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How to Get Travel Visas

How do you get visas to all these different countries, do you do it online or go to an embassy in every nation?

Yeah, getting travel visas is sometimes a hassle, but it can be made easier by not worrying too much about it. Much of a traveler’s success rate at being granted tourist visas depends on their country of origin.

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How do you get visas to all these different countries, do you do it online or go to an embassy in every nation? (seems like that would be the hassle that is the most worrisome)

Yeah, getting travel visas is sometimes a hassle, but it can be made easier by not worrying too much about it. Much of a traveler’s success rate at being granted tourist visas depends on their country of origin. I am from the USA and have a USA passport, so I usually do not have too difficult of a time getting visas, and for most countries I can get them on arrival. Regardless of politics, most countries want tourists from nations that they view as being wealthy, and the USA is at the top of this list. If I was from a country whose citizens have a reputation for overstaying visas in foreign countries, then I would probably have a much more difficult time.

How to get travel visas

On the strength of my nation of origin, I have little problems getting travel visas. I simply walk into consulates, give them my passport, some money, a photo, and then return in a few hours to pick up my visa.

I very rarely get visas in my home country, as is often suggested. It tends to be more expensive if I get visas at consulates in the USA than in other countries. So if I am planing on traveling to a region where I will need lots of visas, I pick a regional administrative hub city and go to the consulates there. For example: If I want to travel to West Africa I will stop first in Casablanca and get all of the visas I need; if I want to go to China, I will take a flight to Hong Kong; if I want to go to the Indian Subcontinent or Southeast Asia I will travel first to Bangkok to get the visas or, if I am in China already, Kunming.

Travel Visas

World travel is an ongoing system of connecting transportation and administrative hubs. If you do this properly, you can continuously travel with little difficulties. Just pick a major city in a country that both does not requite you to have a visa to enter and is near the regions you want to travel to that requires visa and get all of the travel documents that you need there.

Just follow the paths of least resistance around the world, and getting visas is seldom a problem. But if you want to go straight from Guatemala to India- or some odd route like this – then getting visas become much more of a hassle.

I hope this answers your question!

More information on travel visas
Travel Help Visas Catagory
Chinese visa
How to Avoid Onward Ticket Visa and Airline Requirements

Nanning, Guangxi Autonomous Region
On to Vietnam

Walk Slow,


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Filed under: Border Crossing, Travel Help, Visas

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3691 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: Trenton, Maine

16 comments… add one

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  • brian from nodebtworldtravel.com May 14, 2009, 5:31 am

    I like to get the visas beforehand just so I don’t have to mess around to find the visas in a foreign country. If I change travel plans and I got to find the visa so be it, but I try to get it all done way before it is needed.

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    • admin May 14, 2009, 7:49 am

      I suppose this works alright if you know exactly where you are going and are the kind of person who sticks to their planned route. Yeah, this would probably work out well. Why not get the visas before you go? But I have the impression that I am the sort of fellow who has no real idea where they are going, and I change paths constantly. Man, and many of those visas are far too expensive to just blow off.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Walk Slow,


      Link Reply
  • william May 17, 2009, 6:47 am

    Did you get a visa for Syria while is Istanbul? Wikitravel suggests that you can roll the dice and hope to get in at land border crossing but it is risky, am curious to know your experience.


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  • Briana June 28, 2009, 10:40 am

    I’m a little confused… how do you get a visa outside of your home country? Don’t you need to apply for visas in the foreign embassy (of whatever country you are visiting) in your home country?

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    • admin July 3, 2009, 3:30 pm

      I very seldom apply for visas in my home country. It is usually alright to get travel visas at the consulates in other countries.


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  • Ingmar February 17, 2010, 1:58 am


    I’m starting my trip to the east in april (the 29th) and will be solo-travelling for about two or three months (and then another month with my girlfriend accompanying me)
    I will be travelling over land, hitchhiking mostly, couchsurfing and trying to get there as cheap as possible.. i have al the time of the world and if i only make it to turkey.. fine by me.. but i really also want to visit iran and pakistan and india, and I was wondering, where can i get my Iranian visa?

    i mean.. where in Turkey? i heard that it was impossible in istanbul.. is this true or a rumour? What other cities in Turkey can get me a visa for iran.

    cheers. 🙂 nice website

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  • sharmarke November 18, 2010, 10:35 am

    after best greatin..
    i ethiopian citizen, so want to visit kosovo, did i need visa or any think else to reach in kosovo..plz tel me if there is importent notice to know.

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  • alexander January 12, 2012, 4:06 pm

    can you please help me with a visa to france while i will pay for the service and other fee

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  • tenzeen May 14, 2012, 5:09 pm

    I live in Boston and I’m national of Nepal but I’m in possesion of US Green card.I’m planning to visit Belgium to my girlfriend.I’m planning to apply for visa next month from NY Belgium Embassy.I don’t if I’ll get or not.

    My another question is My flight from Boston to Brussels and in return flight I’ve to wait 19 hours at Amsterdam.I’ve schengen visa.So can I go out from airport or can I start my flight from Amsterdam instead Brussels.So I don’t need to wait 19 hours in airport?
    Thanks in advance.

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    • Wade Shepard May 14, 2012, 9:19 pm

      If you have to go through immigration in Amsterdam then I suppose it’s OK to leave the airport and travel overland to Brussels. You’re suppose to go through immigration in the country that you have your Schengen visa for but if that’s not how your flight is routed then I guess there is not much you can do about that.

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  • ERIC KOFIE June 16, 2012, 12:21 pm


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    • Wade Shepard June 16, 2012, 8:41 pm

      A letter of head? I didn’t know you could get a document for such an action.

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  • lavanya October 19, 2012, 10:31 am

    Hello sir,;
    i am indian
    lost passport n schengen short term visa in europe
    i got police compalint,getting new passport(indian embassy)
    i am worried abt visa my travel date is 1 month later

    can u help me in answering this question

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    • Wade Shepard October 19, 2012, 11:27 am

      What’s the question? Get your new passport and leave the country.

      Link Reply