Visas

Before leaving for a journey, it is important to inquire, well in advance, of the entry regulations, the validity of the passport, any visas and vaccinations related to the country of destination.

Before leaving for an international trip (travel, work, study, volunteer, etc.) you need to know your own vaccination status in order to assess a vaccination plan that takes into account not only the staff of the state of general health, also the destination, the type and duration of the trip.


Remember that some diseases, eliminated long time ago in Italy, are, in fact, still endemic or epidemic in some countries.

Let’s analyze this matter: visas.

At first, you must ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after entering the visiting Country. This is a mandatory requirement for many countries around the world.

Passport. It’s an internationally recognized document that enables the holder to travel from country to country. It can be:

diplomatic, for service (for official, special, or public affairs) or ordinary;
individual (with the possible inclusion of the spouse and minor children) or group (made out to groups of not less than five and no more than 50 people, who travel together and for the same purpose, usually tourist, having all the same citizenship, and entering, staying and go out all together the Schengen area: each member of the group must have a personal identity document, complete with photograph).

In many countries, the so called "invitation letter" might be requested. What is it about?

It’s a simply  “declaration of hospitality” in which guarantees for the person who will be visiting in their own country. To be sure that this person does not become an illegal immigrant. It can happen that it may be required and the possibilities are two:

1- You can get it by paying an extra tax at the agency who is providing you a visa.
2- You can try, contacting the hotel or an "acquaintance" of the country where you want to go to visit and receive a letter; in these cases, if it is not completely free, you will pay much less than the costs of the agency.

If you travel in the United States, you must request the ESTA: Electronic System for Travel Authorization. Essentially it is a document that facilitates entry into the United States, it effectively replaces a visa normally required by the US. ESTA is in fact, part of the "Visa Waiver Program", a program whose access is reserved just to a few countries, among them Italy.

Below there is a complete list of countries ESTA allowed:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

ESTA has a two-year validity; if the passport expires before the last two years, the validity of ESTA follows the one of the passport.

 

If you travel to Australia, and you are not Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a visa, an electronic visa for short-term visit for Australia for up to 3 months. It is granted to holders of passports of some countries that reside outside Australia.

Citizens with New Zealand passport can apply for a visa when they arrive in Australia. All other travelers must, instead, apply for a visa before leaving their country.

When you organize a trip to China, in order to get the tourist visa (in addition to the application form / passport / passport with at least six months validity / photocopy of the page with your personal information / reservations of flights there and back), you are also required a detailed plan of trip.

If you go with an organized group is easier, because the agency will take care of all bookings and bureaucratic matters, but if you are independent traveller, you will need a reservation of the hotel complete with a Chinese stamp and not just the booking of any hotel done via web.

People have to contact the structures by mail, reserving the room and then receive the scanned reservation.

Even in the case of Sri Lanka, before you depart,  you must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA).

I am aware that the continued evolution of the rules on passports and visas may be confusing, because of this I would suggest you to check well on line before planning a journey.

We will keep on updating the rules of the Countries we have listed and we will add new ones as well.

Enjoy your journey!

 

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