British holidaymakers heading to Turkey will need to apply for an electronic visa in advance from next year.
The e-visas, which must be acquired before arrival in Turkey, are already up and running but will replace the existing visa-on-arrival system entirely from April 10, 2014, it has been announced.
The cost of the multiple entry visas, which are valid for 90 days, will remain at £10 per person, but will be payable by credit or debit card, rather than cash.
Travellers are advised to use the official Turkish government website to apply ( www.evisa.gov.tr ) and should beware of unauthorised websites trying to charge an additional application fee.
“Some unauthorised websites may charge for information about e-visas, and for submitting applications,” the Foreign Office warns on its website. “These websites are not endorsed by or associated with the Turkish government. Be wary of such sites and businesses, particularly those that seek additional fees for other services.”
Applicants must provide their name, date and place of birth, a valid email address, and details of their passport. If approved, they will be asked to pay a visa fee of £10. The visa will then be emailed to them, and must be downloaded and printed out. It should be shown to airport and customs officials in Turkey and kept safe for the duration of the holiday.
According to an immigration official “the entire process takes less than 10 minutes and it will speed up the whole visa application and processing system”.