Foreign Visa

American Travel to the European Union

American Travel to the European Union

 

When traveling within some countries, a completed entry visa must be shown to immigration officials upon arrival at a port of entry for their approval. As hinted at before, travel from the United States to the EU requires no entry visa for the purpose of travel between the 27 countries that are official participating member states of this bloc. Even though a visa is not needed for pleasurable or business-related conferences, an American is not totally unrestricted when it comes to traveling in and out of the region. For one, a valid passport should be on the individual's person at all times, especially when transitioning across external border lines.

In addition, even though visa documents may not be required, the idea of the visa is still preserved in terms of your legal ability to stay in the European Union. This is to say that there is still a time limit when it comes to the terms of the visit, namely 90 days. Furthermore, additional visa documents and applications may be needed to be fulfilled if the nature of the stay changes. If you, say, seek to accept an offer from an employer while in the EU, you will need a work visa. Other documentation – 

In terms of "visa documents," while actual visa documentation may not be needed by American travelers or any other temporary foreign-born residents, immigration officials in EU individual countries may request to see further proof of identity that is germane to visa applications, including onward and return tickets, evidence of lodging, and/or an invitation from a resident of the European Union. Before traveling to a particular country, you may want to contact the local consulate or embassy for more specific information.

Handy Information on Foreign Visas

Handy Information on Foreign Visas

With over a hundred independent nations, commonwealths, overseas territories, and otherwise organized territories in existence worldwide, the project of trying to compile visa-related procedural information for all of them is a tremendous undertaking.
Even so, it is a responsibility the United States Department of State is charged with, as it is the major diplomatic wing of the American Cabinet and has primary oversight of the visa authorization process. As one might imagine, the geographic variability of nation states from continent to continent tends to manifest itself in peculiar and substantial differences in how visas are handled by each one of them. Thus, to expect a comprehensive synthesis of all that international visa policies have to offer is not only impractical, but downright ludicrous.
Perhaps as it should be, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the visa applicant to determine what is both required by the country to which they plan to travel and even what practical sense about travel dictates. To appreciate how expansive international immigration lawVisas to the United Kingdom Visas to Australia Visas to Canada passport Visas to Russia
As is common with foreign visas, there are bright spots for Americans. Usually, travelers from the United States will be able to secure tourist visa and entry visa approval at an Egyptian port of entry (though this presents a risk in itself), whereas residents of other countries, notably those from all other African countries, will have to obtain their documentation in advance.
Even so, as noted, American and European visa holders should be especially wary of their surroundings. For instance, politically-based demonstrations may become violent, and owing to its geographic position, Egypt is a more than viable target for the emergence of terrorist cells. Travel to Egypt may also involve detailed immunization records or shots in the event the individual comes from a region subject to outbreaks of disease, especially bird and swine flu. 
Chinese visas and the trappings of travel may not be as much of a concern based on suspicions of terrorism, but even so, the economic and political policies of China may either be seen as a stimulus or a hindrance to the prospective traveler. With American visitors to China, the factors are indeed complicated. Seeing as China is party to a period of economic prosperity as compared to other countries, the decision to travel abroad may be financially advantageous. However, this is a drastic measure, and thus a Chinese visa may not be readily available considering how the United States is losing investments to China.
Moreover, there are definite concerns as expressed by diplomatic and humanitarian bodies about the overly large hand the Chinese government plays in the everyday lives of its citizens and whether it is too restrictive (as in the case of free speech) or not enough (as in management of standards of living). Critically to our pursuits, some of these concerns are indeed reflected in how visas are issued and scrutinized. One thing tourists would be keen to keep in mind is that they will need an exit visa to leave the country, and should go through a consulate or other trustworthy conduit.
China’s position towards Tibet and failure to recognize it as a sovereign state are also relevant, as foreigners will need a special permit to enter the region and will be able to gain entry to a select few specified areas. Other potential problems include questionable detention procedures used by the police, who have been given some authority over immigration procedure, and health standards, or lack thereof.
While Malaysia, part of the region known as Southeast Asia, is far removed from Afghanistan, Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, the country is also potentially dangerous to the Western traveler based on its identity as a Muslim state. The official state religion of Malaysia is Islam, and more critically, the world community has identified organizations within Malaysia that have suggested ties with international terrorist organizations.
However, visas to Malaysia are still sought out quite actively by prospective travelers the world over, whether it be for the purpose of a generally safer home in the region, better chances at employment for economic migrants from nearby nations, or simply people that are looking to take advantage of the inability of the government to prosecute illegal immigration.
