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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Happy New Year 2017

New Year Thoughts and Reflections

As is tradition, we take this time to look back and reflect on the year and set plans and goals for the next. For a list of some of the top travel destinations for bringing in the new year, see our post from last year.

2016 was very well known for the long list of icons we sadly lost including Terry Wogan, Prince, David Bowie, Mohammed Ali, Victoria Wood, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Alongside this we saw Brexit, Trump winning the US Election, the exploding Samsung phones and Bake-off leaving the BBC. Aside from all that we still had many positive stories such as Leicester City winning the Premier League, celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday and our Olympic and Paralympic teams bringing home a record number of medals from Rio. Here are some of the highlights of our year here at The Travel Visa Company:

Taking a look back at 2016

Business Events

Following last year’s success at the Business Travel Show, we teamed up with MPI Brokers in February to exhibit again with a newly designed stand. We thoroughly enjoyed the two days and met a whole host of new business contacts and were able to showcase our newest product offerings. Read our blog about the event to learn more about Europe’s leading exhibition and conference dedicated to Corporate Travel.

We also attended a number of events for ITT Future You who run days at many universities across the UK to share knowledge about the travel industry to aspiring students. We were delighted to offer advice and support to the hundreds of young people who are no doubt the future of travel. Some of the key areas we spoke about were Apprenticeship opportunities, teaching/studying abroad and sharing our knowledge of the various different types of visas and entry requirements for countries worldwide.


Charity Fundraising

For 2016 our chosen charity was the Family Holiday Association to support their 500 for 500 campaign. This set us a £500 target and we had ambitious plans to raise this amount. After a lot of planning, on 20th July we did a non-stop 24hr Around The World cycle in partnership with STUDIO 4ORCE Personal Training. It was a great success and everyone involved thoroughly enjoyed taking part – our grand total for the year was £812.50!


New Products

We have a strong focus on researching and developing new services for our clients and customers. There have been many changes to the entry requirements in 2016 and we have been at the forefront in keeping up with the new application systems and travel visas. Our comprehensive portfolio of media visa services have expanded to cover even more countries, travellers can apply with us for their new Canadian ETA, we support a number of tour operators and travel agents in obtaining Cuban Tourist Cards and have partnered with a number of companies to branch out into other essential travel services. Masta can provide our customers with expert advice about health requirements, those who would like added protection can sign-up with ConsularAssist for round-the-clock assistance worldwide and business travellers can obtain their ATA Carnets to cover their equipment for travel.


Award Winners!

After winning the award for Excellence in Customer Service last year, we were excited to be up for another award this in 2016. This was a bit different to our usual nominations as it was for one particular individual in our team – our Social Media and Marketing apprentice James Healy. The hard work and effort he put in during the past year on his course really paid off and we were delighted to hear his name announced as Apprentice of the Year at the South Cheshire Chamber Awards. He is now working towards a higher-level degree apprenticeship and continues to be a role-model for our future apprentices. As well as winning an award, we were keen to support the chamber and sponsored the Exporter of the Year award. Read more about the event here or watch the highlights from the evening.


New Arrivals

Our review of the year wouldn’t be complete without celebrating the new arrivals in our company. Not just our new staff members but also the new additions outside the office. Our Managing Director and Head of Sales both became first-time grandparents and our Operations Manager is now a very proud mother. Congratulations!


Plans for 2017

After a hugely successful 2015, we had ambitious goals and our hard working staff have achieved some incredible results. The past year is another testament to our team – continuing to win awards, surpassing our fundraising targets and continuing to be one of the UKs fastest growing travel visa agencies. Some of our main aims for the year ahead is to work on re-designing our application packs to improve usability, continue the development of our website for use on mobiles and tablets, developing new services and to continue expanding our team. We also plan to focus on smaller business events in our local community and, once again, raise as much as we can for charity.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support as we look forward to the next 12 months.

 

Happy New Year from The Travel Visa Company!

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How will Brexit affect the future of travel?

As you probably already know, Britain has voted to leave the EU. Aside from the many different views and opinions on this controversial topic, we would like to talk about how this has, and could, affect the future of travel.

After the final results of the referendum, there are a few common questions many of the general public have about the future of travel, such as:

  • Will  the price of holidays increase?
  • Will I need a new passport / driving license after we leave the EU?
  • Will I require a visa to travel European countries?
  • What happens to my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

As with almost everything related to the decision to leave the EU, it is not clear how things will proceed and it is still unclear exactly what sort of relationship Britain will be able to strike with the European Union. And so, therefore, it is uncertain as to what will actually happen regarding travel to the EU.

