Visas are often as important as your passport when it comes to travelling abroad. Whether you require a visa or not is determined on a country-by-country basis, as is whether you can apply for a visa prior to travel or on arrival.
A visa is a form of documentation – electronic or otherwise – that grants travellers permission to travel through a nominated country for a certain period of time. They are separate to your passport and whether you need one or not will depend on the diplomatic relations between the country whose passport you hold and the country (or countries) you’re travelling to. Also note that some visas take weeks to obtain, so it definitely pays to be organised. When you’re travelling, knowing what visas you may need should be just as important as making sure your passport is up-to-date and taking out travel insurance.
Why Do I Need A Visa?
Visas are essentially a tool used by countries to keep track of who can enter their country and who cannot. As a traveller, you’ll need a visa if the country you are wishing to enter requires it – it’s that simple. To find out if you need a visa, Flight Centre partners with CIBT the global leader in Travel Visas. To search for and establish the requirements for a Visa as well as purchase please click Search VISAs
Alternatively, please contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country you intend to visit. Alternatively, call 133 133 and speak to one of our Flight Centre Travel Experts, who can help you arrange your visa. You should always check the conditions of the visa, which will include a limit on the length of time you can stay. The table below will give you a rough outline of the Visas required by Australian citizens but note that this is only a guide, and visas remain the individual responsibility of travellers.
How Do I Get A Visa?
The application process for visas will vary. Visas can be arranged either online or by submitting the appropriate documentation in person at the country’s consulate or embassy.
Many people seek out travel agency visa assistance and find that asking their local Flight Centre Travel Expert to help them is by far the easiest option. Some countries will require you to apply for the visa before you travel, while other countries will let you apply for the visa once you arrive. You may find that the country you wish to visit charges a fee to obtain a visa. If you’re planning to get your visa upon arrival into the country, make sure you have the appropriate currency, as many destinations only accept cash.
Types Of Visa
There are several types of visa such as a tourist visa, working visa, business visa, student visa, immigration visa, and so on. If you’re going to another country for a holiday or to visit family or friends, you’ll most likely need a tourist visa.
A few countries, such as the United States, have eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) and ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) ‘visa waiver’ programs, which enable citizens of specific countries to travel for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. These involve electronic pre-screenings for citizens from visa-exempt nations. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises that in most cases, a tourist visa does not allow you to work in a foreign country and this involves voluntary or unpaid work.
Travel Tip: Be aware of visa scams. Unfortunately, visa scams are very common and will not only rob you of your cash but leave you with no official visa. Make sure you’re using the Smartraveller recommended links or refer to your Flight Centre Travel Expert for assistance.
Visas For Australians Travelling Overseas: A Brief Overview
Please note: Visas are the individual responsibility of travellers. The information below is to be used as a guide only. Conditions can change suddenly so we recommend checking the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website for the latest updates.