Countries have different laws governing foreign citizens entering their country. Some countries would require both a passport and a visa and all countries require a passport. Luckily for US citizens, there are 127 countries you can visit without having the need to apply for a visa. Still, you may want to have some travel plans set and and idea of the requirements for entry and exit.
However, this does not necessarily mean that you no longer have to apply for a visa, it is always a good idea to apply just in case the country you wish to visit requires one.
The purpose of your travel overseas would be the most critical thing countries will look at when you are applying for a visa. The requirement, fees, allowed duration of stay and visa approval by the embassy will depend on your purpose in visiting their country. Remember that if you are traveling with children, they will also need a passport and visa. Read below for our Visa Requirements For US Citizens – A Complete Checklist
Requirements When Applying For A Visa
1. The most critical document required by all foreign countries is a passport. The validity of one’s passport when planning to travel overseas must at least be 6 months beyond the intended length of stay in the foreign country.
2. Foreign countries have specific requirements to be able to qualify for a visa in their country. An applicant must be able to show the following:
The main purpose of your visit should be temporary such as for travel or tourist, business, medical treatment, temporary working visa or for study purposes.
That the length of stay you have in mind is temporary and specific.
Proof that you are capable to sustain your expenses when in a foreign country. An example of this document is a bank certificate.
That you have a reason to go back to your country of origin at the end of your allowed visit, such as a permanent residence or a house or other social or economic binding ties.
3. A photograph that follows the specifications of the country’s embassy
4. A receipt that reflects the payment you made with your application. This payment is non-refundable and is paid using your local currency. Once the visa has been issued, you may also need to pay other fees, like a reciprocity fee depending on your citizenship and nationality.
5. Aside from the visa requirements mentioned above, supporting documents are also asked based on the purpose of your visit. It is vital to know that all of the papers you are going to present to the consular or embassy should all be legal and true because falsification of these documents may cause you to be banned from that country. Here are other supporting documents you need to prepare:
Evidence that you have a property or business ownership and current proof of income
Detailed explanation regarding your trip including your travel itinerary
A letter that came from your employer that indicates your job description, position, salary, etc. and the intent of your travel.
Criminal or court records that led to conviction or arrest even if you already have completed your sentence.
Here are some more additional requirements for specific purposes:
Student – you have to bring and present all of your current school records such as diploma, transcript of record, degree and latest school result. You should also bring proof of financial stability, like a bank certificate, monthly bank statements or deposit slips.
Working adults – you need to present your employment letter from your employer and your most recent pay slips for three months.
Business – you are required to present evidences that your company really exists and that you are really an employee.
Visiting a relative – you will be asked to bring your relative’s proof of status such as Green card, valid visa, etc.
Medical care – you will be required to present a medical diagnosis from your local physician explaining your status and the treatment needed that is only available in that country or why you need to be treated there. You will also be asked to present a letter from a doctor who will receive the endorsement from your main doctor and the course of treatment from your hospitalization. Lastly, proof of financial capability that will ensure that you will be able to pay all fees and expenses for your care.