We all know what it means to visit government institutions looking to get some papers, right? The process is usually tedious, it takes a lot of time, not to mention that you have to get off work to follow business hours. However, this may not apply when it comes to getting a visa. Since the electronic visa was introduced, more and more countries adopt the system each year. That means you could avoid an embassy altogether the next time you want to spend your vacation days abroad.
What is an electronic visa?
An electronic visa is a document that allows its holder to travel to a foreign country without the need of going to that particular country’s embassy. It is linked to your passport and incredibly easy to acquire. All you have to do is to find an online visa service and take it from there. The fact that you can apply online for an e-visa means that you save time, energy, and you do not have to follow business hours. You can apply during a lunch break at work or before you go to sleep in the middle of the night. Business hours mean nothing when the application process happens online.
How to obtain an electronic visa
Before we go any further, you should know that you cannot apply for an electronic visa unless you are eligible for one. To find that out, you need to do some research. Look for the visa policy of the country you wish to visit and take it from there. If you do not qualify, then your only option is an embassy, but if you do, you are in luck, and you can move on.
Even if this is new to you, there should not be an issue at any point during the application process. The first thing that you have to do is to find a visa service. Now, there are many out there, and not all of them deliver as promised. However, some of them provide everything you need, including non-stop customer support. You should go for a service that has good reviews and is typically trusted by other customers. The internet is very good at that so that should not be a problem.
You will notice that the visa service you choose will ask you to fulfill some requirements. The list is not the same for every country. However, no matter where you plan to go, you need one thing. We are talking about the passport. You cannot apply without once since an electronic visa is linked to it electronically. No passport means no electronic visa. Also, typically, the passport needs to be valid for at least another 6 months from the date of arrival at your destination. Otherwise, your application is not granted, and you can apply again once your passport is renewed.
Of course, depending on the country, you may have to provide other things such as an invitation letter, travel insurance, proof of sustenance, proof of accommodation, and so on. If you do not meet all the requirements, your request is denied.
After you meet the requirements, you are also asked to fill in an application. An online form takes about 20 minutes to complete. You have to be very careful, though. The information you provide in your form has to be 100% accurate. When there are discrepancies between the electronic visa and your passport/ID, your visa becomes invalid, which means that you have to get a new one. And that implies another application process. In some cases, you can ask for a revision, but you can only do it before your application reaches the processing stage.
Needless to say, the electronic visa can save you a lot of time and energy, and if you qualify for one, you can enjoy a smooth application process. Once your e-visa is ready, you can book your flight, and just go where you want to go. In some cases, it may be necessary to print out a physical copy of the travel document, which you are sent via e-mail in PDF format, while in others, the person standing behind the desk when you board a flight can simply check whether or not you have an electronic visa.