Frequently Asked Questions

*It is important to note that there are many different contributing factors that can lead to the visa being granted. These factors may vary depending on the visitors nationality, country they are travelling to and type of visa they require (e.g. business, tourist, media, student visa…)

Invitation Letters

An Invitation Letter is a document used to show the reason for the visitor travelling to that particular country. It should be addressed to the consulate (or embassy) of the country you are travelling to. An invitation letter does not guarantee that the visitor will be issued a visa, but it does however help the Visa Officers assess whether you abide by the countries immigration laws.

It would be preferable to type and print your invitation letter but handwritten invitations may be accepted by some embassies. The invitation letter must be on the headed paper of the inviting company and must at least include:

  • The relationship between the visitor and the inviter
  • Relevant dates of travel & length of stay (arrival dates / departure dates)
  • Passport information (given names, passport number, nationality, issue & expiry date, DOB)
  • Purpose of travel
  • Who will be funding the visit
  • Signature of the inviter

Some countries may require further details or for the letter to be officially stamped by the inviting company/organisation.

Working on a tourist visa

Working on a tourist visa is prohibited, even when volunteering.

If you are travelling abroad to work, you will need to apply for a work permit/visa. This grants you permission to work in the country.

However, some countries only offer travellers the option to apply for a tourist visa. In these cases you will have to travel on a tourist visa, once there, you (or your perspective employer) can then apply for the relevant visa/permit allowing you to work.

Business visa or work permit?

If you are being employed by a company in a foreign country and they are paying you to work in that country, then you will need to apply for a work permit.

If you are travelling to attend a business meeting/conference or consult with business associates, you will need a business visa.

What is a Schengen Visa?

A Schengen visa is not required for British passport holders – All Schengen zone member countries do not require a visa to enter the Schengen zone along with 43 other countries – contact The Travel Visa Company for further information regarding the countries exempt from requiring a Schengen visa. Once obtained, a Schengen visa allows the visitor to travel between 26 different countries that are part of the Schengen area (also known as the Schengen zone).

When applying for a Schengen visa, the traveller will need to apply to the country that they visit first, or to the country that they will be staying in for the longest period of time.

The Schengen visa allows the holder to stay a total of up to 90 days within a period of 6 months for tourist or business purposes. If you get a multiple entry Schengen visa, you may leave and return any number of times within the 180-day period, but the combined stay within the region must not total more than 90 days.

How long can I stay on a business visa?

Business visas can range in validity; for a validity of 1 month up to 5 years. You will find that different countries have different lengths of validity on their business visas. With some business visas, you may be able to apply to extend the period of stay.

If you have anymore queries about any of the topics we have just covered, or if you have any other travel visa related questions, feel free to call our friendly team on 01270 250 590

Want to learn more about the different types of visa that are out there? Check out our recent blog: Get To Know Your Visas.

How long does it take to process my Chinese visa application?

When applying for either your Chinese tourist visa or your Chinese business visa, you can choose from three different service levels* with us:

  • Priority 1: 3 working days
  • Priority 2: 7 working days
  • Priority 3: 10 working days

*Working days excluding postal days.

Can I travel on an Indian e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for business meetings?

Yes. If you are travelling to India for business meetings, you can apply for an e-Tourist Visa (eTV).

When filling out the application, simply state your required type of visa as ‘business’ and purpose of travel as ‘business meetings’. This type of visa is applicable for those who wish to fly into India for stays of less than 30 days.

For stays of longer than 30 days, a full Indian visa is required.

What size photo do I need for India?

A standard visa photo needs to be: 2 by 2 inches or 5 by 5 cm

What is a Transit Visa?

This type of visa is valid for travellers who do not wish to stay in the country, but only to pass through it. The visa is temporary and only valid for a short period of time. Some countries require that you have a stop over of  24 hours minimum to grant you a transit visa. But, others provide a transit visa for a stop over as small as 4 hours.

What is an electronic travel visa?

Electronic visas come in a number of different formats (ESTA/ETA/e-Visa). These visas do not require you to submit your passport as they are electronically linked to your passport number through an online system. You can read more on one of our other blog posts.

When I have my passport photo taken, can I wear glasses?

You can wear glasses when having your passport/visa photograph taken. However, you cannot wear tinted glasses or sunglasses. The glasses can only be worn if they do not obstruct your eyes in the photograph.

Can I get a single entry visa for China?

You can now, only, apply for a multiple entry visa when travelling to China. This applies to both business and tourism purposes and will be valid for two years.

What is an e-Passport?

An e-passport (also referred to as a biometric passport) contains an electronic chip. The chip holds the same information that is printed on the passport’s data page: the holder’s name, date of birth, and other biographic information. Electronic visas can be applied to the passport without the need for any physical documentation.

I am travelling to, and will be staying in, America for more than 3 months, Can I get an ESTA?

Unfortunately not. American ESTA’s are valid for 12 months (this applies to travellers going to America for both business and tourism purposes) but you may only stay for 90 days at a time. For stays of over 3 months, you will need to apply for a full visa.

Can I go on a cruise with and Indian e-Tourist Visa?

Unfortunately not. If, during your cruise, you will be stopping in India: You will have to apply for a Full Indian Tourist Visa.

You can apply for your full Indian Visa here.

What is a working holiday visa?

A working holiday visa is for more casual work while you travel, e.g. for someone who is backpacking through Australia and picks up part time job to help keep their funds up while in Australia. Countries that offer a working holiday to British passport holders include: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore and Japan.

Can I travel on an Australian ETA for business meetings?

Yes. As long as you do not intend to stay in the country longer than three months, you can take part in conventions and conferences as well as meetings whilst in Australia. However, this visa is not intended for work purposes. If you take employment while in Australia on an ETA visa, you will be contravening the conditions of the visa.

Can I change to another visa while in Australia?

No. You cannot change visa types while onshore in Australia, you may only apply to extend your visa. If you are interested in applying for a permanent visa or another temporary visa, such as a Working Holiday Visa, the application must be made in the UK.

*It is important to note that there are many different contributing factors that can lead to the visa being granted. These factors may vary depending on the visitors nationality, country they are travelling to and type of visa they require (e.g. business, tourist, media, student visa…) 

Please note: The information provided in this blog post is correct at the time of publishing.Visa requirements can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information, call us or visit our website.

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