Last Updated : Sep 4, 2023
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My wife and I were 72 hours away from our dream trip to Turkey. It was for our 10 year anniversary and everything was sorted, our accommodation, our flights, our Turkish e-Visa applications… Well, maybe not entirely sorted. No matter what I tried, the Turkish e-Visa platform kept giving me an error when I tried to pay.
While this problem is frustrating, especially with the hour of our flight fast approaching, I did manage to find a couple of solutions that effectively solve the Turkish e-Visa payment issue, and I’ve decided to share our experience to help anyone struggling with the Turkey e-Visa application process. I’ve detailed my entire application process, in case you are experiencing a problem with any other part of your Turkish e-Visa application. You’ll find this information directly after the Payment problem section, or by simply clicking here.
The Turkey e-Visa application process is divided into three stages - the application stage (where you enter all of your personal details), the confirmation stage (where you receive an email confirming your application), and the payment stage (where you pay for your e-Visa to Turkey).
As soon as I reached the payment stage, I ran into a processing error. In total, I tried 6 cards, two of them were Mastercards, and the rest were Visa, all of them were cleared for international payment and secured through the “3D Secure System”. All of them gave the same processing error when I tried to pay for my Turkish e-Visa. So what to do?
To save you some time, the simplest solution is to complete your application through Atlys online. It's like doing it through the Turkish Portal, but in less time, the payment actually works, and you don't need to worry about all the nitty gritty things that I'm about to discuss.
The first piece of advice I’ll give someone who’s having trouble making payment for their Turkish e-Visa is this: Relax. I became more and more frustrated as one card after the other all gave the same error message. This was extremely counterproductive as I was wasting emotional energy, as well as physical energy and time. I think, in part, it was because I was handling the payment error as if I was dealing with a human being. I wasn’t. I was dealing with programming code, and can’t argue with it, so there’s no point in getting riled up, even when your flight is only 72 hours away. So I went and made myself a cup of tea…
I decided the first step to my solution should be to contact the Turkish authorities. So I emailed my nearest Turkish consulate, the Turkish embassy, and completed a contact us form on the Turkish e-Visa website. I knew there was almost no chance of anyone getting back to me in time, but it was worth a shot.
Next, I started scouring Facebook groups, reddit, and TripAdvisor forums. Although a lot of people reported the same issue as me, some of them dating back to 2017, I didn’t find one solution on how to effectively deal with the Turkey e-Visa payment problem. A lot of the replies simply assigned blame to the card company, or sometimes even the applicant. Internet hey…
On a whim, I tried completing the payment on Firefox or Chrome. Maybe it was Safari that was causing a problem. Still nothing. I was getting more and more jittery, and I felt that I might soon need another cup of tea.
I saw on the payment portal that one of the ways to pay for the Turkish e-Visa was through WePay, so I decided to give it a shot. Unfortunately, it turns out that as an American I wasn’t able to create an account. “Think outside of the box…” I told myself. So I headed over to Upwork and looked for users with WePay. My offer was simple: I'll pay you 20% more if you pay for my Turkish e-Visa using your WePay account... Unfortunately everyone I matched with thought I was scamming them. One person obliged but he'd do it after 7 days when Upwork sends money to his account. 7 days was not going to fit into my 72-hour timeframe.
A solution that I did find was to create a virtual card to process my e-Visa payment. However, finding a company or service that I felt comfortable with, was close to impossible. Unless you are familiar with a trusted platform, like Stripe, where you can create your own virtual cards I would not suggest this route. You can use privacy.com but their verification takes a long time, and they only allow you to create a fixed number of virtual cards - worth a try since it's free. As you may deduce, I am not familiar with Stripe, but I did spend some time researching and considering it, before finding a much simpler solution…
In truth, it was my wife who found the solution. After her card also caused a payment error, she decided to do a bit of research. In this noble endeavor, she came across an article on how to apply for your Turkey e-visa. Intrigued, she saw that the blog was from Atlys. On the website, they promised that their app can complete a Turkey e-Visa application in a couple of minutes.
So, with nothing to lose and time to gain, she gave it a try. 5 Minutes later, she had her Turkey e-Visa processed and paid for. The reason why this app got around the Turkey e-Visa payment problem was that you could choose to pay with Apple Pay, and thus avoid whatever error has been keeping the payment from being processed. Another 5 minutes later, I had my e-Visa processed and paid for.
