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VISAS - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

Are you looking for visa requirements information?

What is a visa and why do I need one?
A visa is a temporary permission from a foreign country to enter their region. For some countries no visas are required. When they are required, generally visa requirements are reciprocated between countries. For example, if the United Kingdom requires a certain nationality to have a visa to visit the UK, then UK citizens would likely need a visa to visit that country. These arrangements and their details, change continuously on a global scale as political, trade, and other relations change between different countries. We update our information as soon as possible after these changes occur.

What is the difference between TOURIST VISAS, BUSINESS VISAS, TRANSIT VISAS and TOURIST CARDS?
A Tourist Visa is generally only available for holiday purposes or for visiting relatives.
Some countries require various documents and details from you before they issue this type of visa. These can include; an authorisation from their foreign ministry, an invitation from relatives, airline tickets, hotel bookings, your itinerary in that country or proof of special amounts of funds.

A Business Visa is usually only issued if you are travelling on business purposes. A letter from your company explaining the nature of your business and a letter of invitation from business you are visiting in the foreign country is normally required.
Please be aware that business visas are not the same as a working permit.

A Transit Visa is designed for shorter journeys, normally of up to 5 days, across a country. They are usually only valid for a short time from their issue. Evidence of onward travel outside the country is normally required. Extensions to transit visas can often be obtained once you are within the country. Ask other travellers when you are there to find the best place to do this.

A Tourist Card is a visa required for all foreign nationalities by several Central American countries (formal name 'FM-T Visa'). It is usually free or subject to a small fee and is normally available on arrival. Visitors staying in border regions are normally exempt.

Are there special health requirements?
Only some countries require special health documents at the border, such as yellow fever vaccination certificates. Each visa information page links to our health pages for details on specific countries.

How long can I stay in the country?
The standard length of visas varies from 14 to 180 days. Please consult our agency. For some countries extensions are possible when you are in the country.

How many Photos do I need?
Normally only one photo is needed but some countries require up to four. Some Islamic countries will require women to have their heads covered with a dark scarf. See specific country pages for details.

How many Forms do I need to fill out?
Some countries require more than one completed form. See specific country pages for details.

I have been told that I need supporting documentation, what is that?
Some countries such as Russia require official support documentation. This normally constitutes a letter from your tour company or by the business you are visiting, detailing your planned itinerary.

Can I get my visa upon arrival?
Flights - Many countries provide visas in offices within their airports. This is normally only a formality, only very special circumstances should prevent you from being issued a visa. Waiting times can be quite long however.

Land Borders - Often, only certain border crossings will issue visas. It is also common for it to be much easier to obtain a visa at one particular crossing point rather than another. Generally only single entry visas are available here and again, waiting times can be long. You may also be 'invited to pay a little extra' to grease the wheels of officialdom. We recommend that where possible, you obtain your visas before arrival.

What is required?
A combination of various different documents can be required before visas are issued, but a passport or official national ID card is always required. See specific country pages for details.

How long does my passport need to be valid?
Most countries want to see at least 6 months of validity on your passport after you leave their country. To avoid possible delays in your application, you should calculate this and obtain a new passport before you apply if necessary.

How long is my visa valid?
Visas often have two time periods incorporated within them. First is the time you have from the date of issue of the visa before you have to ENTER the country. Second is the time you can spend WITHIN the country. An example might be: A six-month visa where entry must be within 3 months. Usually a visa is valid for 30, 90, 180 or 365 days from the date of issue. Please see individual country pages for specific details.

Expired visas can not be updated or changed. You need to go through the whole application process again. Extensions to visas are available in some countries but not in others. You may find you have to leave the country, wait for your visa to expire, apply for and obtain a new visa, and then return to the original country. This is the case in INDIA at the moment.


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