What we do know is that:

  • There are no immediate changes to claiming compensation if your flight is delayed or cancelled.
  • You can still bring home unlimited goods from duty free.
  • There are no immediate changes to using your phone abroad.
  • You can still use your European Health Insurance Card card abroad.
  • It is likely that British Citizens will (at some point) need brand new passports as the front cover currently features the words “European Union”.
  • It is also likely that we will (at some point) need brand new driving licenses as this has the European flag featured on it.

The UK Government will need to implement new laws for each of the above after we leave the EU. The only immediate impact to travel could be from the value of the pound.

ABTA has released this statement on the result of the EU Referendum –

The Prime Minister has stated that there will be no initial change in the way people travel. Travellers are as free to move between the UK and the EU as they were yesterday, European Health Insurance cards remain valid and regulations such as Air Passenger Rights remain in place. People due to travel this summer will see little changes to their holiday.

Once the UK formally notifies the EU of its intention to leave, the remaining Member States will have up to two years to offer the UK a deal for a future trading relationship and during this period holidaymakers will not see any immediate changes.

However, the fall in value of the pound will have an immediate impact on holidaymakers and their spending power overseas.

ABTA is the UK’s largest travel association, representing travel agents and tour operators.

For further queries or questions, you can visit ABTA’s FAQ page of their website here.

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Get to know your Visas

We all know that, when travelling, different countries have different visa requirements. For example, travel to Turkey may require you to obtain an e-visa whereas travel to America could see you needing an ESTA and some countries only needing a visa on arrival or not needing a visa at all… but what is the difference? and what types of visa are out there?

Common types of visa

Alongside the standard full visas for tourist and business purposes, here are some of the other common types of visa that travellers may need:

ESTA

An ESTA is an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation. This is required for travel in to the USA if you are a citizen of a country that is a part of The Visa Waiver Program.

Applying for an ESTA only determines your eligibility for entry into America.

The US use the ESTA in place of a visa (for citizens of certain countries) and is electronically applied to your e-passport.

*Please note: There are many different types of visa that can be applied for when travelling to America, from an A visa all the way to a WT visa, depending on your purpose of travel and eligibility. 

e-Visa

An e-Visa grants authorisation to enter the particular country you have applied for. It has the same effect as a normal visa but is applied electronically. This kind of visa is applied and paid for online. e-Visas are available for varied validities dependant on the issuing country (from 30 to 90 days). If you do not qualify for an e-Visa you will need to apply for a full visa.

Countries that use the e-visa scheme are as listed below:

eTA

An eTA is an “Electronic Tourist Authorisation” which, as you guessed, authorises tourists to enter certain countries when travelling. The can also be referred to as an “Electronic Tourist Authority”. They are applied to your passport electronically and so leaves out the need for any physical documentation to be submitted for the application.

In some instances you may need to obtain an eTA even if you are transiting through that specific country. Also, the duration of the eTA can vary – for example, a Canadian eTA can last for 5 years.

Countries that use the eTA scheme are as listed below:

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.


If you have any questions or queries about your visa, or you want to apply for one, please call our award winning team on 01270 250 590 or visit our website: thetravelvisacompany.co.uk

If you found this guide useful, why not share it with a friend? And don’t forget to follow us on social media!

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Will my passport stop me from travelling to America?

What you need to know

It has recently come into the news that UK residents are being rejected entry into the USA if they do not have an e-Passport. This is true. It was introduced last month by the American government but most are still unaware.

The reason this has blown up so much, and gained so much traction, is because of one English traveller who shared their unfortunate story on Facebook. As we all know, social media is a huge platform for sharing content, and so it is no surprise that a story like this has caught so much attention and been picked up by the mainstream media.

The traveller in question was due to travel to Florida from their closest UK based airport but got turned away at the check-in desk as they did NOT have an electronic passport.


How can I tell if I have an electronic passport?


If you have had your British Citizen Passport issued before 2006 it is likely that you will NOT have an electronic passport. Passports issued after 2006 will be e-Passports but it is always worth checking. A simple way to check if you have an e-Passport is to simply look at the front cover of it:

ePassport-chip

You should see a small camera symbol at the bottom, in the centre (as pictured above). This indicates that your passport has an electronic chip that can store electronic visas.

You can apply for a new British Citizen Passport on the official government website here: www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport. This costs £72.50, with an extra £9.75 fee for the Post Office’s Passport Check and Send service.

If you need any assistance with your passport renewal, you can download our passport renewal pack (includes an additional service fee).

Download Passport Renewal Application Pack


Will I need a new ESTA for America?

