Planning to pursue your education in Turkey? Navigating the world of student visas can be daunting, but fear not – we’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about obtaining a student visa for Turkey. From the different types of visas available to the application process and requirements, let’s dive right in.
Why Choose Turkey for Your Studies?
Turkey, situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, has always been a melting pot of cultures, making it an interesting destination for international students. Studying in Turkey opens doors to numerous benefits that will shape your personal and professional growth.
Here are some of the main reasons to study abroad in Turkey:
1. Quality Education and Diverse Study Programs
Turkish universities offer a wide array of study programs, taught by highly qualified professors. Whether you’re interested in engineering, arts, social sciences, or business, you’ll find excellent options to suit your interests and aspirations.
2. Affordable Tuition Fees
Compared to many Western countries, the cost of education in Turkey is relatively affordable. This affordability does not compromise the quality of education, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious students.
3. Cultural Richness and Diversity
Turkey’s historical significance and diverse cultural heritage provide a unique backdrop for your academic journey. You’ll have the chance to explore ancient ruins, visit awe-inspiring mosques, and engage in various cultural festivities.
4. Multilingual Environment
A few Turkish universities offer programs taught in English, making it easier for international students to adapt to the new environment without language barriers. However, learning some Turkish will undoubtedly enhance your experience and interactions with locals.
5. Warm and Welcoming Atmosphere
Furthermore, Turkey’s friendly and hospitable environment, along with its moderate cost of living, makes it an attractive choice for international students. You’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a unique blend of tradition and modernity while enjoying a rich social life with fellow students from all corners of the globe.
Is a Turkish Visa Difficult To Get?
Securing a Turkish student visa might seem complex, but with the right guidance and preparation, it’s a manageable process. Turkey has made efforts to streamline the visa application process for students, recognizing their valuable contribution to the country’s academic and cultural landscape.
As an international student planning to study in Turkey, it’s likely that you’ll need to apply for a student visa, unless:
- You are a citizen of the Northern Republic of Cyprus
- You’re a holder of a Blue Card
- Your parents live in Turkey and hold a work visa and a residence permit
You can take care of the paperwork in person at the nearest Turkish embassy or consulate in your home country. The visa is compulsory before you can enter Turkey. Moreover, once you get your visa, you need to apply for a residence permit that allows you to stay in the country for more than 90 days.
Types of Student Visa for Turkey
There are different types of student visas available in Turkey, depending on the duration and nature of your studies. You can either get a visa for education purpose or for internship purpose in Turkey. Additionally, you have the choice between short-term study visas, long-term study visas and student exchange visas.
If your program is less than 90 days, you’ll apply for a short-term student visa. For longer programs, you’ll need a long-term student visa, which you’ll trade for a residence permit.
Understanding the Turkey Student Visa Process
Before embarking on your educational journey in Turkey, securing the appropriate student visa is essential. The process can seem daunting, but with the right guidance, it becomes manageable. Here are the steps you need to follow to get your visa:
Get Accepted to the Right Study Program
Before applying for a student visa, you must first gain admission to a recognized Turkish university.
Determine the Type of Visa You Need
If your program is less than 90 days, you’ll apply for a short-term student visa. For longer programs, you’ll apply for a student visa, then for a residence permit.
Arrange an Appointment at Your Local Embassy or Consulate
Since you should apply in person at the Turkish authorities in your home country, the next step is to set an appointment. Usually, you can book an appointment online.
Gather the Required Documents
To initiate your visa application, you’ll need to collect several essential documents, that you’ll submit along with the application form when attending your visa appointment. Check the requirements section below for a list of documents you need.
Await the Visa Decision
The processing time for student visas can vary, so it’s crucial to be patient during this period. You may be able to track the state of your application on the Turkish consulate’s website.
Apply for a Residence Permit
Using your visa, passport and other essential documents, you have to get a residence permit once you set foot in Turkey. This permit not only allows you to remain in the country for a longer period but it’s also essential for all the paperwork you’ll need during your stay.
Turkey Student Visa Requirements
To apply for a student visa, you’ll need to fulfill certain requirements. The very first of them is to have an acceptance letter from a recognized Turkish educational institution. You should also have a valid passport, proof of financial capability to support your studies and stay, as well as a health insurance plan that covers your time in Turkey.