This is not to say, however, that there are not logistics that could doom one’s travel plans. For those who need visas, documentation must be plain to see, and all travelers to the Sabah and Sarawak provinces will want to keep valid passports close at hand. Visitors to Malaysia will also want to be on guard for petty theftdrug offenses
Visas to Pakistan are not prohibited by law to travelers, even Americans. Suffice to say, though, based on its location, Pakistan is strongly recommended against for non-essential visits. Once more, the heavy influence of Islam in the region is a threat due to those radical practitioners who wish harm to foreigners, and even when terrorist groups are not part of the mix, the situation may also be dangerous based on crime and kidnappings for ransoms. In fact, stays in Pakistan have been deemed risky for American diplomats and government officials alike. Temporary residence in hotels is expressly forbidden by their superiors, as is the use of public transportation.
Consequently, for the civilian traveler, the precautions to be taken are even more important. Itineraries should be established, adhered to, and explained to an emergency contact. Anyone seeking a tourist visa should also stick to metropolitan areas of Pakistan where tourism is safer, and must specify the reason of the trip, whether it be to visit family, pay religious homage or to go on a historical survey.
Visas to the United Arab Emirates The federation of the United Arab Emirates, or the UAE, exerts a lot of control over its rules on travel and the availability, or unavailability, of visas. These rules come not as a concern over national security so much as attentiveness to the national interest, or rather, the interest of the collective of emirates. The terminology of the visas also distinguishes UAE visas from other visas. Rather than being called a travel visa or visitor visa, a visa used solely for the purpose of short pleasurable trips and business
The issue of outsourcing labor to foreign countries was a topic of considerable interest for American politicians leading up to the 2004 presidential election, and has not diminished with the effects of the recession on the American job market. Often, Eastern nations are implicated in the decision of corporations to contract labor to a third party in another country, one of the primary targets being India. Meanwhile, for wholly different reasons, outsourcing also applies to the way India processes visas to authorize foreign nationals into its boundaries. Indian consulates with the power to grant visas for travel ceded this authority to Travisa Outsourcing, Inc. some years ago.
There are additional idiosyncratic aspects of Indian visa applications that relate only to a small subset of individuals, but nonetheless, they may come into play. For applicants to the Overseas Citizens of India program, it must be realized that this will not actually grant Indian citizenship, but something closer to permanent residency documentation must be secured prior to arrival in India. 
American-Japanese relations during World War II were decidedly contentious, as Japan initiated conflict with the United States through their role in the bombing of Pearl Harbor and America broke the will of Japanese forces to continue fighting after the destruction of Nagasaki and Hiroshima via the atomic bomb. Despite this being relatively recent history, the political relationship between the two nations has improved considerably, and there is mutual recognition for the nations to work together for their economic benefit. Thus, business travel and tourism between the nations is highly encouraged, though this is not equivalent to a free pass to Japan, and can even be more restrictive than American travels to other nations.
For one, Japan is very explicit about the fact that no payment can be received while on a travel visa or similar passport-based provision, even when working for a private individual. Japanese immigration officials are also very strict about transit through the country to China for people who do not possess a valid Chinese visa. Yet more restrictions occur for those looking to plan a working holiday to Japan; only a handful of countries have such understandings with Japan, and this does not include the United States. 
Owing to the high poverty and unemployment rates in large sections of South Africa, the idea that South Africa may not be an obvious travel destination unless one is going on safari, and the very fact that a visa may not be needed for travel to South Africa (this applies, once more, to denizens of the United States of America), making sure one’s passport, health documentation and visa documentation are up to code may be an oversight to many. Nonetheless, South Africa applies some apparently strange rules to its visa review process.
One requirement that is seemingly very arbitrary but very real is the need for at least one blank visa page in one’s passport, even though the traveler may not have needed visa documentation. Visas are also needed even for volunteers and charitable work. Plus, while this would likely only affect travelers for nearby regions, proof of an immunization against yellow fever is a prudent measure, especially if one needs to travel with due efficiency through customs.
When it comes to travel to Brazil and Brazilian visa policy, much of it may be poorly characterized by representations of its people in popular media, whether this be relating to the perception that Brazil is a backwards country or simply a haven for tourism where rules and restrictions do not apply. In either case, these are largely erroneous concepts. In response to charges of Brazil being little more than a series of slums, Brazil is a developed nation.
Even so, travelers should pay attention to the inefficiency and danger of public transportation on Brazil’s many roads. With regard to American travel to the region, visa documentation is, in fact, very necessary and wholly inaccessible to travelers upon reaching a Brazilian port of entry. Moreover, for the subgroup of American citizens who also are nationals of Brazil, a Brazilian visa will be not be a possibility, necessitating the approval for and purchase of a Brazilian passport, unless previously owned.
Whereas most nations seem to be predisposed to making it more difficult to secure a visa, Costa Rica’s adopted policy reflects its peaceful, neutral nature. This very nature also helps to explain why some people might choose to forgo a non-visa requirement for short-term vacations for a more permanent form of residence in Costa Rica. 
