Travel Tips: Visas Explained

Imagine arriving at your dream destination and the customs staff not allowing you to enter the country. This a real situation which happens regularly when travellers don’t obtain the necessary visas for travel to foreign destinations.

Imagine arriving at your dream destination and the customs staff not allowing you to enter the country.  This a real situation which happens regularly when travellers don’t obtain the necessary visas for travel to foreign destinations.

 What is a Visa?

Visas are a result of treaties and agreements between different countries.  They are an agreement for the citizens of each country to travel to other countries, subject to certain conditions. 

So what does this mean for you as a traveller?  As part of your planning, you should check what the requirements are for visas for your planned destinations.  The government of every country should provide information about agreements they have formed with other countries.  Every country is different, depending on which agreements and treaties they have formed.

Visas can be provided as a stamp in your passport.  Some countries now have electronic visa systems.  The USA is particularly stringent, so check USA – Electronic System for Travel Authorisation when you are about to book your travel to confirm your ability to enter the country.  The same is true for every other country – ensure you check their entry requirements and ensure you comply before making your travel bookings.

Visa Key Links

Department of State  USA Government travel advice, which includes visa agreements for every country.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Canadian Government travel advice, which includes visa agreements for every country.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office  UK Government travel advice, which includes visa agreements for every country.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade  Australian Government travel advice, which includes visa agreements for every country.

NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Embassies  List of foreign embassies to New Zealand.  You should search for your destination country embassy website to obtain further details about visa requirements.

Embassy World  Provides a directory for all embassies worldwide, with links to each individual embassy website.  To ensure you are at the correct website, I suggest you also conduct a separate independent search in your country’s government website, to minimise the risk of linking to fraudulent websites.

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