Visa issues are different for different passport holders and for different destinations, that’s kind of obvious right? When in doubt just google “visa to ____ for a ____ citizen”. Easy. Depending on your country of origin and your passport you will get different results. But let’s cover a few more common issues.
- Option one: you do NOT need a visa.
Yay! Congrats! You are the lucky citizen of X travelling to destination Y without visa needed. That’s great news but still, check out how long you can stay in the country visa-free. You might get a stamp in the airport and those guys in the custom control will most definitely check your in-out dates. If you stay longer than allowed you are risking to get a fine (happened to me in Indonesia). This information might be useful for trip planning (when you are buying tickets in advance as well as when you decide to stay in a country with an open date).
- Option two: you DO NEED a visa.
Well, sounds like some paperwork right? Don’t panic, here you might also have two options. Some countries will give you a visa directly at the airport. You just have to fill in some forms, pass it to the custom control guys and get a new bright sticker in your passport. Easy. But again, do mind the days you are going to stay there.
And the worst case scenario: you need to obtain a visa in the embassy of the country you are travelling to from your home country (or country of your current residence). This is a little bit painful but really just a bit. All you need is to visit the website of the embassy, run through the list of documents needed to proceed with your visa application, collect them, make another [ugly] passport picture, get yourself an appointment (or just come there and wait in a line) and pass your documents to a person in charge. And wait. If it’s a simple tourist visa here’s the list of most common document required:
- Passport valid for at least 3 months after your trip;
- Photographs (usually just 2 passport-size picture, but check requirements for dimensions and background on the embassy web-page. Quite often embassies do have a Photo Booth for such needs);
- Cash for the visa;
- Proof of stay (printed confirmation of your hotel/apartment booking/invitation from a friend or family member);
- Return tickets;
- Proof of financial situation (bank statements showing that you have enough cash for your trip; depends on each county, easy to find on the website of the embassy/visa centre);
- Insurance for the entire trip (by the way, any recommendations on travel insurances?).
Again: that’s just the average list which may differ for each and every trip, but more or less it looks the same.
Some people prefer to use agencies to make sure that they will get the visa and that it will cost them less hassle. Well, it will cost you the same amount of papers to be collected, at least two times more in cash and no agency can give you a guarantee that you will get your visa. So my advice: study carefully the website of the embassy, prepare all the documents needed and go. Be friendly and polite to a person who will take your documents and wait for a positive result :)
But if you still prefer to let someone else deal with your paperwork, I’m your girl! I am not an agency but a traveller with a HUGE experience in all types of visas (from tourist to student to residencies). If you are looking to create a custom trip, want someone to help you to prepare the papers, find the best flights and awesome hotel/b&b deals – HIT ME UP! I have been a travel guru for myself, my friends and family for the last 10 years. I know my stuff ;)
Please feel free to comment and drop me a line through the contact form if you wish to hire me <3