Nevertheless, even if a person is not looking to secure a visa for more than three months, he or she will be expected to provide evidence of not only his or her initial ticket to Costa Rica, but must also prove possession of a ticket back to the United States or other territory, and may not extend his or her stay beyond 90 days. With the possession of a visa or not, renewal of the terms of the stay is only possible in a few scenarios.
In addition, as always, it is important to secure one’s passport and visas from the threat of theft. Instead of carrying their physical visa forms everywhere, travelers should produce acceptable copies of their passport with the requisite entry stamps, keep their valuables in safe pockets and bags, and avoid crowded plazas, buses and trains. 
While other Latin American countries such as Brazil may be more obvious places to visit, and thus, there is a bigger draw for tourist visas to those nations, visa documentation to Peru is still a viable destination for average vacationers and amateur anthropologists alike.
While it may not be known for its beaches, Peru is still a coastal nation, and travelers may stand a better chance of avoiding crowds by heading there. Arguably more importantly, there is the opportunity on a trip to Peru to witness the splendor of Incan ruins and get a new perspective on a critical moment in Peruvian historical development.
Specific to American interests, no visa stamps are needed for purposes of tourism or transit to another nation, but for all other purposes, generally, physical proof of ability to temporarily live in Peru must be certified. Once again, though, authorities will crack down hard on violations related to points of national interest. With regard to prescription drugs and herbal products (such as the coca leaf), often times what one country accedes to as legal will be deemed inadmissible by authorities in the other country.
Archaeological artifacts such as fossils, which serve as vivid symbols of Peru’s heritage as an Indian civilization, also make for non-negotiable items that will not be allowed to be taken back by travelers on return trips, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may even be enlisted to arrest the offender on the behalf of Peruvian officials.
Considering that the European Union is composed of twenty-seven separate countries, it may seem impossible that there could be efficient travel across its internal borders, as there are often complex processes that come part and parcel with an individual’s transportation between just two countries.
However, based on agreements in place for much of the EU, transit across internal boundaries has become much easier than in decades past. Visa rules concerning the European Union are of particular note since so many countries are participating members of this bloc and international travel is involved for EU residents and non-EU residents alike.
Though all travel between countries will involve some translation across boundary lines, there is a set of guidelines each for intrastate travelers in terms of the European Union as a whole and the crossing of non-EU individuals across external borders. Before even considering proper use of visas, though, credence must be given to passports. With all border crossings and at all times, travelers from outside the EU should have valid, up-to-date passports on their person, while EU travelers will only need passports when leaving or returning to the Union or when visiting one of five non-Schengen states, such as the United Kingdom.
Returning to visas, then, these are not a concern for European Union residents, as there is no need for acquisition for a visa for travel to any other country within the Union. For non-EU residents, freedom from visas is contingent upon where the foreign national hails from (only 34 states are allowed visa-free travel for pleasurable visits), and separate visas may also be required for visitation to those five non-Schengen states. 
While it may be assumed by even some Europeans that “the European Union” and “the Schengen area” are different names for the same thing, and to be fair, there is a large degree of intersection between the two political groupings of these countries, the European Union and the Schengen Agreement (named for the Lichtenstein municipality in which it was signed) were breathed into life at different points in European history; it was the individual countries of the European Union that would have to choose to accommodate the Schengen rules enacted by said agreement.
Concordant with this notion, not all European Union states are full Schengen countries (e.g. The United Kingdom and Ireland, who have not agreed to the “open door” provisions of travel between Schengen countries) and not all Schengen countries (e.g. Lichtenstein itself) are members of the European Union. Thus, a separate documentation for authorized travel within the external borders of the Schengen area is necessary, and subsequently was created in the form of the Schengen visa.
While residents of the Schengen area do not need a visa when travelling within it and denizens of some countries are not subject to visa requirements, others will indeed need a Schengen visa, and in any case, the 90-day terms of the trip are only valid for 180 days after first arrival in the Schengen area.
As indicated elsewhere, some countries are very restrictive when it comes to visa regulations (e.g. Russia, China), and some are more relaxed (e.g. Costa Rica), the European Union is in the latter group more that is more inviting to American international travel.
Still, there are documents that are beneficial to have close at hand. While a visa is not needed for American short-term travel in the European Union, a work visa will be necessary if the individual seeks paid employment in any one country, and regardless, a valid passport is a necessary form of identification.
In addition, local authorities of individual EU member states may request to be shown onward and departing tickets, proof of temporary residence, and/or an invitation from a family member or acquaintance. Moreover, the individual is advised to take out medical insurance even for short stays, apply for car insurance when renting a motor vehicle, and always have the contact information of an embassy or consular office at the ready.

