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What are Visa Requirements? A Travelers Guide

Travelers who want to visit countries other than their passport country may need to get a visa before they can do so. In order to apply for a visa, they will need to meet certain requirements. 

It is up to each traveler to make sure that they meet the necessary requirements before they submit a visa application.

Doing so gives them the best possible chance of having their visa accepted. Once this happens, they can take the trip they’ve been planning without further hassle.

How Do Visa Requirements Work?

Visa requirements are the qualifications that a traveler must have in order to apply for a visa and get permission to enter the country. Visa requirements must be met before the application is made.

However, not all applications that meet the requirements will be accepted. Once the minimum requirements are met, the applicant can submit their visa application.

It will be evaluated and they may even have to answer some questions. When a final decision is made, they will be notified.

Visa Requirements

Are Visa Requirements the Same for All People?

Visa requirements vary by country and by a traveler’s country of origin. 

Different countries may have different visa requirements for travelers. For instance, some may require travelers to have passport validity for 6 months past their entry date, while others may not.

Some countries will have different requirements depending on a visitor’s country of origin.

In these cases, travelers with passports from some countries may have different requirements than those from other countries. For instance, those from some countries may require additional documentation.

Common Visa Requirements

There are a number of common visa requirements. This is not a comprehensive list, as some countries have unusual requirements.

It is, however, a list of the visa requirements that travelers are most likely to encounter.


Most visas require the applicant to fill out an application. This asks them for basic information, like their name, address, date of birth, passport number, etc.

Any information that the traveler puts on their application needs to match their passport identically. If they misspell something or get something wrong, their application will not be accepted.

There is usually a fee that is submitted as part of the application, too. This covers administrative costs and processing.


Some countries only offer visas to people of certain nationalities. Other countries require people of different nationalities to apply for different kinds of visas.

This is usually based on reciprocal agreements between countries. People from countries without these agreements will generally need to provide more information to apply for a visa.


Most visas require a traveler to gather certain documents before they can apply. Their passport is always one of these.

Other documents may depend on the type of visa the traveler is applying for. If educational, they will need to show proof of acceptance into an academic program; if work-related, they may need to show a signed contract.

Travelers may also need to document their income or amount of funds in a bank account, show proof of a return ticket, or show where they have previously traveled within a certain amount of time.


Everyone who applies for a visa needs a valid passport from their home country. This passport should be in good condition, without torn pages, not bent, with the barcode intact.

The passport needs to maintain validity for the length of the traveler’s stay and/or for the length of visa they are applying for. Many countries require at least 6 months of validity from the time the traveler enters the country.

Travel History

Travelers may need to provide information about where they have traveled within a certain amount of time. This may be the last 1 year, 5 years, or even 10 years. 

Travelers are required to provide what countries were visited for the last 10 years for the India eTourist visa.

Applicants should endeavor to be as thorough as possible when making these reports. However, frequent travelers may not be required to know the exact dates of all trips.

Criminal Record

Many countries will not allow people with a criminal record, or with certain kinds of convictions, to enter their country. In some situations, they may need to apply for special permission or a different kind of visa.

Travelers may be asked about their criminal record, or they may be asked to give permission for a background check.

Either way, it is key that they do not hide anything. Most of the time, having a criminal record will not automatically disqualify someone from getting a visa.

However, lying about one’s criminal record will almost always do so.

Other Requirements

Some countries will have requirements in addition to the ones listed above. For instance, some countries may require an interview at an embassy or consulate. 

Every traveler needs to ensure that their application is complete before they submit it.

Travelers who need one must have an approved visa in-hand before they begin their trip. They can start the process by applying today, especially if they want to travel soon.

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