I’m in Hawaii for a few days currently for work and to catch up with my parents but before I left Portland, Nick and I got word that our visas had been approved for our upcoming trip through Asia, with stops in India, Bangkok and Cambodia. To say that was a relief is an understatement, considering the time and effort I put in a few weeks ago to apply for our Indian visas. (On that note, Cambodia’s are super easy and you can get them online or when you arrive. We chose the online route and it was painless.)
But as I have been in full on prep-mode to get those visas done for our trip next month, I thought I’d share a few tips for applying for visas that might make the process easier and more straight forward.
Visas can be a lengthy process, whether you’re getting one to be in the country to live and work or you’re just visiting as a tourist. It’s extremely important to do your research ahead of time and know how much time is needed to process the visas, the requirements you must meet and the necessary information you’ll need to have as backup documentation.
Here are a few tips for doing research:
+ Find out where you need to apply, whether it be a consulate or online/through the mail.
+ Figure out what is required for the visa you’re applying for including how long it will take, what backup documentation you are required to provide and any other information that you will need to show
The visa process can be annoying for the fact that it’s, at its core, just paperwork. You’ll be required to show citizenship, identity information, proof of residence, previous visits to the country, etc. All these items will need to be documented and clear for the reviewer to look over. Being organized through the process with all the necessary paperwork and documentation is really important. Keep records of everything you send in, especially if you’re mailing items, make sure you have copies of everything.
Visa applications are often lengthy and require lots of information, so make sure to follow every single step. Leaving something out or skipping over certain steps is only going to slow you down in the long run, so make sure it’s all done the first time around.
Double check everything before you submit your visa application. I went through multiple times before mailing ours in and I found little things each time that I had missed. For example, our required us to sign about 5 different pages, all in different spots on each page, make sure all those get done.