Step by step guide to get visas
Every holiday starts with obtaining the correct set of travel documents, passports and Visas. We will talk about the most usual travel destinations specifics when it comes to travel documents.
A business visa allows the bearer to enter the host country and engage in business activities without joining that country’s labour market. For example, an individual may require a business visa if they are travelling to a country to do business with another company or if they are attending a business conference. The visitor typically must show that they are not receiving income from the country. Visas are necessary if you’d like to travel to a country that does not have a visa policy in place with your home country. Many countries have visa policies and agreements that allow their citizens to travel freely between them without the need for a visa. For example, Canadians and Americans do not need visas in order to travel to each other’s countries, only valid travel documents. However, Canadians do need visas to travel to Bhutan, for example, since no visa agreement exists between the two nations.
American citizens travelling to the UK for a vacation do not require to get a visa, but will need a valid passport. During your flight you will be asked to fill out a landing card where you’ll have to provide your name, date of birth, gender, nationality, occupation and the address where you will be staying in London that must be shown with your passport at the security control.
You can apply for a tourist visa to Saudi Arabia, but the oil-rich country will probably deny you entrance (sources say they’re not interested in tourist dollars). Not only that, but the U.S. Department of State warns against attacks on U.S. citizens committed by ISIL and other Islamic extremists. And women can’t go at all unless accompanied by a husband, father, brother, or uncle. If you’ve got to go, pass through this Middle Eastern country on a 72-hour transit visa, or by arranging a tour through a local agency. Tricky country: Turkmenistan. Even with an official Letter of Invitation, a 24-hour guide, and a fully-planned itinerary, it’s not uncommon to be rejected. If you can’t secure a tourist visa, you can aim for a three-day transit visa (granted to travelers biking or driving across the country). Make sure to pencil in time to see Yangykala Canyon and the Door to Hell: a 23-foot-wide crater that has been burning for more than 40 years.
These are much easier to obtain than a few years ago. Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are visa-free, Tajikistan has an easy online process, Uzbekistan is fairly easy and Turkmenistan is tricky. If you need a visa, applications can be made in person or via post at most of the republics’ overseas embassies or consulates. If your country doesn’t have Central Asian representation you’ll have to courier your passport to the nearest embassy, arrange a visa on arrival, or arrange your itinerary to get the visa in another Central Asian republic or elsewhere en route.
Visa payment sometimes has to be in a neighbouring bank, not the embassy itself, and you’ll need to bring back the receipt as proof of payment. Visas can be quite expensive, especially for US citizens who routinely pay much more for their visas than other nationalities (retaliation for the fees the US government charges Central Asian visa applicants). Budget a couple of hundred dollars for a multi-‘Stan trip.
For example, if I come to the Area in January and stay for 60 days and then come back in June for 10 days, that counts as 70 days in 180 days. Only days you are in the zone during the period count. If you go on January 1st and stay 90 straight days, you have to leave and technically can’t come back until July 1st. However, not all travelers are allowed such freedom. Citizens from many countries need to apply for a Schengen visa ahead of time. You’ll be required to fill out paperwork beforehand and fly in and out of the country for which your visa is issued. (Even then, you still might not be granted a visa. Spoiler alert: citizens from African and Asian countries get screwed.)
So make sure your Schengen visa is ok. Do you need real genuine data-base registered passports and have a question like: Can I enter the USA with less than 6 months on my passport? Yes, when traveling to the USA you need at least 6 months of expiry date after the planned return date. However, this rule is different for citizens of some countries, for example, the UK. This will be covered in detail in the next chapter.