Last updated: February 6, 2017

When traveling to certain countries outside the EU, it is not enough to simply show your passport to get into the country. You often need to apply for a visa in advance or upon your arrival.

Visa

A visa is usually issued by the country’s embassy or consulate; you then get the visa either on paper or as a stamp in your passport. Each country has different rules and visa regulations. Which visa you should apply for depends on how long you want to stay in the country and what the purpose of your trip is.

Most EU-countries generally have a good reputation internationally; it is usually no problem getting a visa. Despite this, the handling time may vary, and it’s essential to book in advance. Handling time can vary from a few days to a few weeks. Usually, Embassies also charge a fee for issuing the visa.

When you apply for a visa, you need to submit your passport to the embassy, or leave it in place for the embassy/consulate is located near where you live. After your visa application has been approved, you have permission to enter the country and be there for a limited time.

Various types of visa

There is a variety of visas, usually, divide them into three categories: tourist, business, and work visas. Some countries require you to apply for a visa even if you are just going on vacation a week, for example, India. The important thing to remember is that each country has its own rules about how and what visa you should apply. Therefore, it is important that you contact the country’s embassy, anytime via phone or read on their website.

In addition to embassies and consulates, there are also companies that specialize in making it easier for you to apply for a visa. These tend generally charge a higher fee than if you take care of everything yourself and make it through an embassy or consulate.

Passport

Your passport is the only ID card that is valid worldwide. Some EU countries also accept the national ID card, but the pass is arguably your most important travel documents. Your passport must be valid during the journey and some countries require in addition to the passport should be valid for at least 6 months after entering the country.

Remember always to specify the name that appears in your passport when you book hotels/flight tickets and other things that require identification abroad. In some cases, a passport copy can be useful, but be aware that a copy is never valid as proof of identity.

Hold on to your passport and always check where you store it. Should you lose your passport abroad, it’s recommended to immediately make contact with your country’s embassy or consulate where you are.