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This is a large area to cover as an international website but in this “visa section” we show you some of the basics, pitfalls and shortcuts to simplifying the issue of whether or not you need to obtain tourism visas and or, the best way to go about obtaining one.
Do you need one, how do I go about getting one, how long does it last, am I eligible to get one, what if i need to stay longer. There are many variable here and we attempt to answer as many as possible.
Tip 0403 Visa requirements
A great one place for all, to check if you need a visa for a particular country to travel too, is on “Wikipedia” of your own country.
For Australians head to link below:- (taken on 26/07/2017)
This is a great start on finding “what and if” you need a visa for a particular country. Please note and bear in mind, that the government regulations change all the time and updated information does not always filter through and change quick enough.
A great rule of thumb is to always contact the embassy, consulate of the country or countries you are planning to travel to. Also how you enter a country has a bearing on what type of visa you might need.
Nowadays there are many countries that have reciprocal fee, visa waivers or electronic visa, travel cards, and freedom of movement.
It is becoming more and more easier to travel around the globe and less countries requiring pre-booked visa’s but do not get caught out. Visa on arrival and visa required are two different things.
If you’re booking via a “Travel Agent” they should have this all covered but you will pay a premium for this service and sometimes the cost of the visa is less than the cost of the agents fees.
Please factor into your costings the price of visa’s or the fees for entry. Although you may not need to pre apply/pay for a visa to many countries, there will be fees to pay.
If you are on a tight budget or are travelling economically, you will need to factor these costs into your travel budget.
Visa’s for a family of four could cost a hefty sum.
Generally it is just as easy to do it yourself and don’t be scared into having an agent do it for you. You will be told a whole heap of things to get you to use an agent rather than do it yourself. Of course, the agent wants your money!!
Basically an agent does exactly what you can do yourself. The only difference is that they do it all the time and “should” know the correct way to fill out the application forms. This is not always the case and in fact the travel agents sometimes use a sub-agent to do their work for them, making you pay even more for the privilege!
Most people will know that once a visa has been granted you have a set amount of time to enter the country the visa is granted for and mostly this is within the year it is granted. So there usually is no rush and you can plan the best time to send it off for your visa well before your departure date.
A great tip if you plan your travels well in advance, is to apply for postal visa’s out of peak times.
Tip 0404 Visa applications
This is and not limited to, just before and during summer school holidays, for example in the southern hemisphere, November, December and January and in the northern hemisphere, June, July and August. Time just before Easter and pre events like Olympics, World Cup, Commonwealth games and festivals of the country you intend visiting.
Other months are when the embassy's are less inundated with applications but always give yourselves plenty of time, as their offices have less staff at these times.
If there is more of an urgency about obtaining your visa, then you should find and contact the nearest consulate/embassy and book an appointment. Make sure you have all the relevant documents and check to see if you need any copies notarized prior to your appointment.
Remember our well used phrase, “Planning and Research.” A little research here will save you a bucket load of money and may even pay for the cost of another trip somewhere else later on. So save your pennies and do it yourself is our motto, if you are a confident traveller.
We will give you two classic examples of what we mean here but first of all make sure you go to the correct government official website for the country you intend to travel to.
Applying online for an American tourist visa (from Australia)
You may be directed to a website that looks like a government official visa application link, only to find out that you have gone to an acting agent and paid over AUD$100 for a $14 visa waiver.
Make sure you check closely the website URL
Applying online for a Brazilian visa (from Australia)
You may be told by an agent that they have a procedure in place to make sure the application is completed correctly. This maybe so but you pay a premium for this, at more than the cost of the visa itself.
If you are not confident about form filling and worried about errors, then by all means go this route
When you do it yourself, we agree it can be confusing but that is only because most people are filling this form in for a “one time” visit only.
The only main grey area for the online visa applications (this example) for entry to Brazil, is knowing what information is needed to scan and attach.
For the Brazilian Tourist Visa there are "three" areas on the last page that you need to scan and attach.
Make sure you have the correct format
Make sure you have the correct format
3. Relevant documentation
In most cases all you need is a copy of your Driver's licence, Travel itinerary, (proof of arrival and departure dates,) Sufficient funds, Address of accommodation you intend staying at and Copy of Passport.
Hard copies of the above will also need to be included when you send off your passport for visa stamping.
Don’t forget, when sending any important or legal document to send it by recorded or express post. You will need to track it or have some evidence of posting. This is a must do!
Doing this yourself will save you an agent's fee per person, of up to AUD$260 just for their service and not the cost of the visa itself!
Every country has it’s own regulations for visas, allowing tourism for varying periods of permitted stay.
For the traveller requiring a longer period of time to immerse themselves, there are ways to extend your stay, like extensions and leaving the country for a few hours and re-entry but for the average tourist the time frame permission is usually sufficient.
Basically it is not difficult to get a visa. Remember most countries rely on the travel and tourism industry and most are very accommodating.
Rule of thumb, make sure you have all the correct documentation needed for the visa you are applying for and make sure you read the application form thoroughly. Fully understand each section you are completing prior to sending it off or submitting.
Tip 0405 Carry additional passport photos
This is a great tip to bear in mind. Some countries still require an individual passport photo as you enter the country and having a few spares in the pocket of your passport holder is good advice.
It is far easier having some spares with you than queuing or trying to find a photo booth or shop in the country you are about to depart for arrival into the next country you intend getting too.
Tip 0158 Copy your passport
We cover this already in the passport section but mention this here as this is a good tip for visa evidencing.
Take a copy of your passport and email it to yourself especially the visa’s section of the countries you are currently travelling too.
This will probably be the only evidence of visa approval that you would be carrying with you whilst travelling.
You will still have some major issues to deal with if you lose your passport but at least you will have documentary evidence that you acquired a visa for travel.