As we all know, a visa is more than just an important “addition” to your passport; it is also a trace that allows you to keep the memory of past trips and to remember them simply by leafing through the pages. Without forgetting that it is above all an official document certified by a foreign country that allows you to stay in its territory for a certain period.
Well, so how can you get a visa for the next trip and who should you contact? Here is a collection of frequently asked questions that will put you on the right track.
Are all visas the same?
No, each country has different regulations. Some nations issue visas to specific categories of travelers (tourist, work, study, journalistic visas, etc.). Some visas are valid for a few days, others for several months. Some for a single entry, others for multiple entries (important aspect if you plan to make multiple entries and exits from the country). Costs and procedure also change. Some countries do not require a visa, such as those of the European Union for citizens who are part of the countries.
How to get the Visa?
Gather in-depth information, this is always the best advice. It is up to you to check if you need a visa – you cannot fully rely on your travel agency, airline or … your mom! Regulations change often, so don’t just do a quick Google search. Go to the source, or consult the embassy site of the country you plan to visit: you should find the most up-to-date information there, as well as telephone contacts.
There are agencies specialized in issuing visas that can follow the procedure for you, of course for a fee. If you are not going to pay for the service, you can search the site and see if there is any useful information for you.
What data will I need to provide to obtain the visa?
Usually you will be asked to fill in a form (often downloadable from the embassy website of the country you intend to visit). You will need to indicate basic personal data (name, date of birth, profession, passport number, travel period, and so on). You may also be asked to provide an address in the country of destination (the address of the accommodation where you will spend the first night is usually sufficient).
What else should I do?
It may be necessary to send your passport along with the request (use an express courier). Do this on time and when you have no other trips planned – the process may take a few weeks.
Other requirements could include passport-sized passport photos (taken in a particular way and sometimes signed on the back by an official), further details on the itinerary, your health and sufficient funds for the duration of your stay. In addition, for the issuing of the visa you will have to pay a sum for consular fees.
As is known, obtaining some visas is particularly complicated. Getting a visa to Russia, for example, is time-consuming, expensive, and filling out the online form is incredibly time-consuming and detailed. You will also need an invitation letter from someone in Russia (a hotel or travel agency). On the contrary, some visas are very easy to obtain. European citizens visiting Australia (including USA and Britain) can apply for an “eVisitor visa” by filling out a simple online form.