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Archive for the ‘Government Regulations’ Category

Southeast Asia Considers Introducing One Travel Visa to Rule Them All

March 24th, 2011
Right now, planning a tour of Southeast Asia requires more research and paperwork than a tour of Europe. Each country has its own travel visa requirements for tourists, ranging from relatively permissive (Thailand) to restrictive bureaucratic spiderwebs like those in Vietnam. In as little as 5 years, though, that may change. As part of its strategic plan to encourage tourism in member countries, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is trying to introduce one travel visa to rule them all: a Schengen-like visa that would allow tourists to travel effortlessly between countries such as Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei. Stuart McDonald of told the Inquirer Global Nation that visa regulat


New Azerbaijan Visa Requirements for Tourists

October 29th, 2010
Until just recently, American citizens could visit Azerbaijan without having to apply for a visa in advance. It's always been a good idea to do so, because getting a visa in the airport meant waiting through a number of long lines, but airport visas were an option if you didn't have the time to apply at an Azerbaijani embassy before you left. However, as Gadling notes, the rules have changed and travelers to Azerbaijan need to take note: "Then, in the middle of October, Azerbaijan suddenly changed its visa regime, requiring visitors to obtain visas at the country's embassies in advance. This requirement is not particularly annoying for tourists, who usually have time to drop their passports off at embassies prior to travel, but it's a huge hassle for business travelers who often need t


Don’t Overstay Your Thai Visa

October 16th, 2010
Thailand is a beautiful country. Many Westerners go for a visit and quickly find themselves enchanted. Just don't get so bedazzled that you overstay your visa! And if you do overstay, make sure that you have enough money to pay the required fines. This article on provides a cautionary tale to illustrate the point: An American tourist who called herself "Nick" was arrested earlier this month for overstaying her Thai visa. Apparently, the overstay was discovered when she went on a "visa run" to the Thai border, with the intention of getting a new visa issued when she re-entered the country. Per Phuket Wan, the visa run did not go as planned: Precise circumstances of the case are being clarified, but it appears the woman either misunderstood the conditions of her permissi


Israel Passport Stamps and Travel Visas

September 24th, 2010
Israel is one of the most popular countries in the Middle East for American tourists. US citizens do not need to apply for a travel visa in advance to visit Israel-all you need is a passport valid for at least the next 6 months and you're good to go. However, having an Israeli stamp in your passport can make it difficult to get travel visas for certain other countries. For example, if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport, the following countries will not issue you a travel visa or allow you to enter the country: Libya Sudan Lebanon Syria Saudi Arabia Kuwait Yemen Iran For this reason, most travel guides recommend making Israel the last stop on your Middle East tour. You can also ask the Israel customs officials to stamp a detachable sheet of paper inside of yo


Soon, EU Citizens May Not Need a Russian Visa

September 18th, 2010
Good news for citizens of countries that are part of the European Union: Soon, according to this post on the Nileguidance blog, you may be able to skip the Kafkaesque Russian visa process and still visit your Russian neighbors. Russia and EU have been working on visa-free travel for years, since 2003. What's changed? Nileguidance notes that Russia has a particular incentive to try to speed up negotiations at the moment: a new business park that Russia would love to staff with skilled workers from across Europe. According to this article on a Russian news site, Vladimir Chizhov, the Russian envoy to the EU, brought up the issue in a video conference last May: "We believe the process of reaching this goal [the introduction of visa-free regime] should be accelerated..."Seven years have