Applying for Visas
Applying for Visas Reviews
Applying for visas from the US Jun 05, 2011
I am currently planning to travel to Africa and realzed that the process of getting visas to various countries is not all that easy. Most Americans travel to europe and do not have to worry about obtaining a visa. But when faced with having to obtain a visa the situation can change depending on which country you are travelling to.
For example if you are travelling to India then if you give them your passport before 12 noon you can get your visa the same day.
Tanzania however, you can go to their embassy in person and hand in your passport. But they will give it back to you in 4 days. What? I have to hang around in DC for 4 days? Well or you can mail it in and they will mail it back to you in 4 days.
Kenya goes one step beyond by refusing to accept applications in person. You have to mail it to them and they say it takes 14 business days for them to process it.
What is amazing for kenya and tanzania is that if you reach the airport without a visa, i believe they give you one right there in 5 minutes. Though i am told they can also reject it it. So you are taking a huge risk.
So plan for long delays in the visa process. Also if you mail it in you need to mail a self addressed stamped envelope. Kenya and tanzania have restrictions on the type of service you can use. For example you cannot use ups for sending your passport to the kenyan embassy.
If you use fedex then on your retrun bill you have to provide a fedex account number or your credit card number. This is how fex will bill you. You cannot pay for your return ahead of time with fedex. So now not only is your passport sitting in some embassy for almost a month but so is your credit card number. So make sure you create an account with fedex. This way no one gets to see your credit card number.
So if you are plannng to travelto a country where you requi a visa, go to their embassy web site and get all the information as soon as possible. Be prepared for surprise requests or delays.
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