Why do I need a visa?
As we know, a visa is not only a great addition to your passport, it allows you to immerse yourself in pleasant memories of your last trip as you flip through the pages. A visa is also an official document issued by a foreign country, which gives you the right to visit that country for a certain period of time.
Are all visas the same?
No, each country communicates with future visitors differently. Some countries issue special visas for specific visitors (tourist visa, business visa, visa for students and journalists and others). Some visas are only valid for a few days, some for several months, there are visas for single entry and multiple visits (important if you plan to cross the border several times). Visa prices vary, the application process is too. Some countries do not require visas, such as European Union countries (if you are a national of one of the European Union countries and plan to stay in their country for no more than 90 days).
How do I know if I need a visa?
Check everything carefully. Responsibility rests solely with you, not on the airline you use, not on your travel agent or mom. The requirements are constantly changing, so do not rely solely on a random Google search. Visit the website of the embassy of the country you are planning to visit. There you will find the most up-to-date information and a phone number that you can use to get more information. In addition, you can seek advice from your government. For example, UK citizens can apply to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which provides detailed advice on each country's travel (including visa requirements). US citizens can contact the Office of Consular Affairs. In addition, there are commercial visa companies that can help you apply for a visa or obtain a written authorization for you.
What should I know about getting a visa?Basically you have to fill in a questionnaire (which can often be downloaded from the website of the embassy of the country you plan to visit), which contains basic questions (name, date of birth, profession, passport number, date of travel, and so on). You may also be asked to enter your contact address. What else do I need to do? Most likely you will need to send your passport (use urgent delivery or delivery of registered correspondence); you need to do this on time, and if you have no other travel plans - you can wait for the time when you will be sent your passport back. Other requirements may include providing a passport-size photo (it must meet strict requirements), details of your itinerary, and information about your health. You also have to pay a visa fee. As you know, the process of obtaining some visas can be more difficult. For example, visas to Russia are more expensive and involve filling in too long and very detailed questionnaires; you will also need a letter of invitation from someone sent from Russia (hotel or travel agency). On the other hand, some travel permit forms are very easy to fill out; for example, Ukrainian citizens traveling to Cyprus can fill out a free and easy online application form and get a visa.
Where can I get a visa?
Typically, you apply for a visa online, by mail, or in person at the embassy. In addition, you can request a travel agent visa procedure (at an additional cost) if you do not require a personal presence. Some countries issue visas upon arrival: as soon as you arrive, you fill out an application form and pay a fee at the airport or at the land border. If you can get a visa on arrival, make sure you have everything you need, money in the right currency, passport photos (if required) and so on. When can I get a visa? If you are unable to obtain a visa upon arrival, obtain a visa before traveling - processing time can vary from a few days to several months. Some countries may offer express service - your application is processed within one day, which greatly increases the cost. Remember that in some cases you do not have to pay to get a visa in advance. Some visas are valid from the date of issue, not the date of arrival, so obtaining a visa one month before your trip will limit the time you can spend in the country.
What if I missed my departure date?
Don't do this: it will only add to your problems. You will not be looked for because of the expiration of your visa, you will just have problems with passport control. The rules vary from country to country, depending on how long you have missed your intended departure date, what type of visa you are, and may also prohibit you from re-entering that country for a certain period - perhaps forever. So do not risk your dream of flying to a foreign country and do not spoil your trip with border control issues: facts show that crossing the border is possible without any unpleasant surprises.