When people travel internationally, they often fail to consider visas, at least at first. Waiting too long, or neglecting to apply altogether, though, can lead to a variety of problems that can force you to cancel your trip.
At VisaHQ, we know the visa application process isn’t easy and we help millions of travelers across the globe with their travel documents every year.
Due to this, our expertise is unrivaled. If you choose to apply for your next visa on your own, these are our top five tips:
1- Prepare for your visit
Plan ahead. Embassies and consulates are often located in downtown areas where parking is at a premium. Parking spots can also be expensive, so you might want to consider taking public transportation or a taxi.
It’s also important to wear comfortable clothing since you might have to stand in line for quite some time. Chinese and Russian visas are especially popular destinations.
2- Carefully review document regulations
Every country has different document requirements for visa applicants. Make sure you visit the embassy’s website for the requirements. Invitation letters are often requested. Pay special attention to any formatting rules, including the specific layout of your home and destination addresses.
When filling-up the visa application form double check that you have answered all the questions in the form. It is easy to miss a few.
Visa photo requirements can differ from country to country. Some accept digital versions, for example, while others only allow the submission of paper photos. Make sure you pay attention to any special rules for the background of your photo, the facial expression you’re allowed to make (smiles are prohibited in some cases), and the size of the image.
You cannot get a visa without a passport. Check the validity requirements for your destination country and make sure your passport does not expire within that time frame.
Additionally, some governments are very strict regarding the quality of the passport. Your application could be rejected if your Passport is ripped, torn or water damaged.
Finally, check that you have enough free pages. You should have at least two free pages for the visa itself, entry stamps, and transit stamps.
5- Visa Types
Not all visas are designed for the same purposes and selecting the right type can make the difference between being allowed to cross the border or not. It is especially important to travel on a work visa while on business. Being caught using a tourist visa could result in you and your company being blacklisted.
One last thing…
It goes without saying that despite all the complexities and hassles applying for a travel visa can bring, you should never lose your temper with visa officials. Ultimately, your attitude can make a difference in how your visa application is treated.
If taking a day off work to complete the visa application process seems like a waste of time and money, remember the VisaHQ team is here to help!
Your dedicated agent will navigate traffic while hand-delivering your documents to the Embassy. He or she will look for parking, stand in lines, and keep you informed the entire time. Then, when your visa is approved, they will return to pick up your passport. The visa will be double-checked for accuracy and your documents will be delivered to you via courier prior to your trip.
If you decide to tackle all of this on your own, our website still features free information that can help you through the process.
The VisaHQ Team