How To Apply For Turkish Visa From Pakistan
Recently I applied for a tourism visa for Turkey for myself and my wife from Karachi. My first instinct was to get in touch with a travel agent and let him worry about all my worries. After visiting one travel agent to the other and not being convinced enough to go through with it, I decided to explore the possibility of applying on my own. Through the time spent, the helplessness felt, and trouble witnessed over the next few weeks, I am here to share my experience hoping that my story is of some help to someone out there.
STEP 1: PAPERWORK
What all do I need to gather for a touristic visa?
You will need your recent original passport. Just make sure it has a validity of over 6 months from the date you plan on visiting Turkey.
- Photocopies of all your old passports. Pages you need to get photocopied are as follows:
- Page 1 and 2 of your passport which has your picture on it
- Page 3 and 4 which has your signature on it
- And all other pages which have a visa or entry/exit stamps
You will do this for the current and all the previous passports.
You will need two photographs of yourself on a white background size being 2×2 inches. Just tell whichever photo studio you go to that it’s for a Turkey visa and they’ll know what to do. Your ears need to show clearly and do not wear glasses while getting your picture taken. The requirement in the above mentioned document says ‘Biometric photograph’. Don’t be alarmed. You just need regular photographs.
Travel Health Insurance Certificate
The touristic visa for turkey requires a travel insurance covering 30,000 Euros. Don’t worry! You don’t have to pay 30,000 Euros. I purchased mine online via credit card from EFU insurance’s website. Here is the direct link.
If you want to be sure of the link before using you credit card then visit this link.
And then simply click on ‘Buy Online’
Make sure to choose the product plan which says 30,000 Euros or 50,000 USD. Make sure to mention the dates which cover your entire stay in Turkey. The travel insurance has to be valid for your entire trip. My stay in turkey was for 9 days and the travel insurance through EFU cost me PKR 2,000 per person.
If you don’t have a credit card, you can purchase your travel insurance from any insurance company’s office or directly from Gerry’s. The Gerry’s office is located on Gizri inside Bahria Complex IV on the 4th Floor. Here is the google map location.
If you plan on submitting your visa application via Gerry’s, then you can simply get the travel insurance that same day as well.
Polio Vaccination Certificate
The polio vaccination certificate is free of cost at the Civil hospital or you can visit the Karachi airport to get yours made. I have not visited the civil hospital but have definitely seen the polio vaccination counter at the airport. On the other hand places like South City Hospital in Clifton sell it for PKR 1,000. I got mine from DHA Clinics/DHA Medical Centre at Khayaban-e-Rahat Phase 6. Here is the google map location.
The doctor who attests the certificate sits there thrice a week from 8 – 9 PM. You can call on +92 21 35344201 to ask when you can come collect yours. I got mine for PKR 500.
You will need a print out of your flight reservation. If it’s a touristic visa then a return ticket is a must.
The ticket you purchase for Turkey has to be at least 3 weeks ahead of the day you submit your visa application. The document mentioned above says 4 weeks. When I went to Gerry’s to submit my application, they said it should be at least 17 days ahead from the day you submit the visa application. To be on the safe side keep it no shorter than 3 weeks so that you have enough margin in case anything does not go according to plan.
Print outs of your hotel reservations for the duration you’ll be in Turkey. This is where www.booking.com came very useful. Sign up, choose a hotel, choose your dates and simply click on reserve. You will need to enter your credit card as they made a transaction of PKR 70 on my card just to check whether it’s a valid card. You do not have to pay for the entire hotel costs there and then. Reservations are enough for the visa application. Also, you can cancel these bookings without charge before the mentioned date at the time of reservation through booking.com.
The hotels that you mention in your visa application have to be same while your visa is being processed as they might call and check at the hotel for confirmation. Once you do get your visa, you can change your bookings if need be.
You will have to get the employment letter from your place of work on their letterhead. The employment letter should mention that you are indeed an employee and it should mention your salary as well. You will need your original employment letter for the visa application, not the copy.
If you are self-employed then just print it out on your own letterhead and sign it yourself.
You will need this from your place of work as well. It’s not absolutely necessary for this to be attested by the company, but it’s always better if it is. Attach the original slip, not a photocopy.
