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What is a visa?

A visa is an authority issued by the Embassy or Consulate of a country to allow a traveller to visit that particular country. The majority of visas are stamped inside your passport. A small number of visas are either issued as a seperate document to be carried with the passport or issued electronically. Visas are issued with specific limitations regarding purpose of visit, length of stay, validity of visa, etc. It is the travellers' responsibility to check and obtain the necessary visas before they travel. A visa does not automatically gain you entry into a country as they have the right to refuse you entry at immigration.

How do I obtain a visa?

The Embassies and Consulates of various countries are authorised to grant visas. Appropriate visa documentation must be presented to the Embassy or Consulate in proper order for the visa to be issued. Ross Consular can obtain most visas on the travellers' behalf.

Do I need to send my actual passport?

Yes, at all times. However there are very few exceptions.

I hold a non-UK passport. Do I need a visa?

Visa requirements vary for all Nationalities and are issued on the Nationality of the passport holder and not the country they reside in.

I am a British subject. Does that mean I have the same rights of entry as a UK British Citizen passport?

No. This varies depending on the type of British Passport held and the country to be visited concerned. The types of British Passports are: British Citizen, British Subject, British Overseas Citizens, British Dependent Territories, British Nationals (Overseas).

How long will it take to process my visa?

This depends on the Embassy or Consulate concerned and the type of Passport being held. Some applications are referred and some Embassies or Consulates will offer an express service.

What is a visa invitation or confirmation?

An Invite confirmation can take the form of either a letter from the inviting company or an official invitation. The inviting letter needs to contain your name, passport number and bear the company stamp. A Government Body supplies the official invite/confirmation/telex.

Can I fax my passport copy and/or completed applications for issuance of a visa?


Does the photo in my passport count as one passport photo? Can I submit digitally produced passport photographs?

No. It is strongly recommended that all photographs sent in be on proper photographic paper and in colour with a light plain background.

Do I need vaccinations for my trip?

To determine whether or not you require vaccinations for your travel itinerary, please click here.

Where can I find the latest travel warnings?

Please go to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website.