People are often hesitant to travel abroad because of the hassle involved in visa application and approval. Visa applications are fraught with uncertainty; your plans to travel overseas may be jeopardized with your rejected visa application.
Fortunately, you can complete the required paperwork once you reach the international coast, with visa on arrival facilities. Submit the needed paperwork and pay the requisite fees to gain complete access to your dream location. But who knows if it’s that simple to get, and what exactly does “visa on arrival” mean?
We’ll figure out all the details in this article.
What precisely is a visa on arrival?
Visa-On-Arrival is just as it sounds like: a visa that is issued upon arrival. People travelling abroad can apply for a visa at the borders of another country for tourist purposes. Still, they would be limited to a certain amount of time, according to the agreements among the nations. It is a type of visa received at the airport upon arrival rather than at the consulate in your home country. Visa on arrival is also known as Visa upon Arrival or Landing Visa.
Your visa will be released on your arrival at your destination’s first port of entry.
Perks of Visa on arrival
Finally, those who are still unsure about what a visa on arrival entails will become acquainted with all of the benefits of this process.
But here’s a rundown of some of them:
• This procedure does not necessitate any additional documentation;
• There is no waiting time for the visa to be issued.
• Saves everyone’s time.
• Lower travel expenses
What is the difference between an eVisa and a Visa on Arrival?
The principal difference between an eVisa and a visa on arrival (VOA) is that travellers should apply for an eVisa electronically before their trip. At the same time, VOAs can be obtained once they arrive at their destination.
A visa on arrival can be applied for and obtained when the traveller arrives at the destination country’s airport.
If a foreign visitor meets the following criteria, they may be given a VOA:
- Their nationality qualifies them—many countries only give VOAs to residents of specific states.
- They have the required paperwork with them. They pay the fee.
- There is no excuse to refuse them the visa, such as being on a foreign watchlist.
How to get a visa on arrival?
Candidly, it is a fantastic opportunity to obtain a visa without the hassles of applying for one. It is only for tourists who came for a few days to see the spectacular views or sights in a particular country.
However, keep in mind that if you intend to stay for an extended period, establish your own business, study, and work there, you will undoubtedly need to apply for a visa.
Another word of caution: not every country allows visitors to obtain a visa on arrival.
Several nationalities are barred from obtaining visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry into the country you are visiting. So, if you are unlucky enough to be one of them, you will be unable to enter the country.
Furthermore, the airline would not allow you to board the plane.
If this occurs, the visitor must postpone his visit and apply for a visa at an embassy.
As a result, you should double-check all relevant information ahead of time.
Documents Needed for Visa on arrival
Although the documents required differ by country, we strongly advise that you have the documents listed below on hand.
- Identifying Documents (at least one year)
- Photocopy of a passport
- Visa submission form completed Visa fee (required in foreign currency)
- Reservation of a hotel Round-trip airfare
- At least three biometric photos
- Travel medical insurance
- Bank statement records dating back at least three months
What to do after arrival?
To begin with, once you arrive at your destination, you must still perform the necessary legwork.
You may have different requirements depending on your home country.
For example, some countries prefer you to apply for a VOA online before your departure, whereas others do not. However, if your country does not require this, you will only have to wait.
Of course, if it’s peak season, you might have to wait a little longer.
Following that, you will most likely be required to fill out a form in which you will be asked for various information.
The questions may vary depending on the country you wish to visit.
Some of them may even inquire about your parents’ names, blood group, and religious beliefs.
After that, you’ll have to pay some money. Fortunately, you can pay in either US dollars or the local currency if you prefer.
It is typical for it to cost between $50 and $100. Also, keep in mind that you must check the box next to “tourism” on the “purpose of visit” line to obtain a visa.
Should you choose Visa on Arrival over a consulate-approved visa?
These days, more and more countries offer Visa on Arrival.
It is far more convenient to obtain a visa on arrival.
It saves time, money, and unnecessary trips to the consulate.
