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Are VISAS as much of a headache as they seem?

Travel Forums Round the World Travel Are VISAS as much of a headache as they seem?

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11. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member 413 posts) 6y

Quoting Mai Brown

I had to try and get a Russian visa in Shanghai just to catch the trans-Siberian railway to Europe when I would only set foot in Moscow while changing trains to Germany. They made so many conditions that I just gave up. I told the man at the Russian Consulate desk that they could keep their stupid country, full of drunks and gangsters, then I ran out real fast.

Yeah, getting a Russian visa is a real hassle. At the Russian consulate in Toronto, there were no signs or instructions and the Russian 'civil' servants behind the desks were anything but civil (is smiling illegal in Russia?) and told me I had to pay for the visa by bank order- no cash or credit card. Which meant running out to the nearest bank, and running back before they closed (just in time).

Still, Russia itself was awesome. If it wasn't such a hassle to get a visa, I'd go back.

12. Posted by Jeanie9999 (Budding Member 27 posts) 6y

Some Visas can be a hassle like the Russian Visa, you need an invitation and you can't just wonder around like in Europe, go thru an agency they will take the hassle away and try and get it before you leave.

Didn't have a problem with the Chinese Visa, picked it up in Vietnam from a travel agency(cost an extra £1) single entry for 30 days, you can get a 3 month one if you are doing work there, not sure about multy entry. These are things you have to get sorted before you leave so you know exactly where you are getting the Visas.

The tourist Visas are different to working Visas so take the time to find out what you need to do before hand and the timescale required, believe me it will save time in the long run.
Jean

13. Posted by Keev (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6y

Firstly, thanks for some of the advice already in the post, some great points.

I'm travelling to Thailand - Laos - Vietnam - Cambodia from September to December, then continuing my trip to Oz etc. I'm wondering if I need to buy visas for all of the countries in South East Asia before going. I will actually be entering Thailand twice to get my flight out of Bangkok, so I presumably need the 2 Entry Tourist Visa.

For Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, is it worth buying them in advance? I leave on 20th September so I'm conscious that it's not a great amount of time to have to send my passport off 4 times to different embassies.

Thanks in advance for your help!

14. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member 413 posts) 6y

Quoting Keev

Firstly, thanks for some of the advice already in the post, some great points.

I'm travelling to Thailand - Laos - Vietnam - Cambodia from September to December, then continuing my trip to Oz etc. I'm wondering if I need to buy visas for all of the countries in South East Asia before going. I will actually be entering Thailand twice to get my flight out of Bangkok, so I presumably need the 2 Entry Tourist Visa.

For Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, is it worth buying them in advance? I leave on 20th September so I'm conscious that it's not a great amount of time to have to send my passport off 4 times to different embassies.

Thanks in advance for your help!

As I understand it, you can get visas at the airports and major border crossings for Thailand, Laos and Cambodia- but NOT Vietnam. You have to get that one in advance.

15. Posted by Overlandin (Budding Member 82 posts) 6y

Hey,

I have found this site useful and pretty accurate regarding visa's and whether they are required in advance or not. Check out www.projectvisa.com and it might answer some of your questions. It is not beautiful - but it works for me! :)

Cheers, Tania

16. Posted by dwierda (Budding Member 2 posts) 6y

So where are you going? I don't know that you ever said. I've travelled overland across Central and South America and across West Africa and visas were never a problem. Sometimes they cost you a few extra days in this or that capital but those were some of the best times on the trip.

If some countries you want to visit pose a great problem for the visa, maybe you will need to get the visa before leaving home, but there's almost always some place on the road that is far easier. We once waited 3 days in Guatemala City for a visa for El Salvador only to find other travelers got them cheaper right at the border.

The South American Handbook was great and still may be but everything you need to know must be on the Internet somewhere. Isn't there a UK version of a company like http://www.traveldocs.com/visas.htm that even has the forms you need available whether or not you work with them? Maybe TravellersPoint will have something more in the future, but Lonely Planet or Footprint or the On a Shoestring sites must have some of this information available without buying their books.

Have a great trip!

17. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

[quote=DJ Verance]The best way to get the best deal on airfare is to get an around the world ticket.
Not always the case. It's quite often cheaper to buy individual tickets - over a RTW fare.

18. Posted by dwierda (Budding Member 2 posts) 6y

Quoting dwierda

If some countries you want to visit pose a great problem for the visa, maybe you will need to get the visa before leaving home, but there's almost always some place on the road that is far easier. We once waited 3 days in Guatemala City for a visa for El Salvador only to find other travelers got them cheaper right at the border.

Just saw a Facebook status from a friend in Bamako that proves my point a few posts back: "Victory! Sat five hours waiting at the Nigeria embassy--people were sick or out--and they felt so bad for me they gave me a FIVE year visa." If you can turn bureaucracy into human-to-human you'll like the results, and that happens more easily in Bamako or at a border than in London or any major capital city.

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