Bank Maintenance Certificate
You will have to visit your bank and ask them to give you an account maintenance certificate. They should give it to you there and then. It basically certifies that you are indeed an account holder at this bank and you’ve maintained it well. Make sure you visit the branch of the bank where your account is from. You will need this original certificate for the visa application, not a photocopy.
Bank Account Statement
Ask your bank for a 6 month account statement. Make sure you visit the branch of the bank where your account is from. You will need this original 6 month statement for the visa application, not a photocopy. The bank statement should probably be the last document you acquire as it should not be dated more than 7 – 10 days prior to your visa submission date.
It’s very important that at the day you acquire the bank statement, the balance in your account should be more than PKR 200,000.
Marriage Registration Certificate
If you are married and travelling as a couple, you will need to get a marriage certificate (MRC) made. No it is not the same as your Nikkah naama. You will have to visit your area’s Union Council (UC) to get yours made. I am a resident of DHA so I got mine made from Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC).
It is important to first visit NADRA and get your wife’s NIC updated from father’s name to husband’s name. She does not have to change her surname if she does not want to.
When you visit CBC, make sure to take your original nikkah naama, original NIC of yourself and your wife, photocopies of your father and mother’s NIC, and photocopies of your wife’s father and mother’s NIC.
You should receive your Marriage registration certificate in about 7 working days.
You will need to attach a copy of the MRC for your visa application.
If you have children, then you will need to get your Family registration certificate (FRC) made. Most probably you’ll have to follow the same procedure as the MRC. Attach the copy of the FRC with the visa application form.
Travel History Form
You can download the travel history form from Gerry’s website.
Here is the direct link to the website as well.
Print, fill the form and attach it with the visa application. If you haven’t travelled anywhere in the last 5 years then leave the form blank but you will still have to attach the travel history form even if it is blank.
You will have to write a cover letter addressed to the Turkish consulate mentioning:
- Who you are, your NIC, your Passport no.
- Where you work, mention your salary.
- Your purpose of visiting Turkey in detail.
- Your entire itinerary. Which cities you will visit, which hotels you will stay in with dates.
- Mention all the documents that you have attached for this application.
- End it with your signature and date.
The Visa Form
You will have to fill the visa form online, here’s the link.
- Make sure you fill the form in CAPS. I had to make another visit just because the form wasn’t filled in CAPS.
- If you are applying with your wife or with your family members, the reference number generated at the end of this form has to be the same for all the applicants. Once you fill the form, right at the end it gives you an option to add another person in the same form.
Once the form is completed, you can simply download it as a PDF and get it printed. You will be prompted by the website that you don’t have an appointment yet. If you are applying through Gerry’s then that is not a problem. Just print out the PDF for all applicants separately and attach it with your visa application. I applied through Gerry’s so that worked for me.
If you want to apply yourself directly to the Turkish embassy then I am guessing you will need to book an appointment with them first and then take all of these documents to them on the day of your appointment.
Consent Letter of the Applicant
If you are applying through Gerry’s then they will provide you with the consent letter the day you go to submit your application. I am not sure whether you need this letter if you are applying directly at the Turkish embassy as this document certified me giving my consent to Gerry’s to apply on my behalf.
STEP TWO: VISIT GERRY’S
Gerry’s is located on Gizri, Karachi (Please see google map link mentioned above). The Gerry’s office in Islamabad is located at Chak Shahzad. Office timings are Monday to Friday 9 AM to 1 PM. It is always better to get there at 8:45 AM to mark your spot as they open the gates at 9 AM sharp and let you enter in the order of your arrival.
You will have to submit your cell phone at the entrance so make sure you inform your loved ones you’ll be off the grid for a while, and extract any information that you might need from your phone on a piece of paper.
As you step inside, make your way to the information counter and get your token number for Turkey. You will be sent to a room along with all the other Turkey applicants. Sit back, relax, wait for your turn. There are some refreshments there free of charge for you to help yourself with while you wait.
The cost per applicant as of July 2018 was PKR 11,250.
In about 10 day’s time you will get a call from Gerry’s asking you to come collect your passport.
I hope my experience helps you in your journey.
Thank you and good luck.