  Chapter

 

Travel Abroad: Visa & Documents

 

How and where to obtain visa

  • You can obtain a visa through a travel agency (which organizes your trip for instance), through a visa company or simply via the embassy or consulate of the country you wish to travel to. An advantage of one of the first two options is that you do not have to worry about your visa, as the company or agency has the responsibility to deliver you your visa in time. A disadvantage is that you will have to pay the agency for their mediation, which you do not have to do if you apply for a visa directly at the embassy or consulate.
  • Regulations concerning visas tend to change a lot and varies for each country. Travel agencies and even specialized visa offices do not always have up-to-date and practical information about visas. Note that also embassies do not always have correct and up-to-date information. We try our best to have the most relevant and practical information.
  • Therefore, if you are in doubt, always check the current policies by using sources such as embassies, consulates, internet forums, visa offices and other travelers.

What you need for your visa

When you apply for a visa take the following into account.In certain countries:

  • Your passport (see below)
  • You might need a copy of your ticket or booking statement from your travel agency stating that you will leave the country after a certain period.
  • You might be asked to provide a statement of good behavior in order to get a visa. (It may take some time to get this)
  • You might be asked to hand over a document (medical passport) to proof you have had certain vaccinations (mostly Cholera or Yellow Fever)
  • You will be required to show an address where you are staying during your visit. If you do not have an address, pick a hotel from your Lonely planet.
  • Multiple entry visa allow you to enter a country multiple times till the date of expiry of the visa. This will come in handy if you are planning on visiting other countries in the area.
  • You have to apply for a visa that is valid until the return date on your ticket. You are not allowed to stay in a country, if the visa term has already passed. Visa terms are usually very strict, so please be aware of that!
  • You could also look for an airline that does not require a return ticket or a ticket with a specific date of departure. How do you find such an airline? Call local airlines and ask them if this rule applies to them. If they say it is not a problem always ask written proof of this.
  • Applying for a visa can take a long time (several weeks). When applying for a visa check if it is compulsory to apply in advance or if you can get one at arrival into a country.
  • In case you need multiple visa it advisable to apply for one at a time because a mistake in the visa can lead to it being rejected.

Passport

  • Before you start your journey make sure to extend your passport on time, especially when you leave last minute. Some countries expect you to have a passport valid for at least six months after your last day in the country (e.g. Indonesia and Tanzania).
  • Make sure your passport has enough room for stamps. Many countries demand an empty page to stamp your passport when you enter the country and when you are leaving the country (business travel passport may need more room in there passport). For business travelers and travelers who will visit a lot of countries during their journey it is advisable to get a second passport.

An International driving license

  • An international driving licenses is always convenient to bring along with you when you are traveling abroad (in most western countries and also in some non-western countries it is not always necessary to have one)
  • It might be convenient to have when wanting to rent a motor bike.

Without a return ticket you can not enter the country (Onward tickets required)

  • A number of countries state that on entry you have to be able to proof that you will also leave the country after a certain period of time.
  • If you have a single ticket because you would like to travel around a number of countries, or have a date on your ticket outside the date of expiry of your visa, this might cause problems entering a country.
  • When you are not in possession of a return ticket you take the risk of being send back to your home country. Despite this, the airline will be held responsible for passengers who are not in possession of the correct ticket. Therefore, most airlines demand that before entering the plane you will be able to proof that you have booked a return ticket within the time limit of your visa (if applicable)

Medical documents

  • In certain countries it is useful to bring a vaccination or medical passport with you. If you are under medication it can be convenient to bring a document listing the types of medicine you are taking.
  • Cholera: Note that it is possible to get (or buy) a stamp proofing you got your Cholera vaccination. When entering a country, or applying for a visa they might ask for this.

What else to bring on your journey

  • Passport photo: It is always convenient to carry a few passport photos with you. When applying for a visa or if you have lost your passport and have to apply for an emergency document, they come in very handy.
  • Bring a copy of your passport, Travelers Cheques and tickets with you, but also give them to your traveling partner and also somebody back at home.
  • You can also use internet services, such as hotmail, gmail and yahoo to save important documents. It is even better to scan documents, such as your passport and save these files on your personal account.

Tips

  • Learn your passport number by heart or write it down somewhere, because in many countries you might be required to register your passport number, date of issue, and the place where your passport was issued. When you constantly remove your passport from your bag it might attract attention for thieves.
  • If you are going to an Arabic country and you need a passport photo(visa/international driving license) than it is compulsory for women to wear a headscarf on the pictures.

Documents &  Insurances

  • If your documents have been stolen, make sure to check your travel insurance, as this is often covered by them.
  • JoHo also offers travel, health and liability insurances. As a JoHo supporter you can obtain these insurances with discount or cashback.
  • Please see the JoHo Insurances website for an overview of the insurances JoHo offers.

Documents & Safety

  • In some countries you have to bring ID when you are going out (e.g. Africa, USA). It is advisable not to bring your passport, but some other ID, such as an international driving license.
  • In some Arabic countries it might cause some problems if you have an Israeli visa in your passport, then it is better to have an extra passport without an Israeli visa/stamp.
  • Use a secured computer system (from your bank or another organization) where you can safe the numbers and access codes of all your passes, passports and other important documents. You can also keep emergency and service numbers of your insurance company, telephone provider and bank here.

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