Visa service is available to U. S. citizens at the embassies and consulates of the country or countries they plan to visit. While there may be some variables that are specific to a particular country visa services, there are a lot of visa requirements that are common to most countries. Familiarizing yourself with these will make the visa application process a lot smoother.
It is important to understand that a travel visa stamped in your passport is not a guarantee that you will be allowed to enter your destination country. The visa is merely permission to travel to a port of entry. It is at this port of entry that an agent will examine your documents and determine whether you will enter the country or not.
Visa processing is an important service provided by the consulate section of an embassy or by the consulate general of a country. It is important to follow the requirements exactly as given so that you avoid delays in the process or, even, the rejection of your application.
The first decision you need to make when applying for a visa concerns the type of visa you will need. Next, you may be able to apply for a visa with a specific validity. This is especially true for business visas. For example, Russia allows you to choose between a business visa that has 1-3 months validity and one that has 3-12 months validity. Following this, you need to choose the number of entries you want your visa to allow. Possibilities include a single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry. Not every country offers this option but many do.
Most visa applications are short, requesting only basic personal and travel information. Application forms can usually be downloaded in PDF format from the embassy or consulate website. However, more and more countries are exchanging the printed form for an electronic application that is submitted immediately after completion. In fact, some countries such as Brazil no longer accept printed applications.
Processing times vary depending on the type of visa and destination. Most consulates process tourist and business visa applications within two weeks to a few days. Expedited visa service, when it is available, can be accomplished as quickly as the same day or next day. Work, study and resident visas usually take quite a bit longer to process.
Some consular services still accept applications that are sent by mail but this is changing. More and more countries are requiring that applications be delivered in person. If you are unable to submit your application personally, consulates allow you to authorize a third party to do this for you. This person can be a friend, relative or travel agent. When none of these are available, you can contract a private visa expediter. Foreigners come to Thailand for various reasons. Some are here to conduct short term business while others to simply enjoy the amazing wonders of the Land of Smiles. Unfortunately, the validity of the Thai visa intended for these purposes are limited to the usual 90-day duration often in the form of a 60-day tourist visa plus a 30-day extension. Those who want to stay longer are forced to do the border run which is done every 15 days for a maximum period of three years or leave the country and come back by plane giving them another 30 day visa stamp at airport immigration. However these alternatives are rather inconvenient and expensive.
Well, in fact, some nationalities like Europeans (mostly nationals of the european union members), Americans, Australians and Canadians can actually avail a One year multiple entry visa to Thailand in the form of a Non Immigrant B visa that they maybe be able to come and stay in Thailand for a year. This one year Thai visa can be applied in person or by mail at the Thai consulates or Thai embassies abroad such as those found in the uk which accept and process visa application from UK citizens and permanent residents and EU nationals. There are also some Thai embassies in Australia which process this visa and their procedures are rather simple and straightforward. The ones in North america and Canada are also very efficient and attend to visa applications promptly. Only citizens of these countries and permanent residents can apply for the one year multiple entry Thai visa whether by mail or in person.
1. You need to be holding citizenship of any of the above mentioned countries. Permanent resident status holders in the us are allowed to apply provided that they can show their Green card when applying. They also have to meet the other requirements of the consulate. Some EU countries which are not allowed to directly apply from the Thai consulate in the uk by mail needs to show a valid address in the uk where the result of the visa application will be sent to. Otherwise they can just go directly to the consulate and apply there in person. At the Thai consulates in Australia, all citizens of the countries mentioned above are allowed to apply whether by post or in person. Though, the visa applicant needs to be physically present in the country where the visa application is being processed.