WHAT IS A VISA AND DO I NEED ONE?
A visa is temporary permission from a foreign country to enter that country. In most cases, visas can be sought for reasons of business, leisure, schooling or religious grounds, depending on the requirements of the particular country of travel. Each of these four reasons for travel has vastly different visa application requirements by country of travel. Each country reserves the right to refuse granting of a visa in certain circumstances, so it is most important that information provided is accurate and complies with the requirements of the country.
Why do I need a visa for some countries and not others?
Most visa requirements are based on treaties of trade and commerce, diplomatic or historical relations between nations. Requirements for visas vary from country to country and are also dependant on the nationality of your passport.
Factors to be considered when applying for a visa are whether single or multiple entry visas may be required. A single entry visa is exactly that: you may only enter the country once using the visa for the purpose it was issued. If whilst you are visiting the country which has approved a single entry visa, you exit to a neighbouring country with the intention of returning to the original country, you will not be allowed back. If in fact you do not have to the correct documentation for entry to the country of destination, you are most likely to be declined boarding an aircraft, or from crossing into that country by land or sea.
Multiple entry visas may limit the number of times you may enter the country and once the visa expires, regardless of whether you have entered more than once or not, you would have to apply for a new visa.
Each country has differing requirements for issuing of their visas, but in general you will be required to supply between 1 and 4 photographs, a completed application form (which may be in an electronic format), a copy of your itinerary, your passport and any other supporting documentation that may be required. Visa applications may take up to 4 weeks for processing, so make sure you allow sufficient prior to your departure for getting your visas organised. As visas for different countries cannot be issued simultaneously, you need to take these issuing delays into account if visiting two or more countries requiring visas.
Most importantly, it your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation for your trip, so check that your visas have the correct dates for entry and / or exit once they have been received back from the Embassy. If not date specific, most visas require you to entry the country within 90 to 180 days of being issued.
Numerous countries and/or regions are planning to, or have introduced Electronic Travel Authorities, which are required to be approved at least 72 hours prior to entering the country. Cost and procedures for these vary. These approvals do not guarantee your entry to either country on arrival, but ensure that you are not on the Governments’ lists of undesirable visitors.
It is important to ensure that you are using the official Government websites. Alternate websites maybe offered if using a search engine, however despite appearances, they are not official Government sites and additional fees may be charged to process the visa. In addition, many of these sites are phony and have been built to capture personal information, credit card details and money.
- Passports? Check!
- Airline tickets? Check!
- Hotel Vouchers? Check!
- Day tour vouchers? Check!
Travel Insurance Cover????
You have invested time, effort and dollars planning your holiday, you’ve researched all you can do at your destination and you’re set to go off and enjoy your planned time away.
Have you included travel insurance in your arrangements? One of the most important parts of the research and planning should be ensuring that you have travel insurance to cover you for unexpected cancellation prior to departure or in the event your trip has to be curtailed. Coverage is also provided for lost or stolen luggage, travel documents and passports, delays due to weather or other natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, cyclones, etc and very importantly: unexpected overseas medical assistance (including for COVID-19)and dental costs.
The Australian Government recommends that all people travelling overseas, whether on holiday or for any other reason, take out travel insurance. We support this recommendation as your safety and enjoyment is as important to us as the rest of your arrangements!
To this end, when assisting you with your arrangements, we offer you a choice of policies to cover your travel. The Product Disclosure Statements should be carefully read to ensure that you are aware of cover and exclusions and how they may relate to your particular circumstances.
Most policies cover a small range of pre-existing medical conditions. In the event that that you have pre–existing condition/s which is/are not covered automatically, you will need to declare the condition/s to the Insurer by completing and submitting a Medical assessment form. Many of these assessments are now done electronically, with a prompt response being provided to you. On the rare occasion, you may be required to undergo further assessment to determine if cover will be offered. You need to be aware that should you choose not to declare an existing medical condition, you may not be covered in the event that a claim is submitted. If cover is offered, there is generally an additional premium payable for the cover.
Should your credit card offer travel insurance, our recommendation is that you obtain and read through a copy of the Product Disclosure Statement to ensure that it meets with your requirements and covers all members of your travelling party.
Please note that in providing you with this information for insurance we have not taken into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before deciding to purchase any of the travel insurance policies we offer, you should read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and policy wording.
It is important to remember that if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel!
Before you depart Australia, make sure to check for current travel information and advice on the destinations you are planning to visit by going to https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/ . The Australian Government keeps this information up to date, including whether it considers it safe to travel to your destination of choice. Further information and advice includes safety, health, local laws, travel and consular contacts.
The Australian government recommends that you register your travel with them prior to departing, this is particularly helpful in case of emergencies at your destination. You are also able to register for updates on the destinations you are travelling to.
Are you always at a loss when considering a gift for someone? Why not give the gift of travel? At Travel and Cruise Fundamentals we can offer you gift vouchers ranging from $50.00 to $5,000.00, or more, if required.
Do you offer your employees and clients incentives? Travel and Cruise Fundamentals Gift Vouchers are a great way to reward your employees and clients, and the recipient can spend those valued Travel Dollars on a destination and duration of their choosing – how fabulous is that!
Our gift vouchers are valid for 36 months from the date of issue, and can be redeemed towards any travel arrangements that we are able to make on behalf of the recipient.