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Australia May 5, 2011 – Diane Kakoz, Manager of B&K Express in Southfield, Mich., a passport-visa expediting service, commented that a lot of people do not know that visas exist, or that they think U.S. citizens don’t need one.
He added that a lot of people going to Brazil get to the airport and then get sent back.
Brazil, China, and India are just some of the countries that require American travelers to get a visa.
In addition to the passport, a visa is also a travel document some nations require in order for the traveler to enter the destination country. It usually costs about $80 to $140 plus the processing fees.
The added expense could give quite a rude shock to individual travelers who are on a budget. However, for those on a group trip, it is usually an invisible cost folded into the tour price.
Some countries offer visas online like Cambodia as well as Australia which offers Australian visa online processing usually with near-immediate approval though some visas still take weeks to process.
However, some countries allow tourists to get a visa when they arrive at the destination country. Meanwhile, others like Venezuela, accept tourist cards as an alternative, which is handed out on arriving flights.
Fortunately, U.S. tourists are given the privilege to travel around most of the world with just only their passports.
As a matter of fact, Americans can travel to 159 countries without a visa making them among the freest travelers in the world.
Some travelers need visas while others don’t simply because richer countries are inclined to make people from a poor or war-torn country acquire visas as an extra precaution to ensure that these visitors will return their country of origin after they had done their business in the visited country. Poor countries are more likely inclined to admit people from rich countries without visas.
However, other reasons are politically motivated just like Brazil. Experts says that Brazil’s visa requirement and its fee of $140 for American tourists is viewed to be a retaliation for the strict visa requirements and the identical fee that Brazilian tourists must pay to enter the U.S.
Experts also say that the biggest mistake that visa seekers make is procrastinating.
Abraham Jacobi, consular liaison at Perry International in Chicago, which expedites travel documents, says “Everybody waits until the last minute and then wastes money to get a rush visa.”
He further says, “Applying one month ahead is good. Wait until the week you’re leaving, and you’ll likely pay a rush fee of up to $200.”
In retrospect, mostly all US tourists do not know that they need a visa to enter a foreign country unless they have a tour operator informing them of a visa need, i.e. tourists, business travelers, students, or those who plan for an immigration to Australia.
Among the countries that rank best in the number of countries their citizens can visit without a visa requirement are United Kingdom with 166 countries, Denmark, 164, Sweden, 163, Finland and Luxembourg, 162, France, Germany ,Italy and the Netherlands ,161, Belgium, Japan, Spain, 160 and U.S., Ireland, Norway with 159 countries.