I'm an American and am going to several places where a visa is necessary. The problem is that I can't get a lot of these beforehand since it needs to be issued no more than 3 months before you enter.
So I will need to get a Lebanon, Syria, India, Russia, Mongola, China (those are for the trans-sib railroad), etc. visa.
How difficult would it be to get an India visa while in Budapest? What about Russia, Mongolia and China in South Africa?
Does anybody know the typical time frame that I should allow to obtain these?
Thanks so much!
Most are easy to get on the road. Just watch out for the different regulations. These vary from country to country (both which passport you are on, and also the country you are applying to) which can change frequently and even vary from embassy to embassy.
For example, you cannot get a Russian tourist visa in Beijing unless you have a a Chinese residence permit, you can sometimes in Shanghai and HK is easy. If you are on a German passport, you can only get a Russian visa in Germany or country you have residence (officially). Diplomatic reciprocity is a wonderful thing!!
In general, you can get them relatively easily in embassies and consulates around the world. Just don't get hugely fixed to dates, as sometimes things just happen. You can almost always get them done smae day if you pay a (large) premium. 3 working days is average, some places and 5 working days the max you should ever have. Note that national holidays can play a problem - they will take off both local and home holidays (i.e. teh Chinese consulate in SA, will take both SAfrica and China holidays off, which can leave you in a bit of trouble around Chinese ew Year, for example, if you need it in a hurry....)
Also, note that some are closer. Russia you can only get 45 days in advance.
With the Russia visa, it must depend on where you apply as to how far in advance you can reply. I don't know about any of the places you have mentioned about replying, but I know I sent off my application for a Russian visa today. I called the embassy today, and they told me it was alright to send the application off for the visa for my trip there starting in Late June and finishing in Early-Mid July. They said that they don't accept applications any more than 6 months in advance. So it must just depend on which country you apply, as to how far in advance you can apply. With the Russian visa one thing you have got to be careful about is the visa support documentation. Some embassies only accept the original and not a fax or home printed copy. Check out this link for info on Russian visa application throughout various areas of the world.http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/messagepost.cfm?postaction=reply&catid=15&threadid=167314&messid=1365758&STARTPAGE=1&parentid=0&from=1