If you are one of the unfortunate few who have already applied for, and been granted, a valid ESTA and have recently found out that you don’t have an electronic passport then you will have to apply again. Luckily for you, we can help!

The Travel Visa Company can assist with your new American ESTA application for business or tourist purposes. We take the stress away from your visa application by quality checking the application, completing the online forms on your behalf, emailing you the confirmation of approval and providing support and updates throughout the application process.

Apply now for just £27.50 per person: thetravelvisacompany.co.uk/america/ or call: 01270 250 590

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What is a Carnet?

Definition

A Carnet (pronounced kar-nay) is an international customs document that is commonly referred to as a ‘Merchandise Passport‘ or a passport for goods. It is used to clear customs in 85 countries without paying duty and import tax on goods that will be re-exported within 12 months.

Simply put: it is a single document to be used for clearing goods through Customs. Without a Carnet you would have to go through each country’s customs procedures.

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Types of Carnet

Currently, in the UK, there are two types of Carnet that you can access:

1. The most widely used are the ATA Carnets. These allow the temporary importation of commercial samples, professional equipment or goods going to either a trade fair or exhibition to countries that are part of the ATA Carnet system.

2. The second type of Carnet is an EC/CPD/China-Taiwan carnet (between the U.K. and Taiwan) or a TECRO/AIT Carnet (between the U.S. and Taiwan) . A Taiwan carnet is issued in addition to an ATA Carnet if you are travelling to multiple countries including Taiwan.

See what goods a Carnet can cover here.

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How can you obtain a Carnet?

The Travel Visa Company, a U.K. leader in travel visas, and boomerang carnets, ATA Carnet specialists, are delivering both services from The Travel Visa offices in Crewe.

This collaboration makes it easy for you to prepare for international travel by offering two specialities in international travel and trade documentation.

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ATA Carnets and their accompanying security can be applied for, signed and stamped electronically from anywhere in the U.K. using boomerang carnets online application. ATA Carnet pick-up locations are available in Liverpool and London, in addition to Travel Visa’s Crewe office where travel visas are also available

A Travel Visa, boomerang carnets and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce collaboration makes so much sense. The Travel Visa Company is the preferred visa supplier for the Liverpool Chamber and boomerang carnets is their exclusive service provider for ATA Carnets.  All three international trade and travel document organizations bring experience and expertise to, sometimes, complex and frustrating processes.

To apply for your Carnet, or to simply find out more information, call 01270 250 590.

Need any more information? Visit the boomerang website for everything you might need to know! www.boomerangcarnets.co.uk

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What is the Visa Waiver Program?

If you have travelled to or from America, then you may have heard of the Visa Waiver Program. But what actually is it, and what does it do?

The Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program allows visa-free travel to America for up to 90 days.

Visitors must obtain an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) prior to travel which is valid for two years from the date of issue and allows multiple entries in to the U.S. for business, leisure and transiting purposes.

This visa-free travel scheme only applies to nationals of following participating countries:

WVP

How do I apply for an ESTA?

All British Passport holders travelling to America will require to obtain an ESTA before travel. In order to be eligible you must hold a passport with an integrated chip. You can apply online through the official American Government’s website or, if you would like further assistance with your application or have any questions, contact The Travel Visa Company on 01270 250 590.

Happy Travels!

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Canada ETA

Electronic Travel Authorisation

The Canadian Tourism Commission have announced final regulations for Canada’s new ETA program, requiring all British citizens to obtain an authorisation before flying to Canada.

From March 15th 2016 all British Citizens will be able to apply for an ETA when travelling to Canada.

British Citizen Passport Holders who fly to or transit through Canada can now apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Once approved, your eTA is valid for five years or until your passport expires.

In addition to this, the Canadian authorities have stated that until the 29th September 2016, travellers who do not have an eTA can still board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents (eg a valid passport) and obtain their visa on arrival.

This means that from the 30th of September 2016 onward, Those flying into Canada (or transiting through) will not be able to board their flight without an eTA.


What is an ETA?

ETA stands for ‘Electronic Travel Authorisation‘. This is an online method of obtaining your travel visa. The visa is applied electronically to the chip that is located in your passport. This then removes the need for stamps or labels being printed in your passport as well as completely getting removing the paper needed for the application.

How can I obtain an eTA?

The Travel Visa Company will be able to assist with all applications for this new Canadian ETA which will be valid for a period of 5 years from the date of issue. For further information, or to apply, please visit our website: thetravelvisacompany.co.uk/canada/ or call our award winning team on 01270 250 590.


What to do and where to go in Canada!

Canada has been named as one of the top 20 most beautiful countries in the world by RoughGuides. It is home to the CN Tower, Chateau Frontenac and most notably the Niagra Falls.

