The Ins and Outs of Obtaining an International Visa

The Ins and Outs of Obtaining an International Visa


Last updated March 29, 2019 4 minutes read

Traveling around the world can be a fun, exciting journey. However, it can also be full of risks, complications, and hassles, making it tough to travel for work from country to country. According to the Huffington Post, a visa is a document that grants a person access into a country for a predetermined length of time for school, travel, or work

An international visa is important as it grants you access into other countries. However, the details can be tricky and the requirements – and costs – differ depending on which nation you choose. Here are a few tips that will help you obtain an international visa:

Acquire an Advance Visa Before Traveling

The first thing you should do before moving or even traveling to a new country is look into a visa. Without this, it will be impossible for you to build a stable life in a different part of the world. In some cases, a tourist visa is required for a shorter stay or a transit visa if you are simply passing through the nation such as in Russia and Belarus.

To begin, look into the requirements of your host country. The U.S. Department of State provides a plethora of resources of each country’s visa information, such as restrictions, security details, and cost. If you are planning on working, it is a safe bet that you’ll need an international work visa. No matter your country of origin, check in with your embassy or local government office if you have any questions. 

Look into Visa Fees and Requirements

As you begin the research process, make sure you look into the costs and the process of obtaining a visa for your specific country. Many nations have a opaque, cumbersome application process with hefty fees and labyrinthine forms. Some use it as a source of  generate revenue and to reduce tourism, The Economist reported.

For example,The Economist noted that the U.K. requires Chinese tourists to fill out a ten-page form in English. The end result has been fewer people visiting the country. Instead, many head to France, where visa requirements are more lax – and cheaper to manage. Only 18% of Chinese tourists visit the U.K, while two-thirds of them visit France.

Meanwhile, Americans visitors pay high visa fees in some South American countries based on reciprocity charges. In addition, you may encounter higher fees if you head to a less developed nation, as many governments see visas as a way to boost revenue. Americans pay about a $200 visa fee to visit Burkina Faso.

Additionally for Russia, the visa requirements are stringent as sponsorship is required. Even if you are traveling for a short duration, you will need a tourist visa, which is only valid for two weeks with a $140 visa application fee.

Apply for The Right Visa

The documents you need to enter a country differ depending on your reason for visiting that country. Therefore, you should make sure you are applying for the right visa for your needs.

For instance, the U.S. has several categories for expats. There are two main distinctions: immigrant and non-immigrant. You may also fall under specialty occupations, such as a government-sponsored researcher. Or, you could have special abilities, such as international fame in the arts and sciences. Determining the right categorization for you can lead to a smooth, seamless transition abroad.

Most Countries Have Visa Free Access

There are also many countries in which you can visit without a visa. If you have a Danish, British, or American passport, then you can have visa-free access to over 166 countries according to Henley & Partners. While Chinese and Afghan travelers can visit 41 and 26 countries respectively without visas.

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