Turkey has just announced more stringent passport requirements for visitors, and the changes could catch out regular or long-term sailors in the country

Foreigners in Turkey must now carry a passport valid for at least 60 days beyond the ‘duration of stay’ of their e-Visa or Residence Permit, the Cruising Association (CA) warns.

Passport Control Officers will be checking all entries and departures. The e-Visa website only states that the travel passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended first date of travel, which is the start date of the visa.

The Visitor’s Visa allows multiple visits totalling 90 days in any rolling 180-day period, so if you make multiple visits throughout the full 180-days the CA advises to ensure your passport is valid for 240 days beyond the date of intended first entry.

Those wishing to stay in Turkey for periods longer than a Visitor’s Visa allows must obtain a Residence Permit. This is only available for periods of 3 to 12 months for the category of temporary visitors. The confusion resulting from differing document requirements for a Residence Permit has been addressed during 2015 with the introduction by the Foreigners’ Department of a Central Appointment System. This online system aims at achieving uniformity of documentation throughout all 81 Provinces. See https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr/ for details.

This system is now mandatory, and requires submission of various details electronically and, for the first application, a request for an appointment at a local office in Turkey. The originals of the documents must then be presented by the applicant or authorised representative, although renewal can be solely online.

The CA has limited feedback to date on how well the system is working but understands that the worrying Cancellation Clause (if accumulated absences exceed 120 days) will only be applied in exceptional circumstances.