In this time and era, most preparations people do for their trips abroad happen online. You use the internet to book accommodation, purchase your flights online, and even make reservations for all kinds of fun activities. So why not move online for visa application as well?
What is an electronic visa?
An electronic visa, otherwise known as an e-visa, has the same legal standing as a visa issued by an embassy (consular visa.) However, instead of going to an embassy to apply, you can fill in an online application. Once the application is processed by the issuing authority, and approved, the e-visa is linked electronically to your passport.
Can Anyone Apply For An Electronic Visa?
Whether you are eligible for an electronic visa depends on your nationality and the country you want to travel to. For starters, not all states adopted the automated visa system. Secondly, just because a particular country issue electronic visas doesn’t mean you are automatically eligible for one.
To determine whether you are eligible for an electronic visa or not, do some research on the visa policy of the country you want to go to.You can find the list of eligible nationalities on Wikipedia or other reliable sources online.
Where to Apply For an Electronic Visa?
Depending on the country you wish to visit, you may have to use the services of a government website or a third-party company that expedites visa applications. Either way, you will get the same visa.
However, most people choose to go with a third-party company because it ensures faster processing times and better customer support. Even though you pay more if you use a private visa service, the benefits outweigh the cost.
What Are The Requirements For An Electronic Visa?
In terms of requirements, the electronic visa is not that different from a consular visa. However, the documents necessary for the application process can differ from state to state. Not all countries impose the same requirements on the applicants. Still, there are a few that you’ll always see on the list. They are as follows:
1. . Valid passport – since the electronic visa is electronically linked to your passport, you cannot apply for the former without the latter. However, before you apply for an e-visa, make sure that your passport is valid. It must also remain valid for at least another 6 months from the arrival date in the destination country. Just take a look at the expiry date.
2. Digital photo – it’s preferable that the picture is taken in the last 6 months to depict your current appearance. It must have a white background, and you cannot appear with headwear unless you are bound by your religious beliefs to do so. Glasses are also unacceptable.
3. Online means of payment – when you apply for an electronic visa, the payment must be made online. Credit or debit cards are accepted, but some visa services accept other payment methods, such as PayPal.
Other requirements for an electronic visa include and are not limited to:
1. Return flight tickets
2. Accommodation details (i.e., hotel booking confirmations)
3. Invitation letter
4. Travel insurance, etc.
Once you notice that you meet all the requirements, you must fill in an online application form. Don’t worry; online forms are usually more accessible than government forms. You should be able to finish the task in just a few minutes.
However, I must urge you to be very careful about the information you provide in your form. It must be 100% accurate and correctly submitted. A simple mistake as a typo can invalidate your e-visa, in which case you must repeat the application process. To avoid wasting time and money, don’t forget to review your form multiple times before submitting it.
If your application is approved, you will receive an email with your e-visa. As I mentioned above, the visa is also electronically linked to your passport. In some cases, you have to print out the document, while other countries accept a soft copy on your mobile device. Make sure to do your homework before your trip.
The bottom line is that the process of getting an electronic visa is fast and straightforward. Not forgetting to mention that you can do it from the comfort of your own home at any hour of the day or night. No more lining up at the embassy and battling complicated government forms.