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United States – U.S. Missions in Turkey Cease Non-Immigrant Visa Processing

United States – U.S. Missions in Turkey Cease

This report covers the suspension of U.S. non-immigrant visa application processing by U.S. diplomatic missions in Turkey.


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Last weekend, the U.S. Consulate General in Turkey announced that non-immigrant visa (NIV) processing at the missions in Turkey will be suspended indefinitely as of Tuesday, October 10, 2017.

John Bass, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, clarified1 that the reason for the suspension of these services was due to the arrest of one of the embassy’s key Turkish staff for “espionage and attempting to overthrow the Turkish government and constitution,”2 without illumination or clarification by the Turkish law enforcement authorities.

In turn, the government of Turkey announced the immediate suspension of visa services to U.S. citizens, effective October 8, 2017.3


Any foreign nationals normally eligible for NIV processing at the Turkish consular posts will be unable to have their visa applications processed until further notice.  Further, U.S. citizens who require a visa to enter Turkey will not be able to complete visa processing at this time.

  • The types of affected U.S. non-immigrant visas include: business, student, visitor, diplomatic, and several other types of bilateral visas. 
  • The persons affected will include any individual or group seeking an affected visa type within Turkey.  Typically, foreign nationals are encouraged to apply for their NIVs in their home country or country of permanent residence.  In the case of Turkish nationals and permanent residents, this will not be possible until the suspension is lifted. 


Please keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • If an affected foreign national is currently outside the U.S., or has imminent travel that cannot be deferred, please contact an immigration attorney to discuss options, which may include applying as a third-country national at a U.S. consular post outside of Turkey.
  • If an affected foreign national is still within the U.S., and NIV processing is required to return to the U.S., it may be preferable to refrain from international travel until NIV processing in Turkey resumes.  Please discuss any travel with an immigration attorney prior to departure from the United States.
  • U.S. citizens seeking to travel to Turkey should consult with an authorized Turkish immigration adviser prior to travel or applying for a visa.


1  See Ambassador John Bass’ statement from October 9, 2017.

2  For additional information, see “US and Turkey Suspend Bilateral Non-immigrant Visa Services,” in the National Post online (October 8, 2017).  Please note this is a 3rd party, non-KPMG Web site, that does not represent the opinions of KPMG Law LLP nor does KPMG Law LLP endorse it.

3  For additional information, see “Message for U.S. Citizens: Government of Turkey Suspension of Visas to U.S. Citizens on October 8, 2017” (October 9, 2017) on the Web site for the U.S. Embassy in Ankara

Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services.  However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.   

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.

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