Turkish Embassy in Manila Does Not Issue a Turkish Tourist Visa for Single Transit

After almost a year of vacation in my home country, the Philippines, I am now going back to Serbia, my husband’s home country.

For this trip, we booked through Turkish Airlines because they are the most affordable and I specifically asked my husband to choose the flight with a very long layover (13 hours!!) even when he wanted the get the one with only less than 3 hours of waiting, so we can join TourIstanbul, a free tour of Istanbul provided by Turkish Airlines.

Since I hold a Philippine passport, for me to be able to join this tour, I would need to apply for a visa. My husband and daughter are both holders of a Serbian passport so they don’t need a transit visa.

There are two ways to apply:

  1. Online at https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/, only if you have a valid visa OR valid residence permit from one of the Schengen Countries, USA, UK or Ireland. Fee is 20usd.
  2. By visiting any Turkish Embassy near you. You will need to submit your pre-application and make an appointment first at https://www.konsolosluk.gov.tr/. Fee is 60usd.

Since I don’t have a Schengen, USA, UK, or Ireland Visa yet, I had to go to the Turkish Embassy in Manila. I submitted my pre-application to https://www.konsolosluk.gov.tr/ and scheduled my appointment.

There are 10 types of tourist visa according to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website:

a) Touristic Visit
b) Single Transit
c) Double Transit
d) Business Meeting/Commerce
e) Conference/Seminar/Meeting
f) Festival/Fair/Exhibition
g) Sportive Activity
h) Cultural Artistic Activity
i) Official Visit
j) a Visit to Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

and there are different requirements for each type.

When you fill out your pre-application online and choose Touristic Visit – Single Transit, it will tell you to submit ONLY the following online and bring the originals when you visit the Embassy:

1. a Biometric Photo,
2. a document stating my next destination after Turkey, and
3. a Flight Reservation.

 

I was confident to get a Single Transit Visa because I have and submitted all three online. I didn’t expect to received arrogantly at the Embassy when I went there. I was early for my appointment and when the staff asked me what I need, I said I’m applying for a Tourist Visa – Single Transit. The staff arrogantly (yes, I am stressing arrogant here because the lady was dismissive and disrespectful) replied that they don’t issue transit visas and that transit visas are only for seafarers. Then she gave me a list of requirements that I need to bring if I’m applying for a Touristic Visit which includes an invitation from a Turkish citizen/resident and a hotel reservation, which I do not have because no one is inviting me and we are not even going to stay there. I explained that when I submitted my pre-application, it only instructed me to bring the 3 requirements stated above.

I have a booked and fully-paid ticket to Serbia (with a 13-hour layover in Turkey) from Turkish Airlines, a Serbian Visa, and photo. I have a Travel Insurance even when it’s not required. The staff didn’t even look at my application form nor my requirements. I was (again) arrogantly dismissed.

It’s okay to be strict with implementing regulations, I understand that it’s for your country and citizen’s security, but to have an arrogant (and probably uninformed about policies) staff at a Turkish representation in another country is unacceptable.  How can you promote your country’s tourism?

Our flight is at the end of July, and since I can’t find any other way to get a transit visa (no visa on arrival for Philippine passport holders, unfortunately) to Turkey, we’ll have to spend 13 hours in an airport. My bad, I should have listened to my husband when he said we should have booked the one with the shortest layover. T.T

Is it really like this in other Turkish Embassies or just the one in Manila? How about you, what’s your Turkish Visa experience in Manila?

UPDATE:

I was applying for a Tourist Visa – Single Transit. Haha!

7 thoughts on “Turkish Embassy in Manila Does Not Issue a Turkish Tourist Visa for Single Transit

  1. Rodette Quintano Reply

    Hi there,

    We are planning to travel to Tel Aviv for 5 days, but we have to go to Istanbul first for a layover of 8 hours, do we need an in-transit visa or any visa for turkey? Please advise.

    Regards,

    Rodette

    • Bianca Rei Post authorReply

      If you’re going out of the Airport, yes, you need a visa to Turkey. But if you’re staying inside while waiting for your flight to Tel Aviv then you don’t need a visa to Turkey.

  2. Angeline G Tan Reply

    hi Bianca! may I know how did you go about your transit in Istanbul? did you get a tourist visa? pls give me some details as we are also transitting in Istanbul. Thanks!

    • Bianca Rei Post authorReply

      Hi Angeline,

      I didn’t get one. I had no time. I thought it was easy, because according to the website, i have complete requirements for Tourist Transit (onward ticket). So I had to spend 13 hours at the airport waiting for my next flight.. too bad Turkish Airlines offers a free city tour for transits that are longer than 6hrs. 🙂

  3. Raze Reply

    Oh my god.

    That makes me sad since I was planning to do the same thing, Touristanbul and all that jazz. I can’t believe they’re requiring a hotel reservation for a layover.

  4. ALIANDER RAMOS Reply

    Our client will be traveling to Greece via Turkey tomorrow evening, March 12, she is taking Singapore Airlines with stop over of 5 hours in Istanbul then a connecting flight to Athens via Turkish Airlines. She has to claim her baggage at the Istanbul airport then will check it in at the Turkish Airline counter for flight to Athens. Do she has to pass thru the Immigration counter? Do she need to apply for a tourist visa?

    • Bianca Rei Post authorReply

      Hi Aliander, baggage claim is after immigration counters.. so she will need a transit visa… not sure how she will go about it though.. if she’s able to get one. let me know. thanks!

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