Travelling is great, but depending on where you travel from and where you are planning to go, it can require quite some preparation.
Besides finding the best deals for flights and hotels and carefully selecting your personal items to carry along, you may have to apply for a Visa before setting off.
Travel experience counts
If you need to apply for a visa before departure you will most likely have to go to the country's embassy or consulate or to a visa application center. It may also require mailing your passport to a consulate office. And you might be concerned about letting your passport out of your immediate possession as it is an important document for identification and there's always a risk of loss.
This can be quite a hassle for travelers, especially when the embassy or application center is far away!
More and more countries have put in place electronic visa (e-Visa or eVisa) or
electronic travel authorization (eTA) and visa upon arrival to simplify the application process and increase security.
Before we move on, let's refresh our memories with a few definitions to make sure we know what we are talking about.
What is an eVisa?
eVisa: An electronic visa (e-Visa or eVisa) is an entry requirement performed online, stored in a computer and linked to the passport number used for the request. It simplifies the visa issuance process as there is no label, sticker or stamp to be placed in the passport before travel. The application is fully processed over the internet.
What is eTA meaning?
eTA: an electronic travel authorization or eTA is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to or transiting to a country, usually by air. It allows the destination or transit country to screen travelers before they arrive, increasing visibility and security.
One of the most well-known eTA system is the
ESTA on-line service for travelers who wish to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. These travelers have to apply for authorization.
what is a VOA?
Visa on Arrival: also known as VOA, it is granted at a port of entry, in most cases after an online pre-approval process. This is different from not requiring a visa at all, as the traveler must still obtain the visa through immigration before he can enter the destination country.
For VOA countries, there is usually an
expedited process for visa applicants who have been accepted or pre-accepted through an online process. Travelers can benefit from special lines set up for those with an electronic visa to get through the immigration procedure more swiftly. This process can save a considerable amount of time, perhaps even hours.
In our recent dossier on
eVisa portal we explain the benefits of pre-travel authorization in term of convenience and risk management. We also detail the three major factors behind the success of an eVisa project.
How to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
Applying for an eTA is an easy online process.
Applicants will need a valid passport, a credit card and an email and can get their eTA approval via an email.
The application is then stored and linked to the applicant's passport number. All visa records are stored in a database which enables online checking of visa details by visa holders, registered country's organizations and airline staff.
There is no need to physically present yourself or your travel document and receive a visa sticker. The application is fully performed over the internet in just a few clicks and provides an advance permission to visit the country.
New biometric on-line verification process from Gemalto
In order to verify the applicant's identity online, Gemalto proposes an
online ID Verification system that automatically verifies electronic and physical security features of identity documents.
This ID verification software combined with biometric identification allows to ensure that the document bearer is the rightful owner and is entitled to apply for a visa.
The process is described in the video above.
A proven framework with Gemalto's Visa Management
Did you know that world's largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide is using over ten
Visa Management systems to serve over 1,000 visa application centers located in over 100 countries across five continents.
Time to find out more
Several countries have already streamlined and simplified their
visa application process. If you are interested in joining them, it's time to talk to Gemalto about the journey to eVisa.