Planning a vacation abroad? You may be able to avoid an embassy

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Choosing your next vacation destination is not always the easiest task. There are so many choices and so many places that you may want to visit — all at once if possible. That may not be realistic, but one thing you must remember is that patience gets you through the whole planning process. Trust us, you will need it.

At the same time, once you select a destination, you must concern yourself with all kinds of aspects that make your vacation possible. One of them revolves around travel documents and obtaining a visa. Fortunately for you, many countries adopted the electronic visa system so you may be in luck. An electronic visa is easy to obtain, and you need so few things to get it. Below you will find a simple but useful guide on how you can avoid an embassy or long queues at the airport next time you choose a foreign destination for your vacation.

Step one: determine whether you are eligible or not

Electronic visas have changed the game, but not everyone has access to one. That is why the first thing you must do is check whether or not you qualify for an electronic visa. Let’s say you want to visit Cambodia. If you take a look at Cambodia’s visa policy, you will notice that almost all nationalities can apply for their visa online. The process is entirely online, so you don’t have to search for a nearby embassy to physically visit, or deal with any hassle at the airport upon arrival. All you have to do is go online and follow the rest of the steps.

Step two: make sure you meet all the requirements

It is true that an electronic visa is more accessible to obtain than a consular visa. For one thing, the former can be obtained from home while still in your PJs. However, the aspect that makes the online process easier is the lack of challenging requirements; an electronic visa usually requires very little documentation. A passport is an obvious must in all cases, no matter what visa you apply for. Other requirements include digital photos, an e-mail address, return flight tickets, and so on. The point is that apart from the passport, something that not all people have, you may already have everything you need for an electronic visa. Once you put everything together, you can move on to the next step.

Step three: fill in the application form

What consular visas and electronic visas have in common is that they both require an application form. That is natural, after all. You need to ask for something before it is given to you. However, there is a significant difference between government forms and online forms. An electronic visa application form needs to be completed online, and it usually takes about 20 minutes to do it. They only ask for some general information and supporting documents, but other than that, you should have no issues in going through one. Plus, there is always a customer support service that can jump in and help if you need assistance.

Once all three steps are complete, you can relax and go about your business. The online application process differs from service to service, but most of them ask for about the same thing. The processing time is usually short, and you can sometimes opt for an urgent issuance, depending on the service. The electronic visa arrives via e-mail, and you need to print it out before departure. You may want to print several copies, just in case you lose one.

The bottom line is that in this day and age a trip to a foreign country is not necessarily accompanied by a trip to the nearest embassy. You may or may not be eligible for an electronic visa, depending on your country of origin or where you plan to go, but it is worth a shot. If you had to choose between several hours standing in line at a consulate or applying for your visa during your lunch break, which one would you go for? It seems to me that it’s a no brainer.

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