Visa 101

How to get a Visa.

Visas have a lot of information and stipulations. I’m hoping this guide will help you in your travels.

Most countries you will attend will have a requirement for a visa. Some have to be purchased ahead of time, some can be bought upon entry, and price can vary quite a bit.

The best site to find the specific requirements for each country (from the US) is the US Department of State or from the UK is the travel advice section for the UK Government. Type your intended travels into the search bar and select your country. This will bring up everything you may need including travel advisories.

Let’s use Egypt as an example. For Egypt you will need to have at least 6 months validity left on your passport after your trip is to end, one blank passport page, and a visa. Egypt is one of the easier countries to obtain a visa because it can be purchased upon arrival in the airport.

China, however, is more difficult for a US citizen to gain a visa. Again, validity is 6 months but requires two blank passport pages. Each visa type has different instructions and can generally be found online. Depending on which visa you apply for you will have to send in your actual passport to a Visa Office of Chinese Embassy/ Consulate General based on your State of residence, proof of US residency, hotel bookings, flight information, etc.

All of this information can be found on China’s embassy page, however, my traveling friends have told me the easiest way to go through China’s process is to go to a Consulate or use a Visa service like Travisa or CIBT Visas.

Last piece of advice is to make sure you have plenty of time for these processes. Russia states it may take up to 20 business days for a visa application to be approved whereas some other countries don’t list a specific time frame.

I wouldn’t let visas deter you from traveling, instead, use it as a way to explore more about the country and their processes before arriving.


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