Getting visas on the go

James Carson of Boston recently asked:

“I’m planning a long trip through Europe and Asia. As I’m keeping the route open-ended, obtaining visas ahead of time is impractical. How might I obtain a visa for say, Turkey, while I’m already abroad in France?”

This is what I told him:

“This is a good question — and it’s also a fairly easy one to answer, since procuring visas en route is easy to do as you travel. All you have to do is drop in at the embassy or consulate of your destination country in whatever major city you happen to be in. In Paris, for example, you should easily be able to pick up a visa for Turkey at the local Turkish embassy. Just check your guidebook to see where this embassy is located in Paris (and also check to make sure you need a visa at all; when I visited Turkey five years ago I just picked up an arrival visa at the border).

“Ostensibly, you could get visas for just about any country in the world from just about any national capital in the world. I’ve gotten Mongolian and Russian visas in Beijing, Chinese visas in Seoul, Indian visas in Tel Aviv, Syrian visas in Cairo, Laotian and Cambodian visas in Bangkok, Vietnamese visas in Phnom Penh, and Brazilian visas in Buenos Aires. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten an overseas visa in the United States (save my original Korean work-visa years ago). Any good guidebook will inform you as to visa requirements for any country (and many countries don’t require them at all), as well as embassy locations for any capital.

“Anyhow, I’m glad to hear that you are keeping your travels open-ended. Once you’re on the road you’ll realize how easy type of travel can be — and you’ll end up thanking yourself for allowing the kind of flexibility and spontaneity open-ended vagabonding provides.”

Posted by | Comments (1)  | October 27, 2004
Category: Vagabonding Advice

One Response to “Getting visas on the go”

  1. May Says:

    If you need to get visa applications or extensions for China, you are welcome to look me up. Cheers!