Once you’ve made your family travel plans and booked your flights and accommodation, your next vital planning step is making sure you are legally able to enter your chosen travelling country.
In this family travel guide, we’re going to talk you through different types of common visas you will encounter and how to apply for your whole family before you travel.
This post is part of our family travel advice series
When is a Visa Needed?
In many instances, you may be entitled to a free visa on arrival, and little thought is needed. However, don’t get caught short! It’s essential that you check before you travel if your passport will allow you free passage or if you will need to apply for a visa or even a Visa waiver or Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) before you travel?
Visas used to involve a convoluted process of lining up at the embassy for your chosen country. However, you’ll find for the vast majority of countries that require a visa before you land, you can now apply for this electronically online – commonly called an e-Visa
Getting Visa Through Embassy for Family
Although less common, to obtain a Visa, a visit may be required for you and your family to the embassy of the country you are visiting.
This can often be logistically difficult if you do not live near the capital city, where you will most commonly find embassies and diplomatic missions.
It can also be difficult if the embassy does not operate an appointment system and you are at the mercy of the length of the queue that you will get through this process in just one day.
How to Get a Visa Online
Countries that offer online visa applications make the process much easier. Using reputable agencies to help you process the visa will simplify the process and save you a lot of time.
Countries That Offer Online Visas
The vast majority of popular countries for family tourists now offer eVisas online. However, Government websites can often be tricky to navigate, and requirements unclear. Using an online visa agency skilled at making this application on your behalf and all the nuances of online visa applications can save you a lot of time.
Some of the more challenging countries for completing your visa paperwork include Turkey, Egypt and India. Let’s take a look at each of these countries in more detail:
Turkey (Türkiye) eVisa
The Turkish Government requires certain personal information before travellers arrive in Turkey, and an eVisa should be applied in advance.
Turkey visa online requirements include:
- Each applicant’s first name, last name, country of birth per their birth certificate and date of birth along with their current address
- Passport type and passport number, along with issue date and expiration date.
- Travelers need to share specifics of their journey, including expected arrival date, departure date and entry type – i.e. single or multiple entries.
The Indian eVisa application is slightly longer and more detailed than most. They are quite strict about things like size and resolution, so you really need to pay attention when completing your India eVisa paperwork.
India visa online requirements include:
- Having Adobe Acrobat Reader downloaded to print the application form
- Applicants must have at least 6 months passport validity and 2 blank passport pages
- Payments must be made with a debit or credit card
- Make sure you are applying for the correct category of eVisa
- Personal details will be needed for each applicant, including nationality, email, date of birth, first and last name, city and country of birth, citizenship or national identity number, gender, religion and nationality by birth or naturalisation
- Additionally, applicants need to submit their mother’s and father’s personal details (NB visas will not be issued to those of Pakistani origin)
- Travel details must also be given in the application, including the expected arrival date and port of arrival. Tourists must provide details of the places they will visit in India if they have accommodation booked and even details of places they have visited in the past 10 years
- You must provide a reference/emergency contact details for someone in your home country
- Passport photos must be uploaded in JPG format and be under 300k and less than 1000 pixels
- A scanned copy of your passport information page must also be included in PDF format
Applications for India are outsourced to a private agency, VSF Global. Be aware that the slightest error, including spelling, could prevent your application being processed.
Travellers MUST bring a printed copy of their approved eVisa with them.
Visiting Egypt with your family, there are around 70 nationalities at present who are eligible to apply for an eVisa. You should book your tour or accommodation first as you’ll need these details in your application.
Egypt eVisa online requirements include:
- Understand what type of eVisa your applying for and state any previous travel to Egypt
- Personal information including first and last name, country and date of birth, original nationality, marital status, occupation, address details and state any other nationaliiteis
- Passport information will include passport number, place and date of issue, and expiration date. Applicants must have at least 6 months left on their passport and upload a copy of the signature page with their application – it can be a scanned copy taken with a phone as long as the image is clear
- Traveller information will be required, including expected arrival and departure date, host type (family or with a tourism company or travelling alone), your host name, phone number, email and address, along with a declaration who is paying for your travel and accommodation
Final Tips For Preparing Your Family For Overseas Travel
It pays to be prepared with your visa requirements well in advance of your travel to prevent any online delays. It also assists your visa process greatly if:
- You regularly check that your passports are up to date. Some countries will only let you enter if 6 months remain on your passport. Given the time it takes for your home country to issue your passport (especially if you are an expat or digital nomad living overseas), you should seek to start renewing passports for each of your family members 12 months before the expiry.
- Keep passport photos up to date for your children – not just for their passport but for visas too. You often need to submit multiple passport photos; do check the dimension requirements as they may differ for Visas than passports – there’s no such thing as a universal passport photo size!
- Travelling with all these documents, we highly recommend that frequent travellers with kids get themselves a stylish document wallet to hold all their family documentation.
- Take out travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your tickets. Should the unfortunate happen, and your trip must be completely cancelled, there’s the possibility that visa costs can be reclaimed if they fall within the terms of your insurance policy.
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