Scheduling a trip can be so exciting; however, many travelers feel under pressure when it comes to applying for a visa. The process seems to be complicated especially for new travelers. In this article, you can learn how to apply for a visa or an E-visa in 3 simple steps.

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Step 1: Select the Visa or E-Visa Application Form

The Visa application process varies according to the Embassy or Consulate where you apply. Yet, before completing the visa application form, you have to identify the category and the type of visa which is suitable for your trip. For example, if you apply for a non-immigrant visa or e-visa, you need to complete a specific form, which is submitted by the Embassy or Consulate website. You need to apply for this type of visa for a temporary visit to the country. Another example is that if you travel to meet your fiancé, you need a different type of visa. If you travel for business or tourism, you have to find the correct type of visa for your visit. You also need to apply for another visa type if you travel as a student. Among the two main visa categories, there are several kinds of visas for each type of visit. During the process, you need a strong internet connection to fill in the electronic form, which may take about 90 minutes. Before you complete the form, you have to identify the location where you will be applying for the visa. You may apply for a visa from your home country or another region. Then, you should enter the code which is given to you on the computer screen to make sure that you are not a robot.

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Step 2: Upload your digital photo and complete the Visa or E-Visa Application Form

To validate your visa application, it is recommended to upload a recent photo that matches the requirements instructed by the Embassy or Consulate website. Thus, it is essential to refer to the image requirements that are stated on the site before you upload it. To be valid, the following requirements should be respected:

  • Image size: The image should be 2 inches by 2, or 51 x 51 mm
  • Color: The photo should be a colored photo. A black and white image is not acceptable
  • A recent photo: The image must have been taken within the past 6 months.
  • Image quality: There should not be any shadow in the image. It should be clear and high resolution.
  • Visible face: The applicant’s ears should be visible, and both eyes should be open. Also, you should maintain your facial expression naturally. This means that you have to face the camera when you take the photo. To have a good quality image, it is recommended to take your photo from a professional photo lab as directed by the Embassy or Consulate.

The image format required for a visa application should be a JPEG format image, which means it is a .jpg file type, and it is 240 Kb or less in file size. This is to make sure that you have a high-quality image for your travel document across the world. Once you have finished with all the preparation for photo submission, you are ready to upload your photo and check its validation on the Embassy or Consulate website. A photo cropping tool is provided to resize or crop your digital photo. Before uploading your photo, it is essential to test if your photo meets all the process. This means that unless your photo meets the digital image submission requirements, it won’t be validated. If your image quality is poor and is not authenticated by the website, then, you need to take a new photo to meet the standards. After the photo validation, you are required to put in your personal information, including your name, your birthday, your job, and the reason for your visit. You also need to check the type of visa or electronic visa that you are applying to.

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Step 3. Schedule an interview for your Visa or an E-Visa Application 

As soon as your visa application is submitted, you can schedule an interview. The process is always carried out online, on the website of the Embassy or Consulate where you apply for a visa or an e-visa. The interview will take place in the Embassy or Consulate nearest to your location. Then, you can look at the calendar and select a suitable date and time for your interview. It is a good idea to apply for a Visa or an E-Visa a few weeks before your trip because the schedule may be full and you have to wait until a later time to do it. When the Visa application form is complete, then, submit it. To submit your application, you just click on the button that says “submit”. Once you have submitted everything, you can proceed with the payment of the Visa Application Fee.  The application fee varies according to the category and type of visa or E-Visa you need. In general, most non-immigrant visa types cost around US $160; but you have to check because the price is not the same for each country.

In conclusion, it is essential to identify the type of visa you need before applying for it. Non-immigrant visas and e-visas are suitable for business people, students, exchange visas, and tourists. If you travel for a temporary job or religious mission, you should apply for a petition-based visa or e-visa. The cost is around US $190. If you need further advice, you can contact a travel agency like Onward Ticket, which can also help you book your flight in case the visa or e-visa application takes long.