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So I'm a US citizen that's planning to be in Turkey from Nov 23 to Nov 28 of this year.

It looks like the earliest arrival date I can currently select for a Turkish eVisa is https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/arrivaldate/ Oct 13 but that has a validity date from Oct 13, 2019 to Apr 9, 2020, which includes the dates I plan on being in Turkey in so is it okay if I say my arrival date is Oct 13 when it's actually Nov 23?

Alternatively, I could just hold off on applying for an eVisa until Nov 23 is an available option...

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For US citizens, Turkish eVisa's are nothing more than a formality. No details are asked during the application process beyond the basics like your name and passport details, and their approval is automatic once you have over your credit card details.

There is absolutely nothing stopping you from applying now, as long as your planned entry visit is within the 6 months validity of the visa. The Turkish eVisa site confirms this :

Do I need to enter Turkey on the exact date specified in my application?

No. The validity period of your e-Visa begins from the date specified in your application. You can enter Turkey on any date within this period.

However as a general recommendation it's probably better to wait until closer to your trip. The main advantage of this is that it will give you a later end date for your visa, which might avoid you needing to get another visa if you decided to return to Turkey within 6 months of when you apply. The second advantage is that if for some reason your trip doesn't go ahead, you will not have wasted the money for the visa (although at only $20 that's not a major issue)

There is one potential benefit for applying early. There is a history of visa issues between the US and Turkey, and for some time in 2017/2018 Turkey suspended issuance of eVisas to US citizens. Whilst there is no expectation that this will occur again, applying now will guarantee that you would not be affected if something like that did happen.

Personally I normally apply for Turkish visas a day or two before I arrive, although I have applied as late as a few minutes before passing through immigration (literally whilst standing in the immigration line!) without any issues.

  • And that IST used to have eVisa kiosks until last year – Hanky Panky Jul 14 at 16:48
  • With the current US head of state's short temper, complete lack of diplomatic sensitivity and foul language, I would as a US citizen assume that visiting rights to any country, not only Turkey, could any time be interrupted on a very short notice. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jul 14 at 19:47
  • I've never seen an eVisa kiosk at IST. They do (did?) have visa on arrival, but it was more expensive, and not automated. They were planning to get rid of this, but kept putting it off so I'm not sure if they did it at the new IST airport or not. – Doc Jul 15 at 1:34
  • At the old one, Ataturk. I am 100% confident i saw the eVisa kiosks last time there in 2017, They are not there any longer. In any case it just supports your answer that applying for an eVisa really close to the flight is not a problem. Here is a reference: facebook.com/348118425279478/posts/… – Hanky Panky Jul 15 at 5:55

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