Travel and Visas

When we travel, especially if you’re travelling within the EU, or just within your own country, you don’t think much about visas and immigration. Once you plan a trip outside of that familiar place you call home, you are, at some point, going to need to pass through Immigration, and you will need to have that all important entry visa in your passport.

The visa requirements vary from one country to the next, and are also dependant up on which passport you are travelling under. There are several types of visa that you can be issued. The most common ones you will encounter as a traveller will most likely be:

- Transit visa

- Airside transit visa

- Tourist visa

- On-arrival visa

- Electronic visa

Transit visa. These visas are issued to people that are passing through a country on their way to another destination. They allow you to entry the transit country for a limited period.

Airside transit visa. This is a special class of visa that is required by some countries for passing through the airport even if you never pass through immigration, and do not have any intention of entering the country. The UK, for example, is one of the countries that requires Airside transit visas for travellers from some countries.

Tourist visa. This is the most common visa for most travellers. This visa is valid for a limited period, and does not allow you to work. You may be required to obtain this visa in advance by applying at the local embassy or consulate of the country you wish to visit.  Some countries will issue the visa when you arrive… for a fee.

On-arrival visa. This is a visa, typically a stamp in your passport, that is issued on arrival.  You may have to pay a fee to get it, or it may be free.

Electronic visa. This is a new visa type that is starting to show up more and more.  Your visa application and approval is stored online, and it is tied to your passport number.  You will see this mainly in Australia and New Zealand, although other countries are beginning to implement this new process.

How do you know if you need a visa? Where do you go to get one?  This all depends on what country you are a citizen of.  The easiest way to discover the visa requirements for someone with your particular citizenship is to search on “travel advisory” and the country you have citizenship in.

A few quick links.

British: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/

American: http://travel.state.gov/travel/travel_1744.html

Canadian: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

 

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