Most countries worldwide allow foreigners to enter their borders with a valid US Passport, while there are few countries who require a travel visa. Preliminary qualifications must be met by an applicant to be able to receive an approval document which is the travel visa. One country has different requirements from other countries for the issuance of travel visas and usually depends on the reason of visit of the traveler. The common categories for visa are:
- Tourist visas – for leisure travel
- Business visas – for business meetings, negotiations and site visits
- Student visas – for applicants who will study in a foreign country
- Employment visas – for applicants who have a job offer overseas
Where are Visas Issued?
Prior to traveling overseas, make sure that you have checked if a travel visa is required, how to apply and issuance. There are countries who have multiple ways on how to apply for a visa while some only have single process.
For questions and clarifications regarding visa application, you can call a professional visa expediting service to help you out with your concerns. Your visa may be processed in one of the following ways depending on your destination:
Visa on Arrival
US citizens are entitled to have a Visa on Arrival at certain countries, this is a part of the immigration entry process they have to go through upon landing at the airport. A fee may be required (preferably exact amount in cash, in US dollars), accomplish an application form, have photographs taken, and/or have fingerprints taken as well. There are countries who offer Visa on Arrival for Tourists only, business travelers are required to obtain visa in advance. Here are the countries offering Visa on Arrival to US citizens:
- Thailand (tourist travelers only)
- United Arab Emirates
Also called as eVisas or Electronic Travel Authority (ETAs) are usually applied online and are sent back to applicants as email to be printed out and carried along with their US passport when traveling. Visa fees are required to be paid online and documents such as passport scan or a photograph must be uploaded as well. Visa expediting services also assist applicants in electronic visa process. Here are the countries offering eVisas or eTAs:
- Sri Lanka (tourist only)
Consular Visas (Stamped or Sticker Visas)
Consular visas placed as a stamp or sticker in your passport and are issued at the Embassy or Consulate. An application must be made at an Embassy or Consulate of a country located in the United States if they require US citizens to have a stamp of the visa prior to traveling. For legal-long term residents of another country, look for the Embassy in your locality. There are countries with multiple consulates in the USA and may enforce “consular jurisdiction” meaning a person must apply at the embassy that is included in their state of residence. Here are the countries that require obtaining a visa in advance:
Common Visa Requirements
Visa requirements may differ for each country and depends on the purpose of the visit, therefore, you have to check with the Embassy or consulate or with a visa expediting service prior to application. However, the following are the most common visa application requirements needed for all visas:
- Passport – must have your original signature, be valid for at least 6 months and must have at least one or two blank Visa pages for your visa stamp or sticker
- Visa application – your signature must be in ink
- Passport photos
- Visa fee – to be paid at the Embassy or Consulate
- Flight Itinerary
- Hotel reservations
- For business travelers: letter of introduction from your company
What Do Visa Expediting Service Do?
The services of a visa expediting company are invaluable because of all the help you get from them in consular visa application. They will let you know if you need to obtain a visa to your destination including all updated requirements band instructions regarding your application. Your application will be checked in detail making sure that all entries are correct and flawless and your application will be personally hand carried to the Embassy or Consulate in your behalf. Your application will regularly be checked by the company and make sure the process is going smoothly and upon completion, they will pick it up for you.
Prior to sending it to you, they will check for errors before sending it back to you via secured delivery service.