What Is a Visa?
A visa is a travel authorization that gives you temporary entry into another nation. Most of the time, you must apply for a visa in advance of traveling, either online or at an embassy or consulate. A visa may occasionally be obtained upon arrival. Typically, visas are attached to your passport and specify the length of your stay.
For security reasons, most nations require visas for visitors in order to monitor who enters and prevent illegal immigration. Additionally, visas are used defensively to prevent security risks from entering a country.
A visa is a passport sticker that includes your name, picture, and the number of days you are permitted to stay in a particular nation.
Visas are occasionally issued separately from your passport and are not affixed to it, such as with electronic visas that you must print off.
Visa Types by Purpose
Some of the common visa types by purpose of travel include:
Working holiday visas
Family reunification visas
Refuge or asylum visas
Digital nomad visas
Ways to Get a Travel Visa
Most commonly, you apply for a visa through one of the following ways:
At an embassy or consulate of the country that you will visit.
Online (electronic visa).
At the point of entry (visa on arrival).
The method of application depends on the specific country and your nationality. You should never travel without checking your visa requirements.
Visa Application at an Embassy
In most cases, you can apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of the country you want to visit. You will have to:
Make an appointment.
Collect a set of documents.
Pay a visa processing fee.
Enter a visa interview (sometimes).
The consular officers will review your application and decide whether to grant you a visa or not. Depending on the visa type, it could take several days to several months to process your application.
Online Visa Application
You can also apply for a visa online. Electronic (online) visa are usually issued as printable documents and are not pasted onto your passport. If a country issues electronic visas, then there will be an official application website, where you can:
Complete an online visa application form.
Attach electronic copies of your documents.
Pay a visa fee.
Make sure that the website you are applying through is the official website, as you may have to provide personal information during the application and even pay a fee.
It can take a few minutes to several days to hear a decision on your visa application.
Visa on Arrival
At the airport or another entrance point into the nation you are visiting, you can apply for a visa. It's called a visa on arrival (VOA). There will be visa counters at the point of entry in certain circumstances, where you must apply, pay a fee, and then wait for a decision before you may pass through. It could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the nation.
Common Reasons for Visa Denial
Validity of passport: The majority of countries demand that you travel with a passport that is at least three or six months old. But depending on where you're going, this period may start when you arrive or when you leave.
Passport blank pages: Each country has a different requirement for blank passport pages, however it typically ranges from two to four pages. There must be enough room on the blank pages for your passport and visa to be stamped.
Vaccination requirements: You are need to have an international vaccination certificate for a number of African nations in order to obtain a visa.
Criminal record: With a criminal background, getting a visa is practically impossible; the US and Canada are the only two nations that will
waive this requirement when you need a visa.
Travel ban: A person may be deemed "persona non grata" by any government. As a result, both diplomats and non-diplomats will be prohibited from entering a particular region.