The word visa comes from the Latin term charta visa, meaning “paper which has been seen.”
If you’re traveling overseas, some countries still demand you obtain a visa before they allow admittance.
While the number of countries that require visas is decreasing, it can be a rather large inconvenience for passengers forced to apply for and then wait to get a visa.
But if the country you want to visit requires a visa, it comes down to the questions you ask before you hand in your application.
Always ask for the longest term possible.
Make sure you ask, and in some cases beg, for the letter M—not S—to be put on your visa. S means single entry only, and you know what that means.
You’ll have to get a new visa every time you return. M means multiple.
Then there’s cost. A visa to Russia can take time—and run you at least $300.
There is some good news, however. A visa for China now lasts 10 years.
But if you’re staying less than 72 hours, you may not need a visa if you’re visiting Shanghai or Beijing.
For more information about passports and visas, check out:
- How to Expedite Your Passport
- Why You Should Get A New Passport in the Fall
- How to Renew or Apply for a U.S. Passport
Keep reading for more travel tips.