Visas and red tape

Chapter 3 contents
Types of visa
When to apply
Buying visas in advance
Buying visas on arrival
What you will need to supply
Yellow fever certificates

If you have several visas to obtain, you’ll need to plan ahead as you won’t have access to your passport while each one is being processed. Start by adding up every consulate’s estimated turnaround and delivery times, then add some extra time for public holidays and contingencies. Typical turnaround times are three or four working days for applications made in person and up to ten working days for applications by post. Notable exceptions are Algeria and Angola, which can take much longer.

You can often get visas en route, but the rules for each country can change and it’s a good idea to plan ahead and find out which ones will be easier to get before you leave. In early 2011 Ghana, for example, made it all but impossible to obtain a visa from its consulates in neighbouring countries.

This page last edited 9 June 2011 © Richard Trillo and Emma Gregg

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