The Benefits of the Visa Waiver Program

The Benefits of the Visa Waiver Program

 

The Visa Waiver Program is a program enacted by the United States to remove barriers and facilitate the travel to the United States. It was designed to increase tourism business visa

Specific Benefits of the Visa Waiver Program:

The prime benefit of using the Visa Waiver Program if your country qualifies for it is skipping the visa application process if you plan on only visiting a country for a period of 90 days or less. The Visa Waiver Program grants access for one to enter into the United States without the hassle of filling out piles of paperwork to receive a visa. While the United States still performs a background check for each individual entering the United States, the benefit of not applying for a visa lifts many of the barriers that have hindered travel to the United States before 1986; such as being denied a visa for various reasons.

One travel reason that the Visa Waiver Program was aimed at was for business travel. Business trips to the United States are now much easier to set up and members from other countries can conduct business on an international scale with a new level of ease. In the grand scheme of things, the Visa Waiver Program has facilitated the spread of international business and trade and has allowed businesses a greater ability to grow, spread ideas, and conduct business deals.

Tourism is also another target for the Visa Waiver Program. The tourism industry, as a result of the Visa Waiver Program, has seen a rapid increase due to the lifted guidelines for visiting the United States. The doors for people living in eligible countries who were hesitant to travel or who were never approved for a visa are now open. Essentially, the economic effects for the Visa Waiver Program are one major reason to have it enacted and expanded in the future.

Another hidden but meaningful benefit of the Visa Waiver Program is the easier spread of ideas between the United States and other countries. On a long enough timeline, as people do more traveling, the spread of ideas becomes more widespread throughout the world. There are always new ideas that a traveler may leave behind in the United States or bring back with them to their own country. The spread of information is a valuable thing that many other countries are hoping to enjoy as the Visa Waiver Program continues to expand.

