I am an Indian citizen, resident in Germany. My wife is also resident here. We are going to Turkey for a tourist visit next month. We obtained e-visas for that purpose.

After getting the visas, I came to know about some plastic surgery in Turkey that is quite expensive in Germany and my wife is keen to have it in Istanbul at the much cheaper price. I inquired about this through the Turkish online visa application system and it turned out that, for medical purposes one needs to apply at the Consulate and an e-visa is valid only for tourism and business purposes.

I would like to know, being a tourist, if my wife wants to undergo the surgery, will it be illegal in Turkish law?

Will the hospital check for her visa before giving her the treatment?

The problem is that if I need to apply via a consulate I don't now have much time.

Update: To clear any confusion, my purpose of visit is Tourism. If the medical treatment is not legal, I am not going to do that, but that's not going to stop me visiting Turkey. So, what I am saying, the sole purpose of my visit is not medical, rather my purpose is Tourism. But if its legal to have a treatment (not Emergency), then I will go for that.

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    You indicate I inquired the matter in turkish online visa application system and it turned out that, for medical purpose one need to apply at the consulate and e-visa is valid only for tourism and business purpose. Does that not answer your question very clearly? Your question should be closed. Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 17:12
  • You've been told by the Turkish government that you would require a different visa. "Require" means that the law requires it. Something that is not as the law requires is illegal. I don't understand why, after asking an official source and being told something, you seem to think that random people on the internet will have the authority to say the opposite. Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 17:12

2 Answers 2


The consulate answer is correct. There is a special visa for medial treatment:



d) Medical Treatment Purposes

Thus indeed it would be illegal under Turkish law.

Regarding having not much time, you might consider spending more time on a hospital research. Plastic surgery could end up badly, and you usually have no recourse at all. Medical training and conditions of hospitals also vary a lot, so there are things to look at besides the price alone. And good doctors are likely to have a waiting list. Thus you might consider spending some time on this trip visiting some hospitals and inquiring about treatment, schedule an appointment, then fly back and apply for a proper visa.

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    That there is a special visa for medical treatment, does not mean that you are not allowed to receive medical treatment when visiting Turkey on an e-Visa or a regular tourist visa.It could simply be that the medical visa is easier to obtain for persons otherwise not eligible for a tourist visa if they want to spend money in Turkey for a medical treatment and even when visiting as a tourist, you are obviously allowed to receive e.g. emergency medical treatment. Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 19:28
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    There is an obvious difference between visiting for the purpose of receiving medical treatment, and visiting for sightseeing and needing medical treatment as an emergency.
    – George Y.
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 2:04
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    I don't see that obvious difference and I don't see the relevance, even if there was one. The OP is planning to go as a tourist and when there, make use of an offer for cheap medical treatment and not travel to Turkey only for the purpose of medical treatment. I also don't see any obvious difference between a tourist going e.g. to a hairdresser, paying for a service to get fixed up (which should be withing the realm of any tourist visa) and a tourist going to a medical center, paying there for plastical refurbishing. Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 2:15
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    You somehow ignored the fact that Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (and Turkish Consulate) clearly see this difference - they created a dedicated visa exactly for this purpose. What you're trying to say that despite this being against the law, one might get away with it. However this is not what OP asked.
    – George Y.
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 2:30
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    Where do you get it from that the MFA or some Turkish consulate see such difference? The page you are linking to from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not say that you are not allowed to get medical treatment when visiting on a tourist visa and there is nothing in the question indicating that the guidance the OP received came from a Turkish consulate. Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 2:42

There are two very different points here.

If your purpose of travel is strictly for medical treatments (also called medical tourism), then you need a special visa type; and additional documentation - usually from the host hospital that you are arriving for such and such a treatment and are expected to stay for X number of days/week and who is bearing the cost.

If, God forbid, you are in the country as a tourist and face a medical emergency or need to have a procedure done - you will not be denied medical care.

In other words, it is not illegal for you to get medical care while in country as a tourist. In fact, for some countries medical insurance is a requirement to apply for the visit visa.

Now, if your purpose of travel is only to get the cosmetic procedure done - then I suggest you use this visit to research the hospitals (just like anything else that has a large profit margin - medical tourism is also rife with scams and unregulated operators) and let the hospital tell you what the next procedure should be to get the treatment.

Reputable institutions will be able to arrange for you a medical visit visa application which you can then apply for once back.

Keeping in mind you may be entitled to special provisions under the medical tourism visa vs. a tourist visa.

  • Couldn't OP also extend his tourist visit and make the medical treatment 'incidental'?
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 5:14
  • @JonathanReez AFAIK, tourist visas are not extentable in Turkey. Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 5:17
  • No, as in he keeps the same visa duration but spends 16 days as a tourist and 14 days in the hospital. Hence tourism would be the main purpose.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 5:20
  • @JonathanReez that sounds like visa fraud to me.
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 12:54

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