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10 Countries Face New Visa Requirements for Transit at Istanbul Airport

10 Countries Face New Visa Requirements for Transit at Istanbul Airport

Policy adaptations often reflect broader geopolitical shifts in the dynamic arena of international travel. Starting April 2024, a new chapter begins for travellers using Istanbul Airport as a transit hub to Latin America and other destinations. This move is part of a more significant effort by Türkiye to regulate and monitor the flow of migrants through its borders more effectively.

What's Changing for Transit Passengers?

Travellers from select countries, including India, Afghanistan, and Nepal, en route to nations like Mexico and Venezuela will now need to secure an electronic airport transit visa. This requirement underscores Turkey's commitment to enhancing security and managing its role as a pivotal transit point in global migration routes.

Why is Turkey Implementing These Changes?

The primary impetus behind this new visa regime is the rising number of irregular migrants traversing through Turkey. This initiative aligns with international aviation standards to safeguard travellers and the nations involved.

Detailed Breakdown of the New Electronic Transit Visa System

A Closer Look at the e-Transit Visa

An electronic transit visa, or e-HTV, is now mandatory for passengers travelling from specific countries through Istanbul Airport. This digital documentation is part of Turkey's strategy to streamline security procedures and ensure a smoother transit experience for passengers.

How to Apply for an e-Transit Visa?

Applicants must visit the Turkish visa website, where the visa application process has been simplified to enhance user accessibility. The process requires travellers to input their details, residential address, and passport number.

Verification and Compliance at Istanbul Airport

Upon arrival, travellers will be verified at designated International Transit Passenger Hall points. This step ensures all passengers meet the required criteria before proceeding.

Turkish Airlines' Role in Enhancing Travel Security

Turkish Airlines has been instrumental in informing passengers of the new protocols, including potential additional screenings that align with global security practices. This proactive approach helps mitigate travel disruptions and ensures compliance with the latest regulations.

Impact on Passengers and Migration Patterns

Implications for Travellers

The introduction of the e-transit visa impacts several aspects of travel:

  • Documentation Requirements: Travellers must carry additional proof of their transit plans, including the e-transit visa.
  • Travel Planning: Passengers must allocate extra time for the new screening processes and visa verification.

Strategic Benefits for Turkey

This policy helps control irregular migration and positions Turkey as a responsible actor in international migration management. It enhances the security infrastructure of Istanbul Airport and supports Turkey's ongoing dialogue with the EU regarding visa liberalisation and migration policies.

Looking Forward: The Future of Transit Through Istanbul

Technological Enhancements and Global Mobility

As part of its commitment to facilitating global mobility, Türkiye continues to invest in technological solutions that simplify travel procedures. The e-transit visa system is a testament to this commitment, promising a more secure and efficient transit experience at one of the world's busiest airports.

Continued Dialogue with International Bodies

Türkiye's adaptation of its visa policies also plays a significant role in its negotiations with the European Union, particularly concerning justice, freedom, and security issues. These discussions are crucial for Turkey's aspirations to align more closely with EU standards and enhance its geopolitical standing.


  • Who needs a transit visa at Istanbul Airport now?

Nationals from 10 specific countries, including India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, now require a transit visa.

  • How much does a transit visa cost for Istanbul Airport?

The cost varies by nationality and can be confirmed on the Turkish visa website.

  • What are the required documents for a transit visa application?

Generally, you'll need a passport number, a valid travel itinerary, and proof of onward travel.

  • Can I apply for a Turkish transit visa online?

Yes, most travellers can apply through the online portal.

  • How long does it take to receive a transit visa?

It's best to apply at least two weeks before, as processing time may vary.