Are you taking an international trip? One of the vital things to do is take a look at your passport and travel documents. You will see that some of our tours state that people from certain countries may need a visa. Let’s have a look at what this document is, and how you can find out if you need one for your tour.
What is a visa?
The first important thing to know is that a visa is different from a passport. Everyone needs a passport when they travel, so they can show where they come from. It is issued by each country for their own citizens. It shows your photo, full name, birthday and gender. This is used to identify you at airports and borders between different countries.
A visa is something different. It is an official note placed in your passport that shows that you have permission to enter, leave or stay in a certain country. It normally also says how long you are allowed to stay and what you are allowed to do (i.e. work or travel). You also get different kinds of visas. The most common types are: Tourist/holiday, Student, Work/long stay and Transit visas.
Sometimes a visa can be used for more than one visit. Some kinds of visas you have to get before you go to the country, others you can get when you are there. Certain countries may ask for medical tests or a meeting before they allow a visa.
Do I need one?
You might. It depends on where you are from and where you are going. Different countries have different rules for people from other countries. You can find out by:
- Visit VisaHQ.com. They are the leaders of comprehensive visa information online. Go here to visit the site.
- Using Google. Just type in: Do visitors from <your country> need a visa for <the country you’re visiting>. Easy as that!
- Asking a travel agent in your country to help. Show them all the countries you plan to visit and ask for advice.
- Asking us once you’ve booked your tour.
How do I get one?
The process is a little different for every country. The first thing you can do is to find the website for the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting. Not sure what a consulate or embassy is? An embassy is the representative of a country’s government in another country. The consulate is the administration office in a foreign city. There can be more than one consulate in a country. They can mainly be found in capital cities. The consulate will normally have visa application forms available online that you can print and fill in at home. You will then have to post the original copies or take it to the consulate office in person.
Expat Explore travels to over 50 unique destinations. Here are a few helpful links to find out more about visa services of these countries:
- The Schengen Area is a coalition of 26 countries. You can find out more about this region’s visa laws on this Official Website.
- The United Kingdom consists of four countries – England, Scotland, Wales as well as Northern Ireland. Official Website
- Russia is not part of the Schengen states and you might need an additional visa when crossing the border from one of the neighboring countries. Official Website
- Croatia is part of the European Union, but not a Schengen state. Official Website
- Serbia is located in Europe but is not a Schengen State and not yet a member of the European Union. Some countries will not require visas for stays of up to 90 days while certain countries will need to obtain a visa to enter Serbia. Malaysian and Mauritian nationals definitely require a visa. Official Website.
- The Arab Republic of Egypt. Official Website
- The United State of America – there are different types of visas, if you’re going on tour then B2 tourist visa is what you’re looking for. Official Website
- Jordan visas to Jordan can be obtained upon arrival for travellers from most countries. Official Website
- South America:
- Argentina: Many countries do not need a visa to visit Argentina and will receive a 90-day travel stamp on arrival. Official Website
- Bolivia: There are three country categories and Type I countries do not need a visa to visit Bolivia. Official Website
- Brazil: Travellers to Brazil require a Visitor Visa (VIVIS) or will benefit from a visa waiver. You can apply for VIVIS either online or via the Brazilian consulate depending on your country of nationality. Official Website and list of Brazilian consulates around the world.
- Chile: Travellers to Chile will require a tourist visa. Visa requirements for Chile depend on your nationality. Official Website
- Colombia: Many countries do not need a visa to visit Colombia for tourism purposes. Official Website
- Costa Rica: Not all tourists visiting Costa Rica require a visa. It will depend on your nationality. Official Website
- Panama: Many countries benefit from visa exemption laws in Panama. Official Website
- Peru: Many countries do not need a visa to visit Peru for tourism purposes. Official Website
Do you need more help?
Here is a link to some more information about visas and how to get one, if you would like to read some more about this topic. Remember, we are always here to help you with anything you need to know about your tour. Just email or call us, so we can speak with you directly and help where possible.