If you are an international student planning to study in Turkey, it’s likely you’ll need a student visa to do it. The only students exempt from needing a Turkey student visa are:
- Students from the Northern Republic of Cyprus
- Students whose parents live in Turkey with a work visa and residence permit
- Blue Card holders
To get your student visa, you’ll need to apply in person at your nearest Turkish embassy or consulate in your home country. You must have your student visa before you can enter Turkey.
Once you have arrived in Turkey, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit that allows you to stay in the country beyond 90 days.
Turkey student visa process
Here are the steps you need to follow in order to get your Turkish student visa:
- Be accepted onto a program in Turkey: You can only apply for a visa once you’ve received an acceptance letter from a university in Turkey.
- Arrange an appointment at your local consulate: You need to make your application in person at your nearest Turkish embassy or consulate. You should be able to book an appointment online.
- Complete your application and supply documents: When you attend your visa appointment you need to complete and sign a visa application, and submit it with the required documents (listed below).
- Await a decision: You can sometimes track the process of your application on the Turkish consulate website.
- Apply for a residence permit: When you arrive in Turkey, you will need to apply for a residence permit within one month.
Attending your visa appointment
On the day of your appointment at the Turkish consulate or embassy, you will attend a short interview with a consular officer. They will ask you a few questions about your plans, and your trip to Turkey.
This interview will influence whether or not you will get your visa, so it’s important you make a good impression. You should also make sure you have all your documents with you when you go to the appointments, as missing just one could mean your application is rejected.
Turkish student visa requirements
When you submit your Turkey student visa application you must provide the following documents:
- Your passport, valid for at least 90 days
- A completed and signed Turkish student visa application form
- 2 passport-size photos
- Letter of acceptance from your university, including the duration of your stay
- Proof of travel insurance for your entire stay in Turkey
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof of booked flight tickets to Turkey
- Evidence of sufficient financial resources to support your study and living in Turkey
- Visa processing fee, this can vary depending on your nationality
- Proof of accommodation in Turkey
- Previous education certificates or diplomas
Turkey student residence permit requirements
In order to stay in Turkey beyond the 90 days allowed by your student visa, you must apply for a residence permit at the Provincial Directorate of Migration Administration.
You’ll need to supply the following documents:
- Application form
- Passport, including photocopies and your student visa
- Proof of your university place
- Four passport size photographs
Your residence permit will be valid for one year, but you can renew your permit 60 days before it expires by visiting the local authorities and completing a renewal application form.
Turkish student visa processing time
The processing of your visa application can take between 3 and 15 days, but this can vary depending on the embassy or consulate you've used.
Although the processing time for a Turkish student visa is relatively short, it's well worth applying as early as possible. Unforeseen delays, or missing documents, could mean you don't get your visa in time if you leave it until the last minute to apply.
What to do if your visa is rejected
If your application is rejected due to an incomplete application you should apply for another visa after rectifying any errors. You can apply for a new visa 24 hours after receiving your rejection, and If all the information is correct you could receive your visa in the next three days after application.
If you think your application was unfairly rejected, you should contact the Turkish Embassy or Consulate in your country. It may take weeks or even months to book an appointment with them so it's worth applying for a visa in advance before making travel plans.
When you visit the embassy or consulate, take any documentation you need to prove your application should be accepted. If you cannot get to the consulate in person, write to them outlining exactly why you think your rejection was unfair and include any supporting evidence.