The Pocket Guide to Understanding Visa

  • visa

    Planning a foreign trip? But not sure as to how to apply for a visa? Whatever your doubts/ your queries regarding visa, we’ve got you covered.

    Why is a Visa needed to travel abroad?

    Visa is a permission granted by the foreign government allowing the holder to enter the country. Before departure, the airline staff checks the visa. In case of improper credentials, the passenger won’t be allowed to board the aircraft. Also, the foreign country will deny entry if the traveller does not have a valid visa. The visa issued mentions a maximum number of days the traveller can stay in that country. Staying in a country after the visa expires will attract fine.

    Difference between Visa on Arrival, Visa-Free and Visa Required

    Countries that offer Visa on Arrival implies that the traveller can obtain visa upon arrival in the destination country. Traveller does not have to apply for the visa beforehand.

    Visa-Free nations allow the traveller to enter the country without a travel visa. However, the traveller must have a valid passport for entry and exit purposes.

    Visa Required implies that before travelling, the visitor has to apply for a visa to the destination country.

    What is the process for Visa on Arrival?

    In case of Visa on Arrival, the airlines provide a form to the passengers to fill on board. After reaching the destination, the passenger can obtain the visa on arrival at the airport and pay the visa fee.

    Where do I check for Visa Information?

    Ideally, before booking your flight tickets and also few weeks before the departure date, you must check the official website of the Embassy of the destination country. The Embassy will assist you with the visa application process and latest information regarding visa and travel requirements.

    Which are the Schengen countries?

    With a Schengen visa, you will have to enter one Schengen country. Then, you can travel to the rest of the member states. Schengen area comprises of 26 European countries. They include Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Belgium, Greece, Malta, Spain, Hungary, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Estonia, Italy, Poland, Liechtenstein, Finland, Latvia, Portugal, France, Lithuania and Slovakia.

    Documents required for Visa

    Most of the countries require the below documents for visa:

    Passport valid for 3- 6 months from the departure date. Minimum one blank passport page needed.

    Return ticket or ongoing ticket.

    2 passport-size photographs.

    Payment receipt of the Visa fees.

    Hotel bookings/ Invitation letter from someone in the destination country.

    Bank statement or passbook (last 3 months) certified by the bank.

    Duly filled application form.

    Original payslips (last 3 months).

    Personal Income Tax Return (ITR) or Form 16 (1 year).

    Common Questions asked during a Visa Interview

    After you have submitted your visa application, you may be called for an interview. Here are some of the common questions asked during the interview:

    What is the purpose of your visit?

    How long will you stay in that country?

    If currently employed, have you applied for leave from your workplace for the trip?

    Will you return to your home country post your visit?

    Where will you stay in that country?

    Do you have a criminal record?

    How many of you are travelling together?

    Do you have health insurance for this trip?

    Have you booked your flight tickets?

    Author : Vijaylaxmi Thakur