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A quick intro to visas

What's a visa?

For those of you unaccustomed to visas they're stickers that make your passport look pretty. They're also the official authorisation for entrance into and travel within a country or region. Without visas to many countries you'll simply be turned away at the border.

Getting visas can be unpredictable, expensive and often rather unfair. The basic rule is that once you hand over your money and passport to an Embassy they have no obligation to give you a visa, tell you what they are doing with your passport or explain why they denied you a visa should they choose to do so. They will also never give you any money back, even if they make a mistake. It is not like buying a pair of socks and you don't have any consumer rights unfortunately.

What are letters of invitation?

Many countries (but not all) require you to apply for a letter of invitation before you are even allowed to apply for a visa. For Iran they are called Authorisation Codes. These are issued either from government departments or private companies in the country you will be travelling to. We sort all this out for you. Sometimes this is little more than a formality and for other countries this can be a much more involved process.

 

Do I really need visas?

It depends on the country and your nationality but if they say you need one you really do. It can end up costing a fortune and taking a long time to sort out if you arrive without one. In many cases you will simply not be allowed in.

You need space in your passport

You MUST have 1 blank page free per visa (2 for some). A blank page must be completely free of all stamps.

6 months left in your passport

You usually need to have more than 6 months remaining on your passport after the end date on your visas. So you need six months left after you get back home.

Filling out paperwork

The actual application that goes to the embassy is usually a paper form. Sometimes this is done online and printed out. Different embassies have various odd rules about this. Some actually will refuse you a visa if the staple is in the wrong place on the photo! When you get to this stage with the visa machine you will get all the information you need to fill out the forms the way the Embassy likes them.