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What Is an eVisa and How Do I Get One?

Becky Hart | Oct 17, 2023

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One of the lengthiest processes of pre-travel is getting your documentation — passports and visas — in order. But what if it didn’t have to be so complicated? When it comes to visas, there’s an easier way.

What is an eVisa?

Traditionally, a visa is a travel document issued by the embassy of another country that gives you permission to travel to that country. Not all countries require visas.

An eVisa does the same thing but is applied for electronically rather than submitting physical paperwork. Applying for an eVisa is quicker and easier than applying for a traditional visa. And in most cases, you don’t ever need to print anything off, including the eVisa before you travel.

What is the difference between an eVisa and other types of visas? And what’s an eTA

Before we get into the different ways of obtaining a visa, it’s important to point out that a country may require you to apply for a visa in a certain way. For example, as of September 2023, United States citizens traveling to India can use eVisas. However, Indonesia (including the island of Bali) may issue a visa on arrival, and other countries may require you to get a visa from their embassy or consulate before you leave home.

The flags of the Consulate General of Poland and the European Union

  • Embassy visa: Seasoned international travelers are probably most familiar with an embassy visa, so called because you have to go to the embassy with the required documents to apply. This is the traditional, paper version of a decade ago.
  • eVisa: Again, an eVisa is like an embassy visa but applied for online. They are typically limited to travel for tourism.
  • Visa on arrival: Also called a border gate visa, you can get this type of visa at the border as you enter a country. You will still be required to provide documentation and pay a fee. Like an eVisa, they’re typically only issued to those traveling for tourism.
  • eTA: Also known as Electronic Travel Authorization, this is not the same thing as a visa. Visas generally guarantee that you can enter a country, and while an eTA may be required to travel to a country, it does not necessarily guarantee that you will be admitted. Just because a country is listed as “visa-free” or mentions a “visa waiver,” doesn’t mean you don’t need any documentation at all. You may still be required to have an eTA.

Research travel requirements in advance of your departure so that you don’t get stopped unnecessarily at the border.

Do I need an eVisa?

Whether you need an eVisa or other documentation can depend on several things:

  • Your country of residence
  • Your destination country (or countries)
  • The reason for your travel
  • How long you plan to stay in the country

If you visit the embassy website of your destination country, it’s generally very clear what type of visa, if any, is required.

How do I complete an eVisa application?

Person holding a passport and cash.One of the easiest ways to obtain an eVisa is to apply through your destination’s embassy website. There are also companies like sherpa that will collect the information required by the destination government and submit the eVisa application on your behalf. This can be particularly helpful if you’re traveling to multiple countries that require separate visas.

If you are unable to apply for an eVisa, you’ll need to contact your destination country’s embassy. They will provide specific information for how to apply for entry to their country.

How much is an eVisa?

How much an eVisa costs will depend on your country of residence and your destination. Some destinations charge as little as $10 while others charge closer to $200.

Pay attention to whether the eVisa and its cost covers one or multiple countries. For example, you can apply for an East Africa eVisa through sherpa, which is for travelers visiting Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda for tourism on one trip.

Travel Insurance for Visas

Some visas require proof of travel or medical insurance. Seven Corners can help you choose the right coverage for your own piece of mind and to meet your destination’s entry requirements. Don’t get stuck at the border unprepared. Talk to our licensed agents or get a quick quote for travel insurance online today.

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