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Canada is filled with things to do and places to go. There really is something there for everyone! Canada is brilliant for national parks; with 40% of the land being covered by forests and has over 40 recognised national parks.

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It has bustling cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal that are teeming with restaurants, cocktail bars, clubs, entertainment venues, arenas, lounges, theatres and much more!

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With a flight from London typically taking approximately 8 hours, what is stopping you? Apply for your eTA now!

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Essential Travel Services

MASTA

MASTA (Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad) offer travel health consultations, vaccinations (including yellow fever), anti-malarials and travel related retail items. Combined with clinics based in the NHS and Occupational Health establishments; they are growing faster than ever before, with well established partnerships with Independent Pharmacies, BUPA, STA Travel and Flight Centre amongst others.

Wondering how it works? All MASTA customers can expect to receive a full risk assessment consultation, followed by the provision of a personalised travel health brief and then receive the vaccinations or anti-malarials themselves. Their clinical team constantly monitor disease situations and outbreaks across the world, bringing together health information from many sources and providing it to their own Nurse Experts and NHS clinics and surgeries. The result is that their award winning MASTA Travel Health Brief is widely recognised as an invaluable tool both to medical professionals and members of the public alike.

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Want to find out more? Visit their website: www.masta-travel-health.com or call 0330 100 4200 and quote “TVC01

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Consularcare

Consularcare offers market leading solutions to bridge the gap between the public and private sector. Whether you are travelling abroad for business or for leisure, or you are responsible for corporate foreign travel in your organisation, they will assist you to be prepared for any eventuality and support should difficulties arise. Their solutions have been developed to educate, assist and advise, and staff are former diplomats so you can be confident that their expertise is second to none.


ConsularAssist – When you travel abroad, do you ever think about how you would deal with a crisis? What would you do if you were the victim of crime? Or arrested? If you lost your visa or passport? No traveller actually has any legal right to consular assistance, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not in a position to help everyone who requests assistance.

ConsularAssist steps in when others can’t, don’t or won’t; by helping you. Whatever the incident, wherever you are in the world, their team – led by former diplomats – will liaise with the consulate, police and all other relevant parties to resolve a crisis. Invaluable reassurance for corporate clients as well as those travelling for leisure purposes.


UK Inbound Immigration Visas – UK Visas and Immigration makes millions of decisions every year about who has the right to visit or stay in the country; the primary documentation used in making those decisions is the application form. Consularcare’s expert team can help you to avoid refusal because of an incorrectly completed form.

Consularecare’s team of experts understands the immigration procedure and provides the expertise to ensure that the submitted documentation is fully completed and correct. Consularcare maximises your chances of a successful application by working with you to deliver the information UK Visas and Immigration needs to process your application, accurately, quickly, and efficiently so you can start working, living and enjoying life in the UK.

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Want to find out more? Visit their website: www.consularcare.com or call 020 3198 1890 and quote “TVC01

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The Travel Visa Company

If you are resident  in the UK and are needing to apply for a visa for anywhere else in the world, The Travel Visa Company can take the stress out of your visa application. Obtaining a valid visa for travelling to a proposed destination is one of the most important areas of preparation for any traveller. Without the correct visa, entry will not be allowed into many countries. This process can be extremely time consuming and very complicated, as well as involving journeys to embassies that are located around the country.

The Travel Visa Company are a highly specialised and adaptable tourist and business travel visa service to organisations of all shapes and sizes. We advise and support our customers on ensuring that all immigration and border control requirements are met, in addition to also obtaining the
entry visa on behalf of the traveller. Our award-winning service expands to all nationalities and all destinations both via our Customer Service Centre and our bespoke online application system.

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Want to find out more? Visit our website: www.thetravelvisacompany.co.uk or call us on 01270 250 590

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Happy New Year 2016

New Year Around The World

Ever wondered how other countries around the world celebrate the New Year? Here are some of the most popular cities to celebrate NYE in:

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Taking a look back at 2015

2015 has been a brilliant year for us at The Travel Visa Company and we would like to say a massive thank you to all our hard working staff who have allowed us to be the award wining visa procurement agency that we are today! Here are some of our favourite highlights for 2015:

Award Winners!

Friday the 6th of November was the night that we won the award for Excellence in Customer Service. This was a major highlight for us at The Travel Visa Company. This was an award that represented the hard work, commitment, dedication and effort that the team had put in for the year. For this to be acknowledged by the South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce was an incredible feeling and, for us, is a massive achievement! Customer service is our primary focus and what sets us apart from other visa procurement agencies.

