Visas: they’re one of those annoying aspects of travel that every backpacker has to deal with. From the initial application, through to interviews and various documents, they can be confusing and incredibly stressful! There’s no need to panic though, as we’ve got it all covered. To help you, we’ve produced this comprehensive section to talk you through getting visas for many different countries – so you can think about what to pack and where to go instead!
If you are travelling to the following countries, please click on them to see more about getting a visa for them:
There are generally two different types of visas that you’ll come across when on a gap year: visitor visas and working visas (the latter comes in many different forms, depending on the specific country in question). Below, you’ll find some basic details about each of these visas – go to the specific country visa pages to find out more detailed information on the visa you need though.
These are the basic type of visa, needed by those heading into a country for tourism purposes. It is not always the case that you’ll need to apply in advance for a visa though, as many countries have agreements in place that allow citizens to be granted a visa upon arrival in the country. So, check on whether you need a visa before you start to worry about the way in which to get one!
A visitor visa is only for those who don’t want to work. If you are caught working while on a visitor visa, the implications can be severe, including fines and even possibly imprisonment. At best, you’ll be asked to leave the country. If you do want to work, the next visa is for you…
A working visa, as the name suggests, allows you to work while in a country. Getting a genuine working visa is often very difficult, as most places need proof that you bring a real skill to the workplace. Have no fear though, as many countries also offer working holiday visas, which are designed for those looking to complete temporary work while travelling. These working holiday visas are often the best way for backpackers to be able to refill their bank accounts while travelling.
If you get a working visa, make sure you abide by the conditions, as many often stipulate the types of jobs you can work in, as well as the hours you are allowed to work. The authorities within a specific country will be able to clarify these conditions for you if you’re confused.