Tourist Visa: OVERSTAY at your peril!

Tourist Visa: OVERSTAY at your peril!

A tourist visa only lasts for a certain number of days and if you over stay that time various penalties apply as we explain in our article.


For temporary visits to Turkey the Turkish immigration authority issues visitor visas or tourist visas as they are also known.

For UK passport holders this visa entitles the person to stay within Turkey, at the moment, for 90 days and not 3 months as some people think.

NOTE: The Turkish authorities are now handing out visa stickers with 90/180 days printed on them. DESPITE the wording, the visa is STILL valid for 90 days and can be renewed until we are notified otherwise! (as at the date of this article).

The 90 days run from the date of entry as stamped on the visa sticker and includes weekends and bank holidays / religious holidays.

So, if you entered Turkey on say 1 July you will need to add 89 days – remember the date of entry is your first day – to calculate your last day.  In this case you would need to leave by 28 September either returning on a new visa the same day or at some time in the future.

Watch Out – Be Accurate!

If you over stay your visa period, even by a few hours penalties are levied on a sliding scale.

An over stay of between 1 and 15 days – There is no restriction on re-entering Turkey but s/he will have to pay the appropriate visa fines and will need to obtain his/her new visa from a Turkish Consulate. In the case of people staying in Fethiye the nearest would be on the Greek Island of Rhodes. However, recent evidence shows most people are issued with their new visa by the imiigration police after paying a hefty fine.[inset side=right]”Overstay by 16 days or more and you’ll face fines AND restrictions on when you can come back into the country.”[/inset]

For an over stay of 16 days or more – Not only will a person have to pay the fines for over staying but they would also need to leave Turkey and would be refused entry to Turkey for 3 months

For an over stay of 3 months – In addition to the fines the person would have to leave Turkey and would be refused entry to Turkey for 6 months.

For greater periods as above with fines but double the refusal of entry times – 6 months over, 12 months out of Turkey etc.

Perfect Planning Prevents Penalties

If you plan to stay in Turkey for longer than your visa will allow or if you plan to reuse your visa for multiple visits it pays to plan ahead.  Spending just a few minutes could save time and hassle later.

When you first arrive in Turkey make a note of your arrival date as stamped in your passport and calculate the latest date of leaving by adding 89 days – yes the date stamped is the first day.

Use a calendar or spreadsheet to help you or this website offers a handy calculator.

Make a note of this in a prominent place such as a calendar, note on your front door or in your diary so you don’t forget.

Then plan your escape or journey to renew your visa before your visa expires especially in winter when bad weather can lead to the cancellation of flights and ferry crossings.

Always Check your new visa too.

Strange as this may sound some people have found their visa has not been stamped when they entered Turkey and this causes no end of trouble when you leave the country as the visa is then illegal! We all know mistakes can happen but it’s much easier to sort them out at that time than some 90 days later.

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NOTE: The Turkish authorities are now handing out visa stickers with 90/180 days printed on them. DESPITE the wording, the visa is STILL valid for 90 days and can be renewed until we are notified otherwise! (as at the date of this article).

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