Visas to Canada

Visas to Canada

Given the wide variety of reasons that are usually available to foreign applicants for their transportation into another jurisdiction and even past precedent for American migration into neighboring territories, it might be assumed that visiting Canada from the United States is an automatic process, requiring approval by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at customs that no dangerous materials are on board and nothing more. Some may still believe that a U.S. passportis not even necessary, let alone a Canadian visa.
After all, concerning a visitor visa to the United Kingdom, the need for such documentation may be waived for short-term stays in the nation’s boundaries by American citizens and nationals. By this example of eliminating a visa, Canada might be logically construed to bypass visa restrictions for residents of its neighbor to the south in all instances. Going back to the idea of the breadth of visas, though, to be certain, not all Americans (or residents of other countries) may be looking for a few days or weeks on Canadian soil.
Instead, especially if looking for work, a foreign applicant may have to seek a Canadian visa. As the United States has dignified the Department of State as the official entity for the processing of each visa, Canada does have its own bureau to handle immigration issues, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, or CIC. 
Like most countries that will issue you a visa, Canada has restrictions that will vary based on the purpose of your temporary or extended stay in the nation. Going back to the United States/Canada binary, as an American travel visa is generally not needed for Canadian nationals, a Canadian visa is not needed for travel, at the least for the term of stay specified on your visa’s arrival/departure record. Likewise, the Canadian visa application process may be a non-issue for refugees. While Australia addresses claims to asylum in writing with the physical creation of a temporary visa, Canada is more like the United States in simply granting refugee status.
Nevertheless, the country’s government does acknowledge special categories of applicants, and this is where the uniqueness of the Canadian visa program is exposed. One such class of working visa that separates Canada is the Canadian Experience Class, which very narrowly applies to individuals with work experience following a course of study in a post-secondary institution.
Also, given the idea that the country is divided into separate “provinces,” to earn a visa, Canada or a representative thereof may offer you documentation as nominee of a particular province. In addition, Quebec, which has its own separatist sensibilities in terms of relation to the rest of Canada, makes it own rules, so the acquisition of a visa is subject to their individual immigration policies, hence the need for a certificate of selection from the powers-that-be in Quebec.

Visas to Russia

Visas to Russia

When it comes to the visa application process, countries around the world are subject to variances on just how severe their restrictions and requirements are. The United States of America, for instance, while not exactly being lax on its travel guidelines and in fact upping security measures at airports significantly in the past decade, also lets in a large number of immigrants
1. Entry visas/extra visas – With regards to pretty much any type of visa to Russia an American citizen may seek, Russian visa requirements are such that all physical possession of visa documentation must be realized prior to arrival at a Russian port of entry. A Russian visa for the purpose of entry into the country most certainly cannot be obtained at immigrations and customs services within Russia, so to avoid refusal of entry and your forced, paid immediate removal
2. Migration card – A two-part migration card, often distributed to the American traveler during transit, is another facet of Russian visa requirements. The first part of the card is submitted to immigration officials upon arrival at a Russian port of entry, and the second is retained by Russian visa holders for the remainder of their stay, especially as needed for a hotel to review.
3. Restricted areas – Visa applicants are advised to avoid some areas of the Russian Federation completely. There are specific cities that are forbidden for American citizens to enter for fear of arrest, extradition4. Other considerations – While seemingly minor, some Russian visa requirements are nonetheless not to be taken lightly, as they reflect a zero-tolerance policy put forth by Russian immigration law. For one, only the ruble is to be used in Russia; attempted use of American currency may invoke stiff penalties from the Russian justice system. Moreover, even small doses prescription medication may be cause for refusal of entry or arrest by Russian authorities without proper documentation. 

