There are lots of things to think about when planning a trip abroad: flights, accommodation, travel insurance, passports... the list goes on. With so much to think about it can be hard to keep track of what you need to do, especially when it comes to applying for your visa! But why should you worry about a visa and what is so important about it? Visas are an important part of your trip planning as without one, you won't be allowed to enter the country. Gaining a visa is especially important if you're planning on long term travel, such as travel during a gap year, therefore to make things easier for you to understand, we've put together our visa guide below!
What is a Visa?
A visa is an official document that proves that you are eligible and authorized to enter and leave a country or territory. A visa typically allows individuals to visit countries but on restrictions such as time frame, dates, and not being allowed to work. A visa does not guarantee entry and can be removed at any time.
Types of Visas
There are many different types of visas that can be applied for though they generally fall under two brackets, short term travel visas and long term travel visas. There is a degree of cross over between the visa types contained under either bracket, for example; working holiday visas could also easily be utilised for short term travel; but it's more likely to be utilised in instances of long term travel, which is why it has been categorised as so below.
Short term travel visa
For shorter term trips, your choice of visa is limited, and therefore a fairly easy choice; in all likelihood you'll simply need a single entry tourist visa.
This is the most common visa and allows you to visit a country on a short stay basis, such as a holiday or visiting family or friends abroad. In most cases a Tourist visa will last for 90 days, and this will generally be far more time than you had booked for your holiday anyway! Long stay visas - A long stay visa is issued for longer trips of 3 months or more in duration.
Long term travel visas
Of course, if you intend to go abroad for an extended period; a gap year or backpacking holiday for example, a bit more planning is required. If you intend to be travelling around a single country for the duration of your holiday, you may only need the one visa, whereas if you intend to be travelling between multiple countries, multiple visas may need to be arranged. It's worth bearing in mind that If you hold a UK passport you will not need a visa to visit any other EU countries, however, you will still need to obtain the correct visa if you are planning to study or work abroad.
Working holiday visas
This visa allows you to have an extended holiday whilst undertaking short-term work abroad to help fund your travels. It goes without saying that this is extremely useful during gap year travel or backpacking!
This type of visa is specifically for those who wish to study abroad, either for a short or long duration.
An emigration visa is needed if you wish to move permanently to another country. Visas should be applied for well in advance as this enables the country you are visiting to consider answers for a multitude of questions; such as reasons for entering the country, criminal record, financial stability and records of any previous visits. More information on the application process, different types of visas and required documents can be found on the UK Border Agency website.
If you hold a UK passport you will not need a visa to visit any other EU countries, however will still need to obtain the correct visa if planning to study or work abroad. Visas should be applied for well in advance as this enables the country you are visiting to consider answers for a multitude of questions; such as reasons for entering the country, criminal record, financial stability and records of any previous visits. More information on the application process, different types of visas and required documents can be found on the UK Border Agency Website.
Reasons for denial
You may be required to attend an interview as part of the application process, but if your visa application is denied it may be due to various reasons, including;
Tips for a Successful Visa Application
Here are some tips to ensure your visa application goes as smoothly as possible;
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