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What Is an Online Visa Application? Travel Entry Policy

Online visas, also known as eVisas, make it possible for travelers to complete the visa application process in a much timelier manner than ever before.

online visa application

By making efficient use of the virtual environment, applying for a visa is a quick process that allows for submission of materials and payment of fees to be entirely completed online.

The decision of approval of the application is also voiced online via email, making the process an entirely virtual experience.

Now that you have a general idea of the online visa application process, here are some specifics to keep in mind for your next trip abroad.

Does Every Country Use An eVisa Program?

While the number of countries integrating online visa application forms is growing, not all countries have chosen to utilize this approach.

Eventhough not many countries have the eVisa system in place, many countries still have some sort of an online entry form that needs to be filled out. For example, the FMM Tourist Card for Mexico is available online for travelers to submit.

Check with your local embassy to determine if your intended travel destination uses online visa accommodations

Why Apply Online?

Although more countries are allowing travelers to apply for visas upon arrival (VOA), many countries are still hesitant to adopt this process. Concerns of poor ICT infrastructure, forgery, and inability to gather accurate biometrics have shown merit for the adoption of digital measures instead.

Beyond this, applying online provides the traveler with additional conveniences that they can't achieve any other way when it comes to applying for their travel visa.

The overall process is faster, and the traveler avoids the direct questioning that coincides with VOAs or regular visa applications.

You can also print your copy directly, keep it with you upon arrival, and maintain a virtual and physical copy while you travel.

For a more secure movement of people and places, apply online!

Which Visa Do I Apply For?

The answer to this question depends on where you intend to visit, the purpose of travel, and the length of stay. There are different kinds of work visas and student visas, and even tourist visas can be broken down into subcategories. 

Transit visas may also be necessary if your trip from one place to the next has a layover in another country.

Contact your local embassy to determine which visa(s) are suitable for your travel needs and your expected travel route before you go.

What If I Can't Access My Status Information?

Although accessibility should be straightforward with an online eVisa program, there are times when additional help is needed.

You can always reach out to your embassy to find the status of your application or to address any related concerns you may have about your visa or traveling abroad. 

Will I Need My Passport To Get A Visa?

Since visas are indicated as temporary arrangements on a passport, you need a valid passport to apply for your visa.

Make sure that your passport is valid and maintains at least six months left before you apply. You also need two blank pages in your passport.

The general length of time left for a passport to be valid is six months, but remember, these laws vary depending on the country.

Look up the legalities for traveling to your intended travel destination before making any assumptions.

Will I Need To Send My Passport Over Online?

Though there are sometimes exceptions depending on location, you may be required to send in your passport for identity verification purposes to complete your visa application online.

Remember that your passport and your visa go together, so keep the information you input consistent for both of them.

How Do I Know If I Am Approved For My Visa?

Depending on the eVisa program you are using, approval may be communicated through email or by receiving status updates throughout the process.

You can check the status of your application whenever you want, so make use of this as desired.

In some cases, an expedited approval process can be granted. Contact your local embassy to find out if this arrangement is possible for you and your travel needs.

Do I Need A Printed Visa Copy?

Even if you've completed the entire visa process online, you still want to keep a printed copy with you.

Foreign travelers are often approached by government officials for travel paperwork, so you'll want to always keep a copy with you while you're traveling. 

Make sure you keep your passport handy as well for further identification purposes.

Check All The Boxes Before Traveling

While the specifics of online visa application may differ from one country to the next, there are still consistent aspects that make applying for your visa online straightforward.

Review the content in this article to ensure that you check all the boxes and complete all the necessary online forms for your trip.

Although it is generally faster to apply for your visa online, keep in mind that it can still take some time before you hear back about your status. Remember to check for updates as you go!

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