Visas to the United Kingdom

Visas to the United Kingdom

If someone is just starting to grasp the concept of international visas, one might first assume that all visas are alike, as there are so many different countries in the world and yet similar processes throughout. However, just because two countries both refer to a certification of the ability to travel as a visa, and in the English language in both cases to boot, this does not mean that the application processes to enter the two countries are exactly alike. As you might have guessed, this can refer to the divide between obtaining a visa to the United States of America and a visa to the United Kingdom, also known as a UK visa or British visa.
To be fair, a lot of the elements of the UK visa application process will be familiar to the individual who seeks or has previously sought an American visa, namely requirements for fees, medical tests and processing biometrics information. At the same time, though, the British visa system has its idiosyncrasies, especially in its formation of a tiered system. Some important things to know about the UK visa and what may help to distinguish it:
1. Terms of travel – The UK Border Agency governs the enforcement of the United Kingdom’s borders and, on an obviously related note, immigration into the confines of the territory; it is to the union of the British Isles as the Department of Homeland Security is to the United States. The UK Border Agency breaks down fairly succinctly which purposes of travel require a British visa and which do not.
In most cases, visas are not needed for short-term travel or transit through the United Kingdom, but are quite necessary for living, studying, and working in the UK, as well as joining a relative. Things get decidedly more murky when the travel period as petitioned by the traveler prior to relocation exceeds a year or more. The terms of your UK visa may get changed without your express consent, or worse, you could be denied a grant altogether.
2. Points-based system for employees – What will probably stand out most to American applicants for a British visa is the points-based system that accompanies a good number of classifications of status. The points-based system, it should be emphasized, does not apply to all visas, namely those used for the purpose of visiting the United Kingdom.
Regarding a UK visa for employment, though, there is actually a system of five tiers that categorizes a different class of labor; they are, in order, highly skilled workers, skilled workers, low-skill shortage workers, students and temporary workers as part of the Youth Mobility Scheme. To qualify for a British visa under one of the tiers, then, an objective metric of “points” or requirements must be taken into consideration for the individual.
3. A or B status for employers – While a UK visa applicant must exceed a certain threshold of points to be well-ranked under British immigration policy, employers who offer visas are themselves ranked in the United Kingdom. These terms of status are made public, and as such, can be of good use to the person making an informed decision. While an A status for a foreign employer is acceptable, B status is considered transitional and is thus a sign of danger to the employer that he or she could lose the ability to be a sponsor.

Visas to Australia

Visas to Australia

Australia is one of a handful of English-speaking countries of which its residents not only seem to have a propensity for travel, but in fact, are even encouraged by their government to do so. A great example of this is the working holiday visa program, in which young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 may have the opportunity to travel and work under a mission of cultural exchange, contingent on a working relationship between those individuals’ countries of origin and a second country that has consented to such a fraternal relationship. Like Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, Australia maintains working holiday binaries with a number of countries, and as such, the Australian presence can be felt worldwide.
As much as Australia sends its citizens beyond its borders, though, it just as easily accepts them. Like most nations, Australia encourages tourism, and with so many different geographical wonders and cultural enclaves enmeshed in the landscape, the continent surely has the amenities to solicit itself to the world’s patrons.
Given the fact it is on a completely different hemisphere than that of Australia, the United States of America is not immune to the charms of “the Land Down Under”; especially for those who suffer cold winters, the opportunity to travel to much warmer conditions is an opportunity that they will want to have in their back pocket. As a result, an Australian visa is one of the most sought after forms of documentation in American travel.
While vacation is certain a most popular justification for traveling between the United States and Australia, visa status may be petitioned for for a number of reasons. Below is a partial list of possible ways to get an Australian visa that coincides with ways in which the Australian visa is distinct from others, notably that of American immigration law:
1. Terminology – Between American English and British English, there are subtle differences not only in the way words are enunciated, but how they are perceived. A “holiday” in the American sense is definitely not the same thing as a “holiday” as interpreted in the United Kingdom or Australia. Visa application between the U.S. and Australia, similarly, is perhaps more easily understood through Australian terms.
The Department of Citizenship and Immigration groups the travel of family members and residents returning to the country under the “migrant” Australian visa. In addition, for some workers coming to Australia, visa documentation under the “migrant” banner is visible in the General Skilled Migration program. In this way, migrant is being used with greater specificity than normal international producers might.
2. Refugee status – In the United states, a grant of asylum or refugee status does not involve the acquisition of some special variety of refugee visa, to show mercy to those in immediately danger. Meanwhile, in Australia, visa routes are available for the refugee. Prior to a grant of permanent residency
3. The working holiday visa program – As mentioned, members of some countries (restricted by age and financial viability, among other things) that have entered into friendly agreements with foreign governments may apply for an Australian visa through the working holiday visa. program. For Americans looking to travel under these terms, any special considerations should be reviewed by a consular official working on behalf of the Department of State in Australia. Visa documentation of this sort is more readily available for Australians, as more agreement countries are available for their consideration.