Ankara is putting “certain limits” on visa applications in its diplomatic missions after Washington’s move to suspend visa proceedings with Turkey, Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdağ said on Dec. 20.
The U.S. Embassy in Turkey on Dec. 19 announced that the earliest date for visa appointments regarding non-immigrant applicants in its diplomatic missions in Turkey is January 2019.
When asked about the statement from the embassy, Akdağ said Ankara was also mutally imposing “certain limits” in terms of visa proceedings with Washington.
“There is a need to address this issue as a whole. Mutuals steps had been taken. There is a necessity to ease citizens’ work at this point. Work of U.S. citizens was also made difficult after this recent approach by the U.S,” he said.
“We, as the Republic of Turkey, also have certain limits in terms of visas. I think this meaningless approach should immediately be put aside,” Akdağ added.
A U.S. Embassy official told the Hürriyet Daily News on Dec. 19 that visa appointments for student travel or urgent medical reasons are exceptions to the announced January 2019 timeperiod and will be prioritized.
Professionals such as businesspeople and journalists who need an urgent visa can also apply through an accelerated visa section and the consulates will provide expedited visa appointments before February 2019 if convinced of the necessary urgency, the official stated.
Last month, the U.S. Embassy in Turkey announced that it begun proceeding non-immigrant visa applications in Turkey on a limited basis, after receiving “assurances” from Ankara on future investigations.
In October, Washington halted issuing visas at its missions in the country, citing the detention of two of its local employees, which drew an immediate retaliation from Ankara.