Understanding the Various Visa Types

Visiting a foreign country for the first time can be exciting and unnerving in equal measures. Something that counts double in instances where visas are required.

Contrary to popular belief, passing through customs quickly and without drama doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s simply a case of planning ahead and understanding your obligations. If you’re planning to visit a country like Russia, where visas are mandatory for most visitors, it pays to do your homework.

All of which begins by determining what type of Russian visa you need for your trip.

Every country has its own take on immigration policy, which has a tendency to be incredibly complex and convoluted. Nevertheless, most countries also have just seven primary visa classifications, which cover the vast majority of requirements.

By familiarising yourself with the characteristics of the following visas, you’ll be in a better position to determine which you’ll need for your trip:

Visitor Visa

Anyone planning to enter a country for basic travel or entertainment purposes will typically require a visitor visa. Some of which must be applied for in advance, others are granted upon entry as part of a ‘visa waiver program’.

Student Visa

Individuals who have been successfully accepted for a place at an international educational institution may qualify for a student visa. Student visas can be valid for anything from a period of weeks to several years, with additional allowances for part-time employment in some instances. Formal proof of being offered a place at a recognised educational institution must be produced to qualify for a student visa.

Business Visa

Business visas are suitable for individuals and groups thereof who intend to enter a foreign country for a limited period of time – usually no more than three weeks. Such visas are issued to allow international visitors to attend business conferences, meetings and general engagements. Business visas do not necessarily permit the visitor to work in the country during their stay.

Work Visa

A work visa application can be particularly complicated, given the extensive scope of the nature and duration of the visit. Investor visas, entrepreneur visas, standard employment visas – all of which may be valid for anything from six months to three years. Mandatory for anyone looking to work in a foreign country.

Working Holiday Visa

Visitors looking to combine travel with work on a temporary basis may apply for a working holiday visa, which is typically restricted to applicants aged 18 to 30 years old. Such visas are usually issued for no more than 6 to 12 months.

Sponsorship Visa

Your visa application may be sponsored by your current employer, prospective employer, spouse, family member or a figure of importance in the destination country. Sponsorship visas are issued subject to strict terms and conditions, but can often be extended indefinitely (depending on the country).

Resident Visa

Last but not least, a resident visa is similar to being granted citizenship, in that the individual is provided with indefinite leave to remain in the country.  Resident visas are also the most difficult to obtain, issued subject to applicants meeting very strict and specific criteria – usually with respect to family connections, sponsorship, length of stay, financial situation and so on. – russian-visa.org.uk

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Extreme travel is the name of my game and I love to get that adrenaline pumping. Blogging and blagging my way across the world one country at a time... come join me!

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