Travelling is one of our favourite things to do when we are on vacation. Instead of staying at home and doing things we usually do on weekends, we would instead hop in our car or on a plane to go and visit a place we have never seen before. It would not feel like a proper vacation otherwise.

However, if you are planning to visit a foreign country, one of the most important aspects you need to consider is the fact that you may have to get a visa in advance. Fortunately, the electronic visa system is being adopted by more and more countries every single year, and that makes things a bit easier.

A standard visa is not so easy to acquire. You have to apply for one, but in order to do that, you have to take a trip to the embassy of the country you wish to visit. In many cases, that means an actual trip because not all states have visa centres in all major cities. You have to waste a lot of time and energy on that. Some time off work is necessary. Not to mention expenses. And then you have to wait weeks, in some cases, for the document to actually be ready. That is why the electronic visa becomes more and more common.

What is an electronic visa?

An electronic visa is a digitally issued document that is electronically linked to your passport. It grants you entry in a country just as the standard visa does. From a legal standpoint, it is the exact same thing. The difference is that the application process for such a document happens entirely online. Even the application form is online.

How to obtain an electronic visa?

First of all, you need to check if the country you wish to visit issues electronic visas. If it does, you have to find an online visa service. You can either use a government website or a third-party company that facilitates the process for you. Once you establish your eligibility, you need to put together a series of documents and information that are required for a successful application process. Keep in mind that even if a particular country releases electronic visas, it may not do so for you. Not all nationalities qualify for one specific e-visa. You need to check that out.

The requirements for an electronic visa are usually minimal. What it always implies is a valid passport. Since the e-visa is linked to your passport electronically, you can have the la former without the latter. But, as we all know, a passport is easy to obtain these days. Other requirements may include a return flight ticket, means of sustenance, proof of accommodation, travel insurance, and so on. It depends on the conditions imposed by the country you want to travel to.

Once you take care of the requirements, you must fill in an online application form. That entire process is as simple as it can be. You are asked to provide a wide range of information and make the payment. Once you submit your application, you have to wait for a little while so that you can receive your electronic visa via e-mail. While some countries accept a digital version on your mobile device, others require that you print out the e-visa so that you can show it when you board your flight or on arrival.

The bottom line is that the electronic visa is winning some real ground here. Even countries that did not have a tourism section, such as Saudi Arabia, now issue electronic visas. Every single year, more and more states decide that it is better for their economy to adopt the electronic visa system because it enhances tourism. Travellers are more likely to visit a particular country if there is a simplified visa application process, and embassies have a decreased workload on their hands. It is a win-win situation. At this pace, the standard visa will surely go away, and the electronic visa will take its place.

Terry Clark
Author: Terry Clark