Visa Process on arrival at Istanbul airport

I understand that a visa is needed to enter Turkey from a handful of countries, including the US. Is it a lengthy process with long lines or problematic issuance of the visa? In other words, should I try to obtain the visa in advance or is it a relatively automatic process on arrival at the Istanbul airport?
Thanks for your help.


  • Don't try to get the visa ahead of time. It's acquired extremely easily in Istanbul upon arrival. For the most part, all they want is your $20., at least that was the cost in 2010. My husband pulled the visa info from the website ahead of time and filled it in, thinking that would speed up our getting the visas in Istanbul. They didn't even want to see it--just the $20. It took us maybe 5 minutes, or less, and the less is probably right.
  • I went to Istanbul in May. Just $20, nothing else, no questions asked, a lady put a visa sticker on my passport. That's it. The line was short. Waiting time was about 5-10min. And then, I went through the passport control part. No questions either, just pass.
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