purposes only),
- on a visa (issued by Turkish missions or at the port of entry and for work/studying etc.)
- or by visa waiver/exemption,
WHAT CONSTITUTES AS OVERSTAYING?
Overstaying can be classified into 3 three categories:
- You have breached the 90-in-180 rule,
- You have exceeded the time issued on your visa, or
- You had forgotten to renew your residence permit before its time was up.
The legal repercussions for overstaying in Turkey are regulated by Turkish Passport law 5682, which could ban you from re-entering the country for a certain period, lead to you being deported immediately and make you pay an administrative fine.
“Counting back” the days.
To check whether your stay in Turkey has not exceeded 90 days in the previous 180 days, you need to “count back” 180 days. If your total time has not yet reached 90, then you can continue to stay the number of days left.
Example: Today is November 29, 2020. To see if you have exceeded your 90-in-180 days, you must go back to June 2, 2020. Then examine your entry and exit stamps on your passport, to sum up the total number of days you have spent in Turkey on and after June 2. It should be less than 90.
The number of times you have entered or exited the country is not essential unless you have a single entry visa.
Suppose you have reached the 90-day limit on your 180-day visa and you leave Turkey. In that case, you will be granted entry on one condition: if you pledge in writing (taahhütname) to apply for a residence permit within 10 days of your arrival. When you re-enter, you will also be asked to fill in a conditional entry (şartlı giriş) form by border personnel.
I want to stay in Turkey longer than my visa allows. Can I extend my visa?
Unfortunately, you cannot extend or renew your visa in Turkey because of the 90-in-180 rule. You must leave the country, stay abroad for 3 months and then return.
But when you want to stay in Turkey longer, for example, a year, and stay continuously, but you don’t want to move here permanently, you will need to apply to the nearest Provincial Directorate of Migration Management for a short-term residence permit. (Here are the documents you will need.)
You will be asked to give proof of your address, which will require a long-term rental contract, as well as evidence of financial resources enough to cover your stay in Turkey.
If you overstay the duration of your visa or residence permit, you will be considered unlawful in and of yourself and will be required to pay a fine as a form of punishment. This figure is roughly determined by doubling the cost of an annual residency permit, which is then used as the basis for the calculation.
Foreign nationals may also be required to pay resident permit card costs and single-entry visa fees in some nations. The amount punished, however, is normally determined by your country and length of stay.
It will also be up to the border/customs official's judgement. Depending on your circumstances, it may be higher than you anticipated.
For some reason, the only form of payment that may be accepted for the fine is cash. You will not be able to make the payment once you have returned to your home country; instead, you will be required to do it at either the border or the airport's customs area.
Even though your visa or residence permit has expired, you are technically allowed to leave Turkey voluntarily during a grace period of 10 days without being subject to any kind of punishment; however, not all immigration agents will adhere to this rule.
Be aware that there will be an additional cost of TL 160 if you apply for a residence permit within the last ten days. If it has been more than ten days, you are required to leave the country and obtain a new travel visa before you can enter again.
If you refuse to pay or cannot at that time, you will be banned from entering Turkey for up to 5 years. The shortest ban is three months for overstays of up to 90 days, six months for exceeding your stay by 3 to 6 months, and so on.
If your overstay does not exceed 10 days, or if Turkish officials have not yet acted to deport you (or not notified you of such a decision), you will not be banned from re-entering, considering that you pay the fine.
Extraordinary situations and COVID-19
Scenario A: Your residence permit as an exchange student expired over ten days ago. You plan to go back to your home country for a short while, but you will be coming back soon. Do you apply for a new visa? Can you come back immediately?
If you pay your fine for overstaying, you will not be banned from re-entering Turkey. Considering the expiration of your residence permit, however, you should stay abroad for at least three months to be able to re-enter without any issues.
If you can’t wait that period or re-enter within the same day, you’ll be given conditional entry and be required to apply for a residence permit within ten days of your date of arrival. must
Scenario B: I overstayed my tourist visa by four months because of COVID-19. How much do I need to pay, and what do I need to do to avoid a re-entry ban?
According to an announcement made on June 15, 2020, by the General Directorate of Migration Management, foreigners who overstay in Turkey due to the global coronavirus pandemic will not be fined on the condition that they leave Turkey within one month of the date travel resumes to their home country.
If you do not leave within this time limit, you will be issued an administrative fine and be banned from entry.
Please do not hesitate to contact us here if you have more questions about visas, such as advice on having an entry ban lifted.