How to check if you need a visa to travel & how to obtain one?
You probably found out about my blog from all the crazy stories that are going around about me being miserable and unlucky when it comes to traveling… Yes, most of them are true, I went through some hell while traveling, from visa issues, passport damage, money exchange issues, with a side of getting lost not knowing the language, to a sprinkle of discrimination on top.. all that plus more for the price of mental toughness, new friendships and unforgettable greatest adventures of all times. How’s that for dessert!
With all matter of seriousness, I don’t regret any of the things that happened to me, heck yeah, I became one of the strongest people I know! It all made me adventurous and wild as hell! No kidding, If you tell me to let’s jump off the cliff or a road trip across Ecuador, I’ll say “Let’s Go!”
When it comes to getting a visa as fast as possible or eliminate the chances of getting rejected or needing a second, third or fourth visit to the embassy; a few things needs to be in check:
- Find out if you need a visa; it all depends on your passport and your citizenship status, don’t expect if you hold an American passport you’re exempt from visas! I had a friend who was on my China tour with me (holds an American passport!) that thought she’ll never need a visa for any country (No! American passport holders can be exempt from many visas but not all of them, in fact after our latest presidential election and international politics, American passport holders are in the process of having to obtain a visa to visit any of the European union countries! 28 countries! You can check if you need a visa through VisaHQ from here.
- Check when do you need to apply for the visa, how long before your trip you have to apply for it, you can’t get it before your flight in few hours (I tried doesn’t work, lol!) you probably need to apply from 2 weeks to 2 months and it all depends on the embassy and your status.
- Read and bring ALL required documents; In order to avoid multiple embassy visits, you need to make sure you check the required documents that each embassy needs, based on the visa that you’re trying to obtain. If you’re trying to get a tourist visa you’ll mostly need to bring the following;
- A passport (has at least 6 months time before expires!) original and photocopies!
- Passport photo(s) mostly they’re 1×1 white background,
- Flight and Hotel reservations,
- Invitation letter or School letter or Employment letter,
- Banking information for the past 6 months (make sure that you have money in there, more than the cost of the flights and hotel!),
- Money order for the visa fee;
but again make sure you go online and check with each embassy and their requirement based on your status and the type of visa you’re trying to obtain.
4. Go back and read step #3 word for word!
Check how the embassy needs the documents submitted, online? during working hours/days? mailed? & if you need a paid mail postage to get the visa once complete.
5. Now once you got your visa and all set and ready to go, make sure to travel like a traveler and not like a tourist. Experience each city with true explorer spirit and cheers to amazing future memories to be made.
Don’t forget to come back and let me know how it all went 😀