Travel is something which almost everyone has on their bucket list. The dream to travel is something which human beings are ingrained with, with millions embarking on new travel journeys each year. While some undertake travel for pleasure, others do so for work, or to discover the world. Whatever the reason, there is no denying the fact that the world would be very different if people didn’t travel. One might save up the money and take leave to fulfil their travel dreams, but without a travel visa these dreams could be grounded. Most countries insist on a travel visa in order to permit tourists into their boundaries. One might think that getting a travel visa is hard, often spending hours worrying about the same. However, doing simple research can ensure that you get that travel visa without any problems. To the uninitiated, here is a simple guide to a travel visa.
Travel Visa – What Is It?
We live in a world divided by boundaries, where each nation aims to assert ownership over a certain piece of land. A travel visa is a document which is issued by the government, providing an individual permission to stay in that country for a specific period of time. This official document is a testament to the fact that the person can officially be in the country, and is not entering the country illegally. It provides them the authority to visit the country, stay for a limited period, and leave without encountering any legal hurdles. A travel/visitor visa is basically designed for any individual who is not the citizen of a particular nation to visit said place.
Necessity Of A Travel Visa
The main purpose of a visa is to ensure that the security of a nation isn’t compromised. A travel visa is sanctioned only after the relevant authorities are satisfied about the credentials of an individual. This reduces the possibility of occurrence of criminal activities by any foreign power in the state concerned. In addition, a travel visa is documented, which means that the country has the power to keep a track of individuals, helping them establish a data base. From the point of view of a traveller, a travel visa gives him/her the opportunity to explore the nation without having to worry about any legal hurdles.
Is A Travel Visa Mandatory To Visit A Nation?
Most countries do not allow foreign citizens to enter their territory without valid permissions. A visitor visa enables one to travel to and stay in a particular nation for a specific period of time. While certain nations mandate a tourist visa in order for one to enter the country, they do provide certain exceptions to citizens of friendly nations/nations with whom they have good diplomatic relationships.
Citizens from certain nations get preferential treatment when it comes to a travel visa, with individuals of some nationalities not required to have one in order to visit said country. For example, citizens of Bhutan or Nepal do not require a visa to enter India. Similarly, India follows strict rules when it comes to granting visas to citizens of Pakistan, China, etc. The requirement for a travel visa boils down to current economic and diplomatic scenarios, and it might be mandatory in most cases.
Documents Required To Get A Travel Visa
Individuals looking to apply for a travel visa are expected to furnish certain documents in order for the application to be processed. Given below are some of the most common documents required in order to get a travel visa:
- Application form – Each nation has a unique application form for the travel visa. This form should be duly filled and signed. Certain nations provide an avenue wherein this form can be filled and submitted online, whereas a physical application needs to be submitted in other cases.
- Passport – Applicants should have a valid passport, with a minimum of 2 empty pages where the visa can be stamped. The passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the intended duration of travel.
- Photograph – Each nation has certain specifications when it comes to the photograph. Applicants need to ensure that they have a photograph which matches these requirements. The photo should be recent and clear, without any editing done to it.
- Itinerary – Most countries will ask for a travel itinerary to gauge whether an individual is actually coming to the country for travel. This could include the estimated dates of travel, the places of visit, duration of stay and the expected date of return journey. In certain cases the return ticket could also be asked as a proof.
- Funds – Travelling to a new country can be expensive and proof of funds is a criteria in certain cases. This is done to estimate whether an applicant has sufficient income to support himself/herself while in the country.
In addition to the aforementioned documents, individuals will be expected to pay a certain fee towards processing an application. This fee varies from country to country and also depends on the nationality of the applicant.
Rejection Of A Travel Visa
It is not mandatory for the government to grant a travel visa to all applicants. There are cases where the authorities can reject a visa application, with applicants not permitted to challenge such rejection. Listed below are certain reasons for a travel visa application to be rejected:
- Incomplete form – Individuals who fail to fill the form completely can find their visa application rejected. All relevant fields must be filled and signed. Failure to do so could be a reason for rejection.
- Fee dues – Individuals who do not pay the complete fee amount can have their application rejected. The fee should be paid before the stipulated time, in the currency mentioned by the government.
- Criminal record – Individuals who have a criminal record could see their visa application get rejected. This is primarily on grounds of safety and security of the nation. Applicants must have a clean history for improved chances of visa sanction.
- False documents – There are cases when individuals apply for a visa on false documents. This is a common ground for rejection of visa. Applicants should ensure that the information provided by them is accurate and up-to-date.
- Passport validity – Applicants whose passport is set to expire within a certain period of time could see their application denied. One should ensure that the passport has sufficient blank pages and validity.
- Lack of finances – Individuals who are unable to prove their financial stability could be denied a visa. This is due to the fact that a does not permit one to work in a country and individuals with limited finances might be tempted to take up illegal work for money.
- Dual intentions – Individuals who wish to travel to a country with other intentions might find their application rejected. Authorities can use their own discretion at times to determine whether an applicant has intentions apart from sightseeing.
Additionally, authorities can deny a visa application on any other ground, without giving any justification for the same.
Different Modes Of Getting A Travel Visa
Individuals looking to visit a particular country can utilise different means to apply for a travel visa. Most countries have an Embassy/Consulate in other nations, ensuring that they have representatives there. One can visit the Embassy/Consulate of the nation they wish to visit with a complete application form in order to give the visa interview. An appointment must be taken for the same.
For example, Indians looking to travel to the United States on a can fill the application and submit it at the US Embassy in India. They will have to give an interview post which they could be granted or denied a visa.
Apart from the Embassy/Consulate, certain nations provide a visa on arrival to tourists from certain countries. One must first check the eligibility for this visa. If eligible, they can apply for it once they land in the country. They will have to provide a few documents to process the same.
Limitations Of A Travel Visa
A travel visa permits one to explore a nation for travel purposes only. Listed below are some of the most common limitations of a travel visa.
- Work – Individuals are not entitled to work in a foreign country when they are on a travel visa. A Work Visa should be obtained for the same. Work refers to both full-time and part-time employment. Restrictions are also imposed on doing business in the country.
- Study – Most travel visas do not permit an individual to study in the country. Exceptions include short-term courses. A long-term course cannot be done on a travel/visitor’s visa.
- Marriage – Certain individuals might apply for a travel visa in order to get married in a particular country. This is not permitted in most cases.
- Reporting – Journalists who wish to travel to a particular country to cover a story should do so on a journalist visa. A travel visa does not permit one to work on a journalistic story in the country.
A travel visa has provided millions of people an opportunity to explore the world and live their dreams, making the world their oyster.