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What visas do I need when travelling?

Most travelers and backpackers are familiar with the feeling: The journey has been planned long in advance but as the date of departure approaches, many new questions arise. What should I pack and what items do I really need? Luxury hotel or no-frills hostel? Did I plan my travel route and budget correctly? They are common questions that pop up during the planning process. Another equally important aspect to be considered is the travel documents and visa requirements for the respective countries. As visa applications can sometimes take a few weeks to be processed, it is important to consider this aspect well before the planned departure to save unwanted bureaucratic stress.

Miss Liberty I

Getting the right visas
When planning to travel to any foreign country, always be informed about the respective visa requirements. For travelers from the US or Europe, most countries can be explored for 90 days without having to apply for a visa beforehand. It is, however, important to check whether this rule applies to all the countries one plans to visit. In most cases, this information can often be found on a country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. If for the rare occasion that visa requirements are not stated, you can always call the respective Embassy you are planning to visit. It is always better to read up and double check on such information when thinking about travel so you don’t experience an embarrassing situation in customs.

Tips for the USA
The USA is a popular destination to visit. Its differing lifestyles, natural beauty and its world-class cities make the county highly alluring for different people. Despite this, many potential travelers are still uncertain about specific visa requirements to the United States of America. The country’s strict border controls probably add to that uncertainty. Yet, the US visa requirements are clearly defined and constantly updated. The Visa Waiver Program enables citizens of 37 countries to visit the US for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. However, if one plans to permanently live and work in the US, it is necessary to obtain permanent residency, more widely known as the Green Card. One increasingly popular way of getting the permanent residency status is through the Greencard Lottery System. More information about the whole process can be found on this useful site. Of course each country has a different entrance policy, with the US generally being a lot more selective and strict with its security control. However it is wise to treat any country with the same vigilance and double checking their border security policies before making any spontaneous travel bookings.

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photo by: laverrue