I hope you found my account on dealing with this issue helpful. If you are experiencing any other issues while completing your Turkey e-Visa application, be sure to check out the rest of the article to see exactly how we completed our applications.
You can now get a Turkey e-visa in under 180 seconds on Atlys.
To start off with, there was some confusion as to whether, as US citizens, we’ll need visas to travel to Turkey, or indeed if these applications will be processed at all, given the last couple of years of animosity between the US and Turkey. The answer, in short, is yes - US citizens do need a visa to travel to Turkey.
Secondly, I’m happy to report that the process of getting a Turkish e-Visa is really straightforward - apart from the payment bug - and we experienced no issue or animosity as US citizens.
A quick word of caution, however: do not opt for the Turkish visa on arrival (VOA) option. While this is given as a valid option on the official Turkish e-Visa website, I’ve come across loads of travelers who’ve experienced problems when trying to go this route. One of the earliest challenges is simply to board your flight - most airlines won’t let you board without your e-Visa to Turkey. If you manage to convince them that you can apply for a VOA in Turkey, they’ll probably make you sign a document releasing them of any obligation to provide you with a repatriation flight if you should fail. I don’t know about you, but this is not how I want my Turkish holiday to start…
Another reason why not to go the VOA way is the fact that for all intents and purposes, a Turkish VOA is a Turkish e-Visa… The only real difference between the two is the visa fees, $80 for the VOA compared to $60 for the Turkish e-Visa, and the certainty of being allowed to enter Turkey, or even your flight, for that matter…
The visa fee you’ll be expected to pay for your Turkish e-Visa varies from nationality to nationality. The easiest way to check how much you’ll pay is to go to Turkey’s e-Visa application portal and select your country. As soon as you enter your nationality and complete the security verification, the portal will report how much it will cost you. Nifty!
No matter where in the world you travel from, you’ll always need a valid passport to travel to Turkey. According to the Turkish government, a valid passport is a passport with an expiration date of 60 days beyond the duration of stay. So if you are staying in Turkey until 31 December 2021, your passport will need to be valid until 2 March 2022.
A Turkey e-Visa is only valid for the travel purposes of Tourism and Business. If you need to travel to Turkey for any other reason, you’ll need to contact your nearest Turkish embassy or Turkish consulate.
The Turkish e-Visa fee is in US dollars, but you don’t need a USD account to make the payment.
According to the website, you can only make payment using a Mastercard, Visa, or UnionPay credit/debit card. You’ll also need to ensure that the card is authorized for international payments and that it has the “3D Secure System”. However, as you’ll see in a moment, you may meet all of these requirements and still get an “Error” when trying to make payment for your Turkish e-Visa.
As I mentioned earlier, you can start your Turkey e-Visa application by navigating to their webportal. After reporting your nationality, passport-type (chances are likely that you’ll have an “ordinary passport”), and completing the security verification, you’ll need to enter the date on which you want to arrive in Turkey.
I was then directed to a page where I needed to enter all of my personal details, and my US passport number. You’ll usually find the passport number in the upper right corner of your biometrics page. Complete all of this, and you’ll be presented with the last chance to edit any of the details provided. As with any bureaucratic process, caution is the best route - I slowly read through my details and found I made two mistakes!
If you’re happy with your application, you can proceed and the Turkish authorities will send you an email confirming your application. Simply check your inbox and click on the approve button on the email. Next, you’ll be taken to the payment portal for your Turkish e-Visa. If you are able to make a payment without issue, you simply need to wait 24 hours for your Turkish e-Visa to be processed. If not, you have the above-mentioned options available to you.
As soon as your payment is processed, your Turkish e-Visa is approved, and your payment is accepted, you’ll receive an email where you can download your e-Visa as a PDF. Now, all you have to do is print it out and present it when you are boarding your flight.
Unfortunately, the list of problems goes on. Sometimes when trying to access the government's web portal, you'll find it doesn't work. Now, this isn't always the case. However, the inconsistency is frustrating. I recommend following the links provided in this post when applying for your Turkey e-Visa. If all else fails, try using another device when applying. It seems that this problem is an internal problem and not a user problem.
We hope this article helped you and you have a breathtaking trip through Turkey.
Wishing you happy travels,
Andrew and Hannah