Passports and Visas…what you need to know before you go! Get some basic information and links to help you plan and prepare before your trip. Don’t get caught out, be prepared and it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to checking with regards to visas.

Tourist Visas

Visa’s are required for some international destinations for tourism. This can be incredibly important on your around the world trip. The most common countries for Australian passport holders that require a prearranged visa are, but not limited to,

China
India
Russia
Vietnam
Cambodia
Romania
Brazil
Ukraine

A lot of countries require visas on arrival for a local payment, often in US dollars. Now, all travellers are required to preregister for an ESTA visa waiver for travel to the USA and now an ETA to Canada from March 2016. These must be done at least 3 days before travel.

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an automated system used by The US Department of Homeland Security to determine eligibility to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. Upon completion of an ESTA application, a VWP traveller will be notified of their eligibility to travel to the USA under the VWP by email. Conditions apply to be eligible for the VWP. See the US Department of Homeland and Security website for more information.

In relation to visas generally, the department of foreign affairs and trade’s website states that…

“A visa is a form of permission for a non-citizen to enter, transit or remain in a particular country.

A visa does not guarantee entry, that decision remains the right of the immigration officials of the country concerned. The immigration laws of most countries do not have provision for appeal. Some countries ask visitors to present return tickets and evidence of funds sufficient to cover the intended stay. Others have compulsory currency exchange regulations on entry.

Some refuse entry to visitors who do not comply with requirements regarding general appearance and clothing, or visitors who are HIV positive.”

Please note that a lot of countries that have visa waiver programs or visa on arrival free of charge, do have a maximum stay in their country as a tourist. This range from 30 days for a lot of Asian countries and some Eastern European countries to 90 days for most EU countries and most South American countries [Brazil the most common country in South America which requires a visa]. In the UK Australians are allowed 6 months as a tourist. It is important to check that you meet all of the necessary criteria for a visa waiver and that you confirm the exact amount of time you are allowed to stay in any one country. We do not guarantee the accuracy of this information as there are continual updates from consulates and we suggest contacting them directly with any enquires.

A list of foreign embassies can be found at:

www.info.dfat.gov.au

We recommend seeing visalink.com.au for more information.

Passport Information

Passports are an integral part to traveling internationally but sometimes we all know the pain and frustration that can go into getting or organizing passports. If you have a passport other than Australian please be aware that this information is not relevant for you and you should contact the relevant embassy. For your round the world adventures ensure you have your passport with plenty of time before you are due to fly out of the country. Also, make sure that you advise us of your full name as per your passport at the time of booking, indicating the first and surnames as the part that will go ont he ticket. A lot of people may go by a different name than what is on their passport and this can cause all sorts of issues.

It is generally regarded that you need a minimum of 6 months validity on your passport from the date of return to Australia. If your passport is about to expire or you have never had one before you will need the following to get one.

* 2 x new passport sized photographs available from most post offices or photographic retailers. One of these needs to be signed by the person providing proof of your identity on the application.
* Relevant Fee
* A filled out application form available from Australia Post or downloaded from https://www.passports.gov.au/Web/Forms/EntryPoint.aspx
* Proof of Australian citizenship by an original birth certificate or an expired passport issued after 20 August 1986 which was valid for a minimum of 2 years.
* Additional identity documents. E.g. drivers license, credit cards.

After you have gathered the necessary paperwork and have the fee you can make an appointment at most Australia Post outlets.

Any questions can be raised over the phone, tollfree, 13 12 32.