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How To Get The Right Visa For Your Trip

How To Get The Right Visa For Your Trip

Your next trip is coming up and the only thing missing is the visa? Don't worry, this will also be done quickly. With our article we would like to help you to see through the visa jungle and finally have clarity about whether and which visa you need for the next unforgettable adventure. We will also explain what a visa is good for, what different visas there are and what costs you have to expect. Most importantly, we will show you how to get the right visa for you in just a few steps and how you can apply for it. Here we go!

What is a visa and what do I need one for?

Basically, a visa is the confirmation or permission of a country that a person with foreign nationality may enter, transit or stay for a certain period of time. That may sound a bit complicated at first, but it means nothing more than: If you want to stay in a country for a specific time and for a specific reason, the country must allow it. Visas are primarily used to prevent people from entering the country who do not meet the requirements.

What types of visas are there?

The visa requirements are as diverse as the individual travel destinations are. However, most countries require and issue an  entry visa  . This means that you must be allowed entry.

In some cases, a country may also require either an exit  or  transit visa,  or even both. An  airport transit visa  is therefore not uncommon. What is particularly important with regard to the type of visa is why the applicant wants to stay in the respective country. If you plan to travel to a country for a certain period of time, a  tourist visa is often sufficient . However, if you intend to stay longer, work or study in the target country, you will need a  work  or  student visa, for example . If you are part of a journalistic or humanitarian project, you may have your own visa regulations again. 

You may have heard of the  Schengen visa  . This is a visa for the Schengen area - the largest freedom of movement and travel in the world. It includes all EU countries between which there are no passport and border controls. People who hold the  Schengen visa  can stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days for business or tourism purposes. However, you will only need this visa if you are a citizen of a country that does not belong to the Schengen area or does not have an agreement with it. 

Of course, it would make this article endlessly long to list here all the visa requirements of every country in the world. We therefore recommend that you get   information from the Federal Foreign Office . Here you can simply enter your travel destination online and check all current travel regulations for the destination. 

Now you are probably wondering how much a visa costs. It also applies that there are differences depending on the destination country and type of visa. The cost of the  Schengen visa , for example, is currently 80 euros, while the ESTA application , i.e. the  tourist visa  for the USA, currently costs around 12 euros. Here, too, you can get information from the Federal Foreign Office or the responsible diplomatic mission of the country.

How do I find the right visa?

Now that you have gotten to know a few different types of visas, it is now a matter of finding the right one for you. First of all, you should check what the visa requirements are in the destination country and whether you need a visa at all. EU citizens, for example, can enter the entire EU, the EEA and Switzerland without a visa. The best way to find out whether a visa is necessary is to contact the Federal Foreign Office or the responsible diplomatic mission in the country you are visiting. So if you need a visa, before you apply for it, you should ask yourself a few questions that will make it easier for you to find the right one: 

How long will I stay in the destination country?

The type of visa you get depends primarily on the length of your stay. If you want to stay in the destination country for a few days or weeks, a tourist  or  visitor visa is often sufficient  . Most of these types guarantee you a stay of up to 90 days. However, if you plan to stay for several months or maybe years, you may need a longer-term residence permit. If you only visit a country briefly in transit, the keyword  transit visa is  interesting for you.

What do I do during my stay in the destination country?

In combination with the duration, the reason for your stay is the decisive question when looking for the right visa. As is well known, a  tourist visa is sufficient for travel . This also applies in some countries if you want to visit friends or relatives in the destination country. However, some states distinguish between  tourist  and  visitor visas . 

If you would like to spend a semester abroad or start a complete course of study in the target country, then you should take care of a  student  visa. The same applies if you plan to work in another country. A  business  or  business visa  may be required for this. Which of the two is important often depends on the nature of your professional activities and the visa requirements of the travel destination.

If, on the other hand, you are volunteering or traveling for a humanitarian project, you will probably need a  humanitarian visa if the destination country requires one. Some states have also established their own visa categories for journalistic activities or research purposes. These are called journalists ,  experts  or  researcher visas .

How often do I travel in and out?

The frequency of entry is also a crucial point to consider when looking for the right visa. If you are on a (round trip) trip where you enter one or more countries that require a visa, you need the appropriate permits. Many countries offer a  multiple entry visa  for this. 

Your ears are probably ringing, but the same applies here: The Federal Foreign Office, the diplomatic missions or the responsible consulates can help you in individual cases and you can easily check what is necessary for your travel destination and project.

How and where do I apply for a visa?

If you have dealt with the above-mentioned questions beforehand, applying for your visa is only a small step. You now know exactly which one you have to apply for. We will now show you step by step how this works.

Step 1: Obtain information from the Federal Foreign Office or the diplomatic mission abroad

Since you already know which visa you need, you can inquire at the responsible German diplomatic mission in the respective country where you have to apply for it. In most cases, however, this can be done through the authorities themselves. If you are not a German citizen, you should contact your country’s diplomatic mission in the destination country.

The Foreign Office or consulates are also suitable contacts. They will provide you with the necessary documents. It is also important by when you have to apply for the visa, because beware: some authorities have a long processing time! In other countries it can also be common that the visa is only issued on arrival and you do not need to receive any documents beforehand.

Step 2: Fill out documents

Once you have received the application documents you need to fill out from the relevant authority, you should start completing them. The documents you need for this depend on the type of visa. For most common  tourist visas  , in addition to submitting the application forms, you must answer a series of questions about your personal situation and your travel plans. Passports and biometric photos are also very often required. For other types of visas such as  business ,  student  or journalist visasother documents may also be required. Start collecting the documents and filling out the documents early, because you can never be sure how quickly or slowly the responsible authority will process your application. Here we recommend you to be early rather than late. 

Step 3: Pay the costs

You should also pay the visa costs in good time. Depending on the process at the responsible authority, you can choose your means of payment.

Step 4: Waiting for the visa

Now you have to wait until the authority has checked your application and the documents. Once this has been done, you will receive confirmation of your visa. Here, too, you should note that it may take some time. Once the confirmation is there, keep it safe - you will need it for the trip.

Step 5: Let the journey begin

Now you've actually done everything and you can set off on your journey! Carry your passport and visa application or confirmation and all other required documents with you at all times - so nothing can go wrong when entering the country.

Please note with all steps that these – unless it is an electronic visa – are associated with administrative procedures that take time and some preparation.

Conclusion

The visa types and regulations of the states are as individual as the reasons people have for visiting a country. There are differences for every reason for the stay and every duration of a trip - especially depending on the destination country. As has become clear, there is no general explanation for this. With the help of our article, you have a few important points at hand, step by step, on how to find the right visa for you and how to get it. The competent authorities are also a good point of contact. So the confusion is finally over and the next adventure can begin!

Rudolfus Kikkert
Rudolfus Kikkert Interest In City Tourism

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