What Documents Are Required for Student Visa in Turkey?
Since your student visa cannot be issued within Turkey, you therefore need to submit the following documents to your local consulate / embassy:
- Completed visa application form
- 2 Passport-sized photographs
- A valid passport with at least 90 days’ validity
- An acceptance letter from a Turkish university, including the duration of your stay
- Transcripts of previous education, diplomas and certificates
- Proof of financial support for the duration of your stay
- Health insurance coverage
- Travel insurance proof covering the duration of your stay in Turkey
- Proof of accommodation arrangement in Turkey
- Visa application fee
- Proof of booked flight tickets to Turkey
Once you land in Turkey, you need to get a student residence permit within a month upon your arrival. For that, you must download and fill the right application form on the website of the Turkish Ministry of Interior.
Then, go to the nearest Directorate General of Migration Management office in Turkey with the application form and the following documents:
- Passport, including your student entry visa and photocopies
- Proof of your university place
- 4 passport-size photographs
The residence permit is valid for a year and renewable 60 days before its expiration date.
Turkey Student Visa Interview Questions
On the day of your appointment for your student visa, you’ll attend an interview by the consular officer as part of the application process. The interview is an opportunity for the authorities to assess the genuineness of your application. Common questions include your reasons for choosing Turkey, your study plans, and your intentions to return to your home country after completing your studies.
Make sure, then, to make a good impression and above all ensure you have all the documents gathered to limit the risk of rejection.
How Much Bank Balance Is Required for Turkey Student Visa?
Turkey requires international students to demonstrate sufficient funds to cover their tuition fees and living expenses during their stay. They usually can do so through providing a bank statement or a proof of scholarship.
While the exact amount can vary, it’s generally recommended to have enough fund to cover at least 50 euros per day to meet the financial requirements of a Turkey student visa. In this case, if the student has 14000 euros balance in their bank statement, that should be enough to cover a 12-month stay in Turkey.
This amount doesn’t include the student’s university fees. Also, in the case the student has a grant or scholarship, providing a bank statement is not necessary.
Turkey Student Visa Cost
The cost of a student visa for Turkey can vary depending on your nationality and the type of visa you’re applying for. But usually, the student visa fee for a single entry costs $250 and $400 for a multiple entry visa.
Turkey Student Visa Processing Time
The processing time for a Turkey student visa can vary depending on factors such as the volume of applications and the time of year. But it’s always recommended to apply well in advance as additional or missing documents, can cause potential delays in processing.
Usually, if everything goes well, the processing of your visa will take between 3 and 15 days. However, we recommend starting your application as soon as you receive your university acceptance letter. And the latest to apply should be no less than 30 days before your departure to Turkey.
Turkey Student Visa Rejection
The acceptance rate of a Turkish student visa is quite high, since it’s around 85%. While nobody wants to think about it, there is a possibility of visa rejection. If your application is rejected, don’t be disheartened. You can reevaluate the reasons for rejection, address any issues, and consider reapplying even 24 hours after you get your rejection notification. Usually, if all the errors are rectified, you should receive your visa within the next 3 days following the application.
Can I Work in Turkey on a Student Visa?
You should know that as an international student in Turkey, a visa alone does not allow you to work. If you want to work during your studies, there are regulations you need to comply with. Starting with the fact that you first need to apply for a separate work permit. Also, Turkish work permits are generally not awarded to students in short-term programs or undergraduate students.
Moreover, PhD and postgraduate students can work as researchers in scientific projects to fund their studies. It also can happen that students with full scholarships might be required to take assistantship missions at their university in exchange for their scholarships. Lastly, students who have to undertake internships as part of their studies, they must apply for a work permit exemption.
All these regulations might be daunting, so make sure to familiarize yourself and understand everything before you apply for any work permit.
Embarking on a journey of education in Turkey is an exciting endeavor. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the student visa application process with confidence. Remember, each student’s situation is unique, so be sure to double-check the specific requirements that apply to your case. Best of luck on your educational journey in Turkey!