Tranist Visa - How to Get a Transit Visa
If you travel to a foreign country enroute to an overseas destination,
you may need to obtain a transit visa. Each country determines the
criteria which make a transit visa necessary or not. An exception to
this is when you are in transit in a country for which U.S. citizens
are not required to obtain a visa to enter. Most countries allow
foreign citizens to remain in transit for 24 to 48 hours without the
need to get a transit visa as long as they remain in the airport. Stays
longer than this period of time or leaving the airport for whatever
reason could oblige you to apply for a transit visa.
Transit Visa Application and Other Required Documents
The first step is to complete the appropriate
visa application form. Most countries provide only one visa application
form for all types of visas. Others have a specific application for
each type. Some application forms need to be downloaded and printed
while others are in electronic format. You need to follow the
directions provided by the consular services of the country to which
you are making application.
Some countries require the completion of a supplemental
visa application in order to provide more detailed information about
your travel plans. For example, the United States requires for all male
applicants between 16-45 years of age and all applicants from state
sponsors of terrorism age 16 and over, irrespective of gender, without
exception to complete such a form.
A current, valid passport must be presented as well. Many
countries require your passport to have a validity date at least six
months beyond the your intended period of stay in the country of
Finally, a current photograph must be sent in along with the application.
Other Possible Requirements for a Transit Visa
You may be asked to provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses while in the transit country.
You could be asked to provide evidence of permanent residence in the
United States. This is generally established by evidence of family,
professional, property, employment or other ties and commitments to the
The application process may include a personal interview at the embassy consular section.
Transit Visa Fees
The cost to get a transit visa varies from country to country.
Quite often, the fee for a transit visa is the same as that of a
tourist or business visa. There are countries, however, that charge a
different fee for each type of visa. Fees can range from $30 to
hundreds of dollars, depending on the country to which you are
Staying Beyond Your Authorized Stay
Transit visa holders are generally not able to apply to adjust their status or extend their stay.
It is important that you depart the transit country on or before
the last day you are authorized to be there. Failure to depart will
cause you to be out-of-status.
Staying beyond the period of time authorized by being
out-of-status is a violation of immigration laws, and may cause you to
be ineligible for a visa in the future for return to the country for
which you are out-of-status.
Tips for Applying for a Transit Visa
Understand all the requirements for the country through which
you will be transiting. Make sure you complete the application form
correctly and provide the appropriate documentation. Any mistakes can
cause the processing of your application to be delayed or, even,
You should always apply for your transit visa well in advance
of your departure date to avoid unnecessary changes in your travel
No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in
advance. Therefore final travel plans or the purchase of nonrefundable
tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued.
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