Passports & Visas
Most trips around the world need visas in addition to a passport for at least some of the visited countries. The best way to avoid problems with travel documents is to ensure you don’t leave them till the last minute.
If you are considering any international travel, one of your first steps should be to obtain a valid passport. If you already have it, make sure it will be valid till the date of your return and, in order to obtain Visas, that it remains valid at least for the next six months.
I recommend you start working on getting a passport at least 5 months before you plan to leave. You cannot begin to apply for visas until after you receive your passport; you may need to send your passport back and forth to several embassies or consulates to obtain visas; and some visas take several weeks each to issue.
Before leaving, make several photocopies of all your documents, credit cards etc… and distribute them in different luggage, leave a copy at home, give one to people that are travelling with you.
If your passport is lost/stolen, report it to local police. Get a letter from them confirming the loss. Then go to your Embassy and start the procedure for a new copy.
A Visa is an authorization issued by the government of the country you wish to visit, as one of the preconditions of admission to the country. However, a visa is not a guarantee of admission to any country.
Questions to be asked:
Do I need a Visa? How long is it valid for? Do I need an onward or return ticket? Are there specific restrictions in order to enter the country?
Where do I get a Visa? Permission to enter a country is given by the country’s government, or representatives abroad. An embassy is a country’s primary diplomatic office in another country, usually located in the other country’s capita. All embassies issue visas.
How to Apply for Visas:
Most consulates give application instructions either on the visa forms or on a sheet accompanying them. Failure to follow the instructions can cause your application to be rejected and the fees forfeited. Most consulates are reasonably accommodating and helpful, but some are very bureaucratic.
Find a tourist bureau worldwide
Travel Information Manual
This is the reference used by airlines in deciding whether you will be admitted to your destination. This website includes information on visa, entry, and transit requirements for citizens of all countries. Useful, but you must double-check with each relevant Embassy. Website is for paid subscribers only.