When Traveling, Make Sure You Have The Right Visa
With the opening up of the European Union, many family holiday makers no longer need to apply in advance for visas for any countries currently in the European Union. United Kingdom nationals are now able to travel freely around any country within the agreement. You are permitted to stay for three months with no visa, however, a valid ID is required. Of course, there are thousands of travelers who are venturing further afield to other continents like Asia, Africa, the Americas and Australasia. It is these destinations that I will be discussing below as there seems to be many travelers turning up to their destination with completely the wrong visa. The reasons for this are normally bad information or lack of preparation. If you are a UK national, it can be a bit easier to obtain visas for certain countries and many offer a visa on arrival service.
Guidance for Backpackers
One of the most beaten paths by the backpacking fraternity on an around-the-world trip is to head for South East Asia and then on to Australia or New Zealand for an extended tour. Many backpackers may turn up in a country with no real concrete plan of when the departure date will be. This is getting very common as there are many flight deals available around the world where the tickets can be used within certain dates. So a loose plan can be made, rather than sticking to a strict itinerary.
An Original Plan Gone Amiss
A recent example of this was when a friend went over to Thailand, as part of a 4-month tour for travel and leisure around South East Asia. The original plan was to stay in Thailand for only two weeks before heading over to Burma for a week and continuing to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Being his first time in Thailand, he didn’t quite realize how big the country was and expected to get to all the tourist attractions and have an island break all in a period of less than a month. Arriving at Bangkok, he received a thirty-day visa as all UK nationals get when entering Thailand via the airport. By day twenty, he was still not halfway through everything he wanted to do and noticed that his visa could be an issue. Fortunately, Thailand has a very good visa run service for backpackers and he was able to take a few hours bus trip to the border and get a new entry stamp to extend his stay. If he had known he was going to stay this long, he could have arranged in the UK for a very inexpensive tourist visa for sixty days before he departed. This would have saved some time, money and hassle of sorting another while in the country. I have also heard of people turning up at a country for an extended holiday and then actively seeking work and attending job interviews, and this may cause problems as your visa is specific to the reason for travel.
Some of the Types of Visas
- Visa on arrival: This is a visa for holiday makers, which normally gives a limited time in the country. Most of these will give you between 15 days and 3 months depending on where you go and any agreements your country has with your destination country.
- Tourist Visa: Tourist visas are just that, they are for any country not offering a visa on arrival service. These will typically give you from between 30 days to 6 months depending on destination. Be advised a visa for the purpose of a holiday does not entitle you to take up residency or seek out work opportunities in many countries.
- A Business Visa: This is for those who are entering the country for reasons of business. Visiting a conference or attending client meetings – these won’t necessarily enable you to take up paid work in the country.
- Education Visa: This is for students taking up a college or university course in the country. These may have work restrictions attached to them, so due diligence is needed.
- A Spouse or Family Visa: This is available to help those who have family in the country so you can have an extended stay without the need to renew visas continually. The maximum Family Visa I have seen is up to 12 months. Again working on these will be an issue in most countries.
The idea behind writing this article is not to list every type of visa available currently, as this sort of information will go out-of-date quickly as requirements change depending on location. For any would be backpackers who are looking for an extended stay in any country, you need to do some research and ensure you get the visa which describes your reason to visit. If travelling for work reasons, make sure the visa reflects this. The same for visiting family as many people turn up on a tourist visa which may not give you the time you want for the visit.
Travel Republic Reviews
There is a wealth of information available online regarding holidays and back packing trips. I have been using many travel sites reviews, particularly Travel Republic reviews and find the community there is very helpful. They can help with all your Visa issues and concerns. I find new ideas on there even though I am a well-traveled person.
This article was written by Ariana Louis on behalf of Travel Republic to highlight the scenarios where a normal visa on arrival may not be adequate for the trip you are going on. She has visited many countries around the world and shares her knowledge to inform travelers and encourage people to prepare accordingly for each trip. Ariana is often guided by good Travel Republic reviews of the place she intends to visit.