Why Dominica passport holders are no longer eligible for the Turkey e-visa

Why Dominica passport holders are no longer eligible for the Turkey e-visa
Published on: 13 March 2024

The Dominica passport is recognized as one of the powerful passports that enable its holders to travel to a vast number of sought-after destinations around the world, either visa-free or with a visa upon arrival. Turkey has long been one of those prominent destinations where Dominica passport holders could easily obtain a visa upon arrival. As a more convenient alternative to avoid possible crowds and waiting times at Turkish airports for completing the procedures to obtain a Turkish visa upon arrival, some citizens of Dominica were applying online for the Turkish electronic visa (e-Visa), which could be applied for and received quickly and effortlessly. However, recent changes have made these options unavailable for travelers to Turkey with a Dominica passport. Initially, there were reports that some of these travelers were not allowed to enter Turkey and were sent back, being asked to apply for a Turkish sticker visa instead. It was eventually confirmed that Dominica is no longer among the nationalities eligible to obtain a Turkish e-Visa, nor are they eligible for a visa on arrival.

Through this article, we will provide an overview of how this change in visa policy unfolded and the stages it went through, from the initial ambiguity and lack of clear vision at first to the final and definitive confirmation that citizens of Dominica are no longer eligible to obtain a Turkish visa upon arrival or to apply for a Turkish e-Visa. In conclusion, we will discuss the impact of this change on the strength of the Dominica passport.

Traveling to Turkey with a Dominica passport

If you are a citizen of Dominica and have traveled to Turkey for business purposes or for a tourist vacation in the past few months, then you are undoubtedly aware of how easy it was to travel to Turkey with a Dominica passport. All you had to do was book a plane ticket and apply online for the Turkish e-Visa through a very simple three-step process: filling out an application that takes only a few minutes, then paying the fees electronically using a credit or debit card or other online payment methods, and finally receiving the Turkey e-visa via your email in record time, usually on the same day of submitting the application. Or if you were in a hurry and decided to travel suddenly without prior planning, you would still be able to obtain a visa upon arrival. This essentially meant that Turkey was generally considered one of the visa-free travel destinations for Dominica passport holders.

However, if you plan to travel to Turkey in the coming days, things are no longer as smooth, as citizens of Dominica can no longer obtain a Turkish e-Visa or a visa upon arrival. Instead, these travelers now need to apply in advance for a regular Turkish visa before traveling. This sticker visa process may take several days and typically requires the applicant’s personal attendance at one of the Turkish embassies, consulates, or visa centers. So, how and why did this sudden change occur, and how did the conflicting information provided by reliable travel information sources initially lead to a state of unclear vision among many travelers? Let’s closely examine the information previously provided by these sources regarding this change in visa policy and delve into the various stages it has undergone.

  • The Turkish e-Visa Official Portal: Many applicants who regularly used the electronic portal for Turkish e-Visa were initially surprised to encounter a message when they selected Dominica nationality. This message informed them that the country they had selected was not eligible for applying for the electronic visa. They were advised to contact the nearest Turkish mission to apply for a visa to enter Turkey. This result began to appear to applicants suddenly without prior announcement or disclosure of reasons, leading many to speculate that it was just a temporary technical error. Regardless of the reason, this prevented holders of Dominica passports from obtaining a Turkish e-Visa. Consequently, they were faced with two options: either to travel directly to obtain the visa upon arrival as usual or to apply for a regular Turkish visa. However, this naturally became a cause for concern for travelers, some of whom attempted to contact the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for verification. The responses they received indicated that holders of Dominica passports were no longer eligible for the electronic visa or visa upon arrival.
  • Airlines and Travel Agencies: In cases where the situation is not sufficiently clear, airlines and travel agencies take precautions and warn travelers about the consequences of traveling. In such cases, airlines often do not allow passengers to board flights, and some may allow passengers to board flights at their own risk, especially in this situation where the circumstances were entirely unclear. However, it was later confirmed by some airlines that some of these passengers were returned and informed of the necessity to obtain a regular Turkish visa before traveling.
  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA): It is the official umbrella organization that includes all international airlines, totaling around 290 airlines worldwide. It relies on a database used by almost all airlines, which includes information collected from over 1,000 official sources worldwide. Therefore, it is considered the most accurate and reliable source regarding international travel requirements and visa policies. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) issues a monthly publication called the “Travel Information Manual,” which includes travel requirements for all countries worldwide, including visa requirements, health regulations, customs, and more. According to the February 2024 edition of the Travel Information Manual issued by IATA, citizens of Dominica could obtain a visa upon arrival in Turkey for a maximum stay of 90 days. However, the March 2024 edition of the same publication (issued a few days before the beginning of the month) contains an important update, stating that Dominica is no longer among the eligible nationalities for obtaining a visa to Turkey upon arrival.

It is evident from the information provided that there has been a change in Turkey’s visa policy. Consequently, Turkey is no longer among the destinations that holders of Dominica passports can travel to without a prior visa or obtain a visa upon arrival. Additionally, the option to apply for a Turkish e-Visa is no longer available. The sole available option for traveling to Turkey with a Dominica passport is to apply through the nearest Turkish representation or visa center to obtain a regular Turkish sticker visa. No one knows exactly the reason for this shift or why it was not announced publicly. However, it is noteworthy that this occurred almost simultaneously with holders of Haitian passports finding themselves also in need of a regular visa to travel to Turkey after being eligible for visa upon arrival and electronic visa.

Dominica Passport

The Impact on the Ranking of the Dominica Passport

While Dominica passport holders now require a visa to travel to Turkey, it’s worth noting that the process of obtaining a regular Turkish visa is relatively straightforward and doesn’t involve significant complexities, unlike visa applications for other prominent destinations like the United States or Canada, for example. Additionally, applying with the strong Dominica passport generally enhances the applicant’s chances of approval compared to passports from lower-ranked countries.

On the other hand, despite this change in visa policy, it seems to have minimal impact on the Dominica passport’s ranking, currently ranked 34th on the Guide Passport Index. Dominica passport holders still enjoy visa-free access to 141 countries and territories, including renowned tourist and business hubs such as France, Germany, Spain, Greece, other Schengen countries, as well as China, Singapore, South Korea, and others, underscoring the resilience of this Caribbean passport.

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