Travel Visa

Travel Visas

Many countries require that you obtain a visa to enter their borders. There are many different types of visas: business visas, holiday or travel visas, working visas and residence visas. Visas can be single or multiply entry. They can also specify a finite number of entries into a country. Visas usually have an expiry date, but occasionally you can get a visa for an indefinite period. A visa is no longer valid if the expiry date has been reached even if you have not completed the allowed number of entries into the country stipulated by the visa. Some countries do not charge for a visa but the majority of countries do.

Some countries have banded together to create one visa that covers many countries within a large area. The Schengen visa allows people to travel freely within the 25 European countries that are signatories of the Schengen treaty. The area has no internal border controls between these countries.

Visa requirements depend on the passport that you hold. You need to research the visa requirements of the countries that you intend to visit well beforehand. A few countries require that you obtain the visa in your country of origin, while others will issue you a visa at any of their consulates or embassies. It is also sometimes possible to obtain a visa at a border post when entering a country.

Be sure that you have at least 2 free pages in your passport for each visa that you require. Customs officials can bar your entry into a country if you do not comply with this requirement.

You are not allowed to work in a country if you only have a visitor’s travel visa. A specific working visa or work permit is required. This also holds true if you wish to study in a foreign country. A special student visa must be obtained.

There is a difference between your visa expiration date and the length of time that you are allowed to stay in a country. For example, you may have a visa that has an expiration date of six months time, but upon entry into the country, the customs official stamps your passport with an authorized stay period of 3 months. You can only stay in that country for 3 months. If you stay in a country for longer than your permitted length of stay, your visa will become void.

A valid visa does not guarantee entry into a country. Entry is purely at the discretion of the border control officers.


Date posted: 5th July, 2011

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