Visa on Arrival is preferred –
- For short trips ranging from two weeks to a month
- If your city or country does not have a consulate
Do you need to plan ahead of time for your Visa on Arrival?
At the airport or the border, obtaining a Visa on Arrival can be time-consuming.
Sometimes you’d spend 1-2 hours just waiting in line.
Usually, it is the applicants themselves who cause the delays, not the visa officers.
Most passengers arrive at the airport with no prior knowledge of the requirements and no prior preparation.
They waste too much time at the counter asking questions, looking up information on their phones, chatting with family/friends, or arguing with the visa officers.
A little forethought can not only save you time, but it can also save the time of those in line behind you.
Some essential steps to remember when applying for a Visa on Arrival in any country.
1. Read and comprehend the requirements
Visa on Arrival is still a visa. You must carefully read and comprehend the requirements. You must ensure that you meet all of the requirements and eligible for a Visa on Arrival.
Failure to meet the requirements may result in the denial of your visa. It is far more challenging to deal with a visa denial at the airport than in your home country.
WiFi or 3G services are typically unavailable at airports, making it difficult to devise a workaround or alternate plan.
Thailand, for example, allows 21 nationalities to obtain a visa on arrival.
If you do not belong to one of those 21 nationalities, you will be denied a Visa on Arrival.
2. Read and comprehend the procedure.
The procedure for obtaining a Visa on Arrival at the airport varies slightly by country.
Although the majority of countries adhere to the standard procedure, some have prerequisites.
Read and comprehend the procedure to ensure that you know everything that must be done before and at the airport to obtain a Visa on Arrival.
For example, to obtain a Visa on Arrival in Vietnam, you must first get an approval letter from a visa agent before your arrival.
Similarly, to obtain a Visa on Arrival in Qatar, you must first obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) before your arrival.
3. Compile all of the information required for Visa on Arrival forms.
The online version of the Visa on Arrival forms can be viewed or downloaded.
Go through all of the fields and collect the information that needs to be filled in.
Some of the information would be personal data such as your name, date of birth, nationality, passport number, and so on, which you are likely to remember.
Search for information such as a contact person, address, phone number, and the number of days in the host country, along with employment and residential address in your home country, among other things.
Because this information is difficult to recall, it is best to write it down on paper or in a notepad app.
For example, a Vietnam visa application will request information such as your employment and residential address in your home country and the address, name, and phone number of your contact in Vietnam.
Having this information on hand will save you a significant amount of time at the airport.
4. Save time at the airport by downloading and pre-filling all application forms.
Download all of the application forms if permitted.
Fill them out and print them.
This will not only save you time, but it will also save you from having to dig through your phone for the information.
For instance, the Vietnam Visa on the Arrival application form is available for download.
Downloading and filling out this form before arriving in Vietnam can save you a lot of time at the airport.
5. Gather all necessary documents
Print out all of the documents required for your Visa on Arrival.
Return flight tickets, hotel booking confirmations, bank statements, invitation letters, conference/event confirmations, and so on are examples.
Keep them all together by stacking your completed application forms on top.
Having all of your documents together saves you from going back and forth with the visa officers.
If you prefer electronic versions of your documents, make sure they are also accessible offline.
When you arrive at the airport’s immigration, you will not have access to WiFi or 3G.
To save the documents and make them available offline, use a cloud service like Google Drive or Dropbox.
For example, to obtain a Visa on Arrival in Thailand, you would need to provide documents such as a return flight ticket within 15 days, hotel booking confirmation, and so on.
These must be presented to the visa officers at the Visa on Arrival counters, along with the application form.
6. Collect the necessary photographs
Make a few copies of your passport-sized photos.
Reread the visa requirements and double-check that the photographs are following the photo specifications.
Some Visa on Arrival sections have photo booths, but this is not always the case.
For example, a 46 cm passport size photograph is required for a Thailand Visa on Arrival.
