Every country has rules for foreigners who want to visit the country. For a number of countries, a valid passport is sufficient, although there are countries that state that a passport must be valid for six months from entry. Where a passport is not sufficient, a visa is also required. There are different types of visas. It is advisable to apply for a visa in advance to avoid delays at the border. Applications can be made in three ways.
Visa as a means of control when entering a country
A visa is a document that allows you to enter and stay in a certain country. In general, a visa is issued by the country the traveler wants to go to and not by the home country. This arrangement gives a country more control over who enters the country and at what time. Sometimes the visa must be returned after use, so that it is also clear when someone leaves the country again.
Different types of visas
A visa usually must be used within a certain period of time. The visa can indicate the number of times a country may be entered. There are so-called multiple entry, double entry and single entry visas. If you can only transit through a country without staying, a transit visa is issued. With such a visa, a previously indicated route through the country must often be followed within a certain time frame.
Apply for a visa on time
A visa can sometimes be obtained at the time of entry into a country. To avoid delays at the border, it is better to request it in advance. There are countries for which a visa must always be applied for in advance, which gives the country the opportunity to conduct an investigation into the traveler’s past. It may happen that access is refused after an investigation.
Forms of visas
A visa can consist of a sticker or a seal that is placed in the passport, but is usually a stamp in the passport on one of the empty pages. For people who travel a lot, there are special passports with plenty of room for visas. It also happens that a visa consists of a separate document that, in combination with the passport, serves as a travel document. For some countries, issuing visas is a source of foreign currency income because visas are not free.
Passport sufficient or visa necessary?
In Europe everyone is used to traveling from one country to another with a valid passport. When booking a trip to other countries, the travel agency will indicate whether a visa is necessary or they can find this out for the customer. You can search yourself via the websites Visadienst.nl and Visa.nl or at the relevant embassy or consulate.
Request a visa
If a visa is necessary, it can be applied for in advance in three ways:
- By the travel organization (usually with additional costs).
- Via the embassy or consulate of the country to be visited.
- Through a visa service.
Necessary documents for applying for a visa:
- A valid passport (often valid for six months).
- Passport photos.
- Completed form (usually in duplicate).
- Sometimes an invitation to come to the country in question (especially for business visas).
- A valid return ticket (or booking confirmation).
- Sometimes a booking confirmation of accommodation.
It is wise to arrange the application for a visa in time because it may happen that a trip has to be postponed because the visa has not been received on time. It would be completely unpleasant if a trip could not go ahead due to missing a visa.
- Apply for a passport on time