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Charity Events

2015 saw us take part in many different charity events and raised a total of over £1,000 for a range of causes including: Comic Relief, World Cancer Day, Wear It. Beat It., Jeans For Genes Day and #WearItPink. Our biggest event was the Great Manchester Run with 6 staff members raising over £800 for ABTA Lifeline and Mid Cheshire Hospitals Scanner Appeal.

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Business Events

During February of 2015, Ray Ward, Phillip Ashwell, Lisa Tatlock, Dan Taylor and Jon Hill attended The Business Travel Show. This is Europe’s leading exhibition and conference dedicated to Corporate Travel. This was our first year at this event and it was by far a success – pushing our brand out to a larger audience and securing new business contracts.

btsWe were also in attendance at the World Travel Market which took place in the first week of November. Representing The Travel Visa Company we had Phillip Ashwell (Head of Sales) and Reece Hardstaff (Research and Development Executive).  The two gave a presentation to around 400 professionals about the increasing opportunity for travelling students.

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New Products

We announced a range of new products in 2015! We are now able to offer: Schengen visas, media visas, student visas, passport photos and resizing and a passport renewal service. As well as this we launched our new blog (right here) and regularly create new content for our readers, customers and partners. Be sure to check back each week for the latest posts.

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New Office

An exciting part of late 2015 was moving our Manchester offices. Expansion is brilliant in any business and it was great for us to be able to move closer to the city centre. The location of the new office is China Visa Bureau, Pall Mall Court, 61-67 King Street, Manchester, M2 4PD.

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New Car

We added a new car to our current fleet of business vehicles! Towards the beginning of 2015 our first ever smart car was brought in to the family. Currently we have 2 Toyota IQ’s Our fleet has now increased to 3 vehicles!

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Plans for 2016

The Travel Visa Company are very excited for what 2016 has in store for us! So far we already have plans to attend more business events, raise more money for charity and continue to grow our brand. We are also developing our new website which will be live in the coming months with an all-new mobile/tablet friendly design and plenty more new features to make it even easier for travellers to quickly find out their specific visa requirements and complete their application(s).

Happy New Year from The Travel Visa Company!

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What is a Schengen visa?

What is a Schengen Visa?

A Schengen visa allows the visitor to travel between the countries that are part of the Schengen area (also known as the Schengen zone). The Schengen Area is comprised of 26 countries that have agreed to allow free movement of their citizens within this area as if it were a single country. Of the 26 countries bound by the Schengen agreement, 22 are part of the EU and the other 4 are part of the EFTA.

Travellers must apply to the single destination that you travelling to or, if you are visiting more than one Schengen member country, you will need to do one of the following.

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.

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Certain nationalities are eligible for this visa. Find a list of them here.

How was the agreement created?

The Schengen Agreement got its name because the original treaty was signed on a river-boat in the river Moselle near the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, where the territories of France, Germany and Luxembourg meet.

It began with 5 countries: Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany first signing the agreement.

Where to go and what to do:

With 26 different countries at your disposal, there’s going to be plenty to do – why not visit some of the most iconic cities in the world: Paris, Rome, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Milan, Zurich and more. There is also a plenty of famous landmarks that you can visit like the Roman Colosseum, the Acropolis of Athens, the Sagrada Familia and the Eiffel Tower.

But it doesn’t end there! There is more you can do while travelling through these 26 different countries: why not take your family / friends on a road-trip around Europe, take to the Alps for a ski session, visit local markets and museums, take a relaxing scenic walk or go it alone on a backpacking adventure!

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Visas

*Note: We advise that you apply at least 3 months before travelling.

*Note: It can take up to 4 weeks to obtain this visa.

We are now able to assist with all Schengen Visa Applications for non-UK Passport Holders. Visit our website here: thetravelvisacompany.co.uk/visas/schengen/

“To Travel Is To Live”

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Russia – Biometric Data

On 10th December 2014 the Russian Government implemented a pilot scheme which requires all UK-based applicants to submit biometric data when applying for any visa at the application centres in the UK. The two UK-based consulates are located in London and Edinburgh, therefore requiring travellers to visit either of these two cities in order to complete their visa application.

Read the official announcement >

What is biometric data?

Scanning your fingerprint is the new method the Russian Government are using, utilising modern technology to ensure correct identification.

Though visa agencies are unable to submit an application on your behalf due to this new ruling, The Travel Visa Company are now offering services to assist with your application where possible: from providing assistance over the phone and completing the online application, to a personal meet & greet with a Russian speaking specialist and collection/delivery of the issued visa. See details >

Please not the information provided is primarily for British passport holders. Requirements for other nationalities may vary.