U.S.-Turkey Suspension of Nonimmigrant Visa Processing
Visa processing has resumed on a 'limited' basis between the U.S. and Turkey. Student visas (F, J, and M) are among the types in which processing has resumed. No further interruptions in processing are foreseen at this time.
For more information, see: "USA and Turkey resume 'limited' visa operations"
On Sunday, October 8th, 2017, the United States Embassy in Ankara announced it would cease the processing of nonimmigrant visas for Turkish citizens. In turn, Turkey announced that it would cease processing nonimmigrant visas for American citizens at its consulates and embassies.
All of this revolves around the case of a U.S. consulate employee who was arrested by Turkey under suspicion of supporting a failed July 2016 coup attempt.
The suspension of processing means that new and in-progress applications will not be processed. Therefore, applicants will not be able to obtain a visa. Those who already hold a valid visa are, for now, unaffected by the policy.
It is unknown how long this suspension will last.
Further clarification has come from Fragomen Worldwide, a major immigration law firm. The following is from their client news alert service (see "links" below):
- How U.S. citizens can enter. U.S. citizens still cannot obtain an e-visa or obtain a sticker/border visa if they are arriving on a direct flight the United States. However, officers at Sabiha Gokcen Airport confirmed that U.S. citizens entering Turkey from a port of exit outside the United States may be allowed to purchase a sticker visa at entry.
- As before, U.S. citizens holding valid sticker visas, e-visas or border visas issued prior to October 9, 2017 can enter Turkey.
- Consular posts abroad are issuing visas. Turkish consular posts outside the United States are issuing visas to U.S. citizens. Note that some consular posts require applicants to be a lawful resident or dual citizen of the country in which the consular post is located.
- Effect on work and residence permit holders. The Migration Directorate Residence Permit appointment system has been shut down for several days. Although it is unclear if work permits have been approved since the temporary suspension, some cases are indicated to be in process. It remains unclear whether U.S. citizens' work permit renewal applications are suspended or whether consular posts outside the United States can dispense issued visas.
U.S. Embassy Statement (8 October 2017)
Turkish Embassy Statement (8 October 2017)
StudyTravel Magazine - "USA and Turkey resume 'limited' visa operations" (8 November 2017)
Fragomen Worldwide - "United States/Turkey: Update on Restrictions for U.S. Citizens" (13 October 2017)
New York Times – “U.S. Suspends Visa Services in Turkey, and Turkey Responds in Kind” (8 October 2017)
Inside Higher Ed – “U.S., Turkey Suspend Visa Processing” (10 October 2017)