And So You’re Off – Are All Of Your Visas Sorted?

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You have been planning this for months, whether this is your long awaited and much needed holiday, your first big adventure or a short trip squeezed into a busy schedule, your holiday is FINALLY HERE!

If you are like me, I have every detail, schedule and aspect planned and organised to a tee. But there is always the aspect of missing something important. I’m not a complete bore, but I do like to take some aspects on a whim, but there are a number of things, I feel need to be planned in advance. For example, your flight to the first destination, depending on your travel plans some sort of an itinerary particularly if you are on a tight schedule, and the all important, VISA.

As you can see, I like to have everything organised, I actually LOVE the planning of an adventure. Researching destinations, means of transport, places to go and visit and must do events. So I get very disappointed  if my method something……. especially if it was adventure altering.

Sand Artist on Copacabana are Phenominal
Sand Artist on Copacabana are Phenomenal

20 working days before I was to fly out on a 2 month adventure of a lifetime, I found out that as an Australian, Brazilian Visas take 20 working days to process and you are required to send your passport out to the Brazilian Embassy for the visa to be inserted into your passport. Something, no matter how much research I had done, I had not come across. In a frantic panic I coordinate for my travel companion and I to send our passports to the Brazilian Embassy in Canberra (Australia), however if rushed are due to arrive back to us, including transportation times, the day we leave! Heads up to anyone travelling to Brazil, organise your Brazilian Visa 2 months before you leave! This will allow for any delays. luckily we had our passports arrive within 15 working days and were able to depart as scheduled. Phhheeeewwwwww! I used Visas Direct to process my visa. It’s a little more expensive but I felt it took the stress, responsibility and security for something so precious, as a passport, off me. Added bonus I got it back in time to travel.

buenos colour
The Colours of Argentina are Explosive

Argentina is great. There is no Visa as such providing you are a tourist, the Argentinians have a “reciprocity fee” of $100 USD for all Australians that are required to be paid prior to their departure. Here is a link to the Argentinean Visa process. One hot tip…. MAKE SURE YOU PRINT THIS BEFORE you leave home!!! I did not, thinking that this is a technological age, this is something I could show on my phone and I would be sweet! WRONG! I almost missed my plane from Dubai to Argentina because I did not have it printed out. For those who know, Dubai is by no means a small airport, and I had to sprint half way through the airport to three different desks before I was pointed towards the business center to print my forms and then sprint all the way back. Let’s just say we made the plane by about 45 seconds, and the second we got on the plane went into reverse. 

A Wonder of the World
Machu Picchu – An Exquisite Wonder of the World

Peru is very relaxed and easy to enter. You need only to hold a valid passport and a return ticket on arrival, and you are allowed to stay for up to 183 days . This country may not be on many itineraries, but it should be. You will need basic Spanish language skills to maneuver around the country as I found there is limited English outside of Cusco and Lima, unless you are on a tour in which case your guide will speak limited – good English.

Lazy Mexican Beaches
Lazy Mexican Beaches

Mexico is beautiful but potentially dangerous country. I had no safety concerns whilst there, however it is a country renowned for danger. Australians do not require a tourist visa, however you do require to hold a valid passport and a return ticket on arrival, and are allowed to stay for up to 180 days. Also make sure you have blank pages in your passport for immigration to stamp all over.

Crystal Clear Waters, Paradise Has Been Reached
Crystal Clear Waters, Paradise Has Been Reached

The Bahamas are baha-mzing! (tee hee) There are no Visa requirements for Australians when entering The Bahamas, just the usual valid passport and a stay of no longer than 3 months.
For other countries Click Here to see if you require to have a Visa.

 Snow & Central Park, Bliss
Snow & Central Park, Bliss

The US is very strict on Visas. Make sure you have purchased your Visa (and printed it) at least 48 hours before your arrival into the US. There are a lot of scam websites around, as I found the first time I purchased a Visa to the US. Make sure you only purchase your visa through a legitamate site such as the American Government website ESTA. I have the link here for your convenience ESTA US Visa. This will ensure when you arrive, you will be allowed into the country and not turned back at the border.

I hope this has helped, and if not made at least one person laugh at my life experiences. Visas are important make sure you research the requirements for each country you plan to visit. If in doubt, your country’s government will have a travelling website which will be able to assist you. Australians have Smart Traveller for reference in regards to all safety, visas and countries requirements.

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