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Us and Turkey Lift Reciprocal Visa Restrictions

In a great start to 2018, the US has announced it will resume non-immigrant visa services for Turkish citizens in its Ankara embassy, a move which was immediately reciprocated by the Turkish Consulate in Washington D.C., effectively ending the US Turkey visa ban.

In October of 2017, the US suspended visa services for Turkish citizens following the arrest by the Turkish government of a US Consulate employee of Turkish nationality.

The US Embassy in Ankara made an announcement that it will resume visa services thanks to assurances by the Turkish government that its staff members would be safe.

"Based on adherence to these assurances, the Department of State is confident that the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow for the full resumption of visa services in Turkey," the U.S. Embassy in Ankara said on December 28th. The Turkish Consulate in Washington DC announced that it too would resume non-immigrant visa services for US Citizens going to Turkey. However, they took issue with the US's statement on government assurances.

"Regarding the assurances expressed in the US statement, we would like to emphasize that Turkey is a state of law, and that our government has not provided any assurances concerning the ongoing judicial processes," the Turkish Embassy in Washington said in a statement.

"We do not find it right for the United States to claim it had received assurances from Turkey and misinform the U.S. and Turkish publics," the statement continued.

The two countries have had strained relations since the arrest of the aforementioned US Consulate employee of Turkish nationality in October 2017 for alleged ties to the failed coup against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

The reinstatement of visa services is hoped to help smooth relations between the two countries, although no date was given when visa services would begin again. According to some reports, the first interview appointments were only available in January 2018 for Turks seeking most types of US visa.

Non-immigrant visas in question include student, tourist, media and work visas.

Even with the positive reports of visa reinstatement, however, relations between the US and Turkey remain far from ideal. The diplomatic situation between the two NATO allies has been strained for several years, and experts see little chance of bilateral relations improving in the near future. If you are a Turkish citizen and have any questions about obtaining a US for work, study or tourism, please feel free to contact us for help through the process.