It is preferable to have a photograph that is the exact size and specifications.
7. Gather the funds for the visa fee.
The Visa on Arrival fee must be paid in the host country’s currency or, in some cases, in USD.
ATMs are not always available at Visa on Arrival sections.
Even when they are available, they are frequently broken or do not function properly.
Currency exchange is generally available at Visa on Arrival sections.
If you don’t have the local currency with you, you can easily exchange it for USD.
Major currencies such as EUR and GBP can be exchanged as well.
Determine the visa fee and obtain payment in either the host country’s currency or USD.
For example, the visa fee for a Thailand Visa on Arrival is 2,000 THB, which can only be paid in Thai Baht (THB).
At the Airport or Border
8. Acknowledge the signs and follow the instructions.
When you arrive at the airport/land border, follow everyone else to immigration and customs.
Look for the Visa on Arrival, Visa upon Arrival, or Landing Visa section when you arrive at immigration and customs. Please take all of the necessary forms and fill them out.
Place yourself in line and wait for your turn—hand over your passport, forms, photos, and payment at the counter.
There may be multiple counters and steps depending on the country and airport. You may be required to hand over your documents at one counter, pay at another, and then pick up your passport at a different counter.
To pick up your passport, you will be called by token or name. When you get your passport, look for the visa sticker right away.
Check that all of the information is correct, including the expiration date.
9. Proceed as usual through immigration and customs.
Proceed to immigration and customs after receiving your passport. Your passport and visa will be checked, and you will receive an entry stamp. Before you leave immigration, double-check the dates on your entry stamp. Keep your departure card until you leave the country if you were given one.
To exit the country, you must have a departure card.
Four Countries that offer visa on travel for all nationalities
Over the years, countries that have implemented ‘E-visa or ‘visa on arrival’ regulations have greatly simplified visa processing.
While it made it simpler for some passports, passport holders from many countries are still barred from participating in several e-visa and visa-on-arrival services and must obtain a visa in advance of their trip.
However, a “sub-group of friendly nations” continues to provide a “visa-free” or “visa-on-arrival” scheme to all passport holders.
Unsurprisingly, three of the four countries that are particularly open to all passport holders are island nations.
Republic of Seychelles
Seychelles is a visa-free country, and no visas are required for anyone wishing to enter the Republic of Seychelles.
Republic of Maldives
The Maldives does not need any passport holders to obtain a pre-arrival visa.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all nationalities are granted a thirty-day free visa upon arrival.
Republic of Tuvalu
This Polynesian republic, located in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Australia, allows all nationalities to enter without a visa or a visa on arrival.
Republic of Togo
Togo, a West African republic, allows all nationalities to enter without a visa or with a visa on arrival.
The approved duration of stay will vary from 7 to 90 days, depending on the passport presented.
Alerts for Visas on Arrival
Not every country offers them.
VOAs are only available in a few countries, and they are sometimes only available for tourist visas rather than business visas.
Not every visa length is available, with some only offering one-year options.
Country’s visa options can change frequently and unexpectedly.
Countries may also change their visa requirements with little advance notice and even less publicity.
You will still need to do some footwork.
While you do not have to go through the entire visa application process for a VOA, you must still do some preliminary work.
Vietnam provides VOAs, and the country requires you to obtain an official letter of approval from a Vietnamese agent before entering the country.
Other countries’ conditions can vary, such as applying for a VOA online before departure.
Once you arrive, you may have to wait a while.
It is not uncommon for some airports to have lines of three hours or more during peak season.
Finding the right line can be difficult, and you always run the risk of getting stuck behind a swarm of tourists.
Public holidays in your destination country can also cause significant delays in the processing of your visa.
Fees can differ, be only in cash, or even border on a scam.
According to the Department of State’s website, some American citizens have confirmed being charged unexpected and exorbitant fees upon arrival in Vietnam.
The Vietnam Embassy website also warns visitors about websites that are accused of defrauding them.