You’ve got your perfect holiday planned. You’ve booked your flights, made hotel reservations & worked out your itinerary. The only thing stopping you from getting excited is your visa application. Does this sound familiar? Has this happened to you? If you are a holder of a “weak” passport, your answer will be yes.
You’ll have to compile a stack of documents from bank statements to letters from your employer. You’ll have to fork out a hefty, nonrefundable application fee. Finally, you’ll have to make an appointment with the embassy or visa application center which might not be in the city you live in. Again, this is something all too real for many people around the world. Although this is annoying, it is unfortunately something that cannot be skipped & because of that, here are some tips that might help you on your travels.
Obtain a Schengen visa.
A Schengen visa gives you access to 26 countries in Europe as well as San Marino, Vatican City & Monaco which all have an open border agreement with certain European countries. Although you’d still have to go through a visa application process, you’d get access to 29 countries with one visa. There are also a few countries which take the Schengen visa as a substitute visa so you could potentially have access to even more countries, but that would depend on which passport you hold & which visa type is valid in it.
Obtain a US visa.
The USA visa is also a valuable visa to have in your passport. This visa holds more power than others & the process to get it is stringent to say the least. On the up side, usually the visa is valid for a number of years & it can also be used as a substitute for a number of other countries depending on your passport. Having a USA visa in your passport might also help you with your future visa applications.
Get stamps in your passport.
Having a travel history won’t reduce travel restrictions for you, but it will indicate to the person reviewing your application that you are a legitimate traveler. Showing that you enter & exit countries proves that you don’t plan on staying forever in their country. I’ve had a visa application rejected because I didn’t give enough proof of previous travel & it is a difficult pill to swallow.
Change your destination.
When I just started traveling, I read a quote that said ‘Let cheap flights decide your destination’ & it had a big impact on how I decided where to go & my mindset on visiting a place. Even the weakest passports have visa free or visa on arrival access to some countries so why not skip a visa application altogether & go to one of these countries? You’ll save time & money & you’ll probably have a great experience in the process. Every country has beautiful aspects, consider going to a country you don’t need a visa to enter.
Keep traveling, keep safe.