Travel Visa Guide

Travel Visa Guide

One of the most complicated and annoying travel planning tasks has been sorting out our travel visas. For each country we hope to visit there are so many questions that need to be answered:

  • Do we need a visa and if so, what type?
  • How much will the visa cost?
  • How long will it last?
  • How far in advance can we apply for the visa?
  • What documents do we need to apply for a visa?
  • How and where do we make the visa application?

Yes, sorting out our travel visas so far has been one big headache.  One of the biggest problems is that it’s hard to find one central source of visa advice. We referred to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the first instance to try and find out about our travel visas. Although this gave a good overall view, more often than not we had to do further research by contacting each individual country embassy ourselves. We’ve put together this guide from our own painstaking hours of research in an attempt to help other travellers figure out how to apply for their travel visas.

Travel Visa Guide

Copyright Mondayne on Flickr

How to Get a Visa

Each country has its own visa process, requirements, regulations and fees – so you’ll need to research this in advance. Here’s what we’ve found out about the visa requirements for the first few countries on our travel itinerary:

We’ll add to this list as we apply for other visas on our round the world trip.

Travel Visa Requirements

We’ve found that different countries require different documents for visa applications. In the strictest instances we’ve had to provide bank statements to prove we’re solvent and onward tickets, travel itineraries and letters from our parents to prove we’re not planning to stay in the country long-term. In contrast, some countries have only asked us to fill in an online visa application or produce a valid passport on arrival. The amount and type of documents that you need to produce seems to vary depending on:

  • What country you’re from
  • Which country you want to travel to
  • How long you want to stay
  • Whether you want to work in the country or not

Visa Fees

Visas can be expensive. While some short-term tourist visas are free, often you’ll have to pay and certain countries charge a hefty fee, especially if you want to stay in the country for longer than a few weeks. So, it’s always best to research how much your visa will cost so you weigh up the options and factor these costs into your travel budget.

  • Shane
    Posted at 16:30h, 25 November Reply

    Us Brits are lucky we don’t need visas to too many countries. The Thai visa, with all its extensions and waivers, is the one that has troubled us the most but I think we have finally figured out our stategy.

    • Amy
      Posted at 20:07h, 25 November Reply

      Hey Shane – yes, I think we’re lucky too. What’s your Thai visa strategy? We’re also puzzling over that still!

      • Shane
        Posted at 04:02h, 26 November Reply

        When I say I’ve figured out our stategy what I mean is I wrote it down on a piece of paper and lost it again. Now I try to explain it it is unravelling before my eyes and my head hurts but I think it goes something like this:

        We will fly in so we will get 30 days on the visa fee entry then we will exit the country. This is where it gets a bit hazy: we either get the 60+30 tourist visa in one of the neighbouring countries, at the border or back in Thailand after entering on another (15 day) visa free. I think we’ll figure this bit out once we are in Thailand.

        We’ll certainly get the 60+30 as the visa free seems to be valid for only 90 days in 180 (though I’m getting contradictory info on this) and it will cut out a couple of visa runs. Chiang Mai, where we may be staying for a while, also seems to be a good place to get the extension.

        • Amy
          Posted at 09:31h, 26 November Reply

          Ha – yes, it suddenly starts getting complicated when you try writing it down. We would also like to get a 60+30 day visa while we’re out there if we can, although I think we’ll have to wait and see how that goes too!

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