Visas really are a pain in the butt. A visa might be attained with the ease of a click of a button or you might spend weeks holed up in a city you’d rather leave just waiting for the magical acceptance email to arrive.
You might be eligible for a simple visa on arrival or you have have to apply for one in person at the consulate. Whilst applying in person can be simple enough, the possibility of being refused can often lead to sleepless nights and a loss of finger nails as the consequences could involve abandoning your plans entirely and flying to another distant land. Like I said, they’re a pain in the butt.
The accepted plan of action is usually to apply for the visas on the road as most visas will have an expiration date meaning that by the time you have arrived from the distant land you call home, they may already have expired.
The easiest way to do this is to simply find the consulate of the country you are about to enter in the country you are currently in, applying in person and hopefully, picking it up in a few days time. Be aware however that some countries will require letters of invitation in which case the process will need to be begun at least a month before.
Since there are so many variables in regards to getting visas, I won’t go into too much detail here but rather, I’ll give an example of the most difficult visa I was eventually granted. Worst cases scenario and all.
In Turkey, I applied for the letter of invitation (LOI) from Stantours and provided my details.
Made payment and provided a proof of employment to Stantours.
Stantours get in touch to say that the application is denied as the government said that a visa will not be issued for my prospective travel dates. There are national holidays. I ask to change dates.
Heard back that I could change the dates to an entry date of one week later.
Letter of invitation issued with the visa pick up point being the consulate in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Set off at 09:00 to cycle to the consulate. Wait outside for 1.5 hours. Hand over documents before receiving a slip of paper.
Cycle 5km’s to the bank to deposit required fee and cycle back to the consulate.
Wait a further 2 hours until I was let in. Show the proof of payment and received the visa!
Looking back, It wasn't all that difficult. Perhaps the Chinese visa was the worst....