When we plan a trip, we think about things like transportation, accommodations, and activities while we’re there. Countless times, we’ve heard of people forgetting to obtain a Visa before arriving at the airport. By then they are being denied access to their flight, and those that aren’t may be denied access to the country they set out for upon arrival. Here’s a quick reminder to get that visa and a little sneak peek into what you can expect from the process.
Do a Little Research
No matter where you’re traveling outside your home country, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research about whether or not you will need a visa. Additionally, when looking into this, you should consider the amount of time that you will be in a foreign country. Staying over a certain number of days may be cause for requiring a visa. Also, the intent of your trip can help you understand and decide what visa you will need to apply for. Whether you’re inquiring for tourism or for business, as well as if you are looking as an immigrant or nonimmigrant; will play a part in visa selection.
There are multiple websites that will tell you which countries require visas and the length of time you can stay. If you have any hesitation about the validity of websites, you can always call the embassy for the country that you will be traveling to; in order to verify any information you are unsure about. They will be able to give you accurate information and direct you to their official government immigration webpage, if necessary.
Once you’ve found the official government immigration webpage, or speak to an embassy representative, you will have further information about how to apply for your visa; whether you can do it online or if you need to mail it. Along with your completed application form, you will need supporting documents which may include: letter of invitation, photocopy of passport, travel insurance, proof of purpose of travel, visa application fees, etc*.
This process does not have a one size fits all timetable. The application process is different based on the country that you are traveling to, the type of visa you’re applying for, and the way you apply. There are online visas that may be granted almost immediately after being submitted, while other application types may take much longer. Once you know if your destination requires a visa for entry, you should begin the process. This will eliminate the possibility of running out of time before you depart for your trip.
Once you have been approved for a visa, you should note the form in which you will need to present this information upon arrival into the foreign country. Electronic visas can be stored in a database and are linked to an individual’s passport number. Usually, this form of visa comes with a paper document to carry during travel in case of emergency. There are also traditional visas that are either stamped or glued into your passport. Just as with all travel documents; it is a good idea to bring a back-up form in case of emergency.
It is important to note that even if a visa is not required, there are a few things that still must be available in order for you to travel abroad. These items may include but are not limited to: a passport with at least one blank page that is valid at least 6 months after your scheduled trip, proof of sufficient funds, proof of return flights, and all documents required for your next destination*.
Although this may seem like a daunting task; visas are a necessary part of certain travel plans. Make Sure you look into this as soon as you begin your planning for a smoother and less stressful process. Be sure to travel protected even if travel insurance isn’t necessary for your visa application. Having travel protection in your back pocket may help you in a stressful situation. Talk to your travel advisor today to obtain a plan or visit our website!