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What do I need to travel to USA: Requirements for travelling to USA

This is why you have to make sure to that you understand what are the factors that affect you when traveling to the USA and in this article, we will provide you with an answer to what requirement you shall meet to successfully visit the USA for business, travel or transit.

Read Post  South America Visa Free Countries for Indian Citizens


Do You Have U.S. ESTA VISA Travel Authorization? If You Have ESTA Application, Check if it is Still Valid!

Can I travel to USA?

Since the new administration has taken its place in the White House, there is a good reason to check if you are allowed to travel to the USA. The so-called “travel ban” has affected several countries and before thinking about applying for a Visa or an ESTA, you have to make sure that the country you are a citizen of, is not included in the USA travel ban.

If you are not a citizen of one of the countries under the USA travel ban you can visit the USA for business, travel or transit if you meet certain requirements for traveling to USA.

Therefore to successfully travel to USA you have to consider an application for a Visa or an ESTA.

This is without a doubt the most important question you have to take care of before doing any more planning of your visit to the USA.

What do I need to travel to USA

The first and by far the most important requirement for traveling to the USA is your Visa or ESTA application.

One of the most common questions travelers reach out to us with is: “Do I need a Visa for USA holiday?” and unfortunately it goes to show that the majority of people are not informed about ESTA applications.

Yes, Visa is not the only document you might have to acquire to travel to the US. And it all comes down to which country you are a citizen of. When you are traveling to the USA for business, travel or to use the US as transit for a period up to 90 days, there are two types of authorization you can acquire.

It is either an ESTA or a Visa. And before going into detail about both of them it is important to understand that an ESTA is not the same as and Visa. If you are looking for US tourist Visa requirements, for example, there is a good chance that what you actually need to apply for is an ESTA.

And this is exactly why it is so important to know the difference between both types of applications for legal travel to the USA.

Travel to USA with ESTA

People who travel to the USA and are citizens of one of the VWP countries do not have to acquire a Visa to visit the US for business, travel or use it as transit if the visit does not exceed a period of 90 days. Instead, they need to acquire and ESTA, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization approval.

Keep in mind that an ESTA can only be authorized for people who are citizens of one of the countries of the Visa Waiver program and currently the VWP countries are:

Andorra; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Brunei; Chile; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Republic of Korea; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; Monaco; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Portugal; San Marino; Singapore; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan**; United Kingdom*

This approval makes it easier for travelers from these countries to enter the US for a period that’s no longer than 90 days.

To acquire an ESTA approval you simply have to fill out an online form which is then approved or declined based on various factors. After your ESTA is approved, it is valid for two years or until your passport expiration date. In this time period, you are allowed for an unlimited travel to the USA but only for periods that do not exceed 90 days.

The ESTA expiration rules mean you have to check your ESTA status even if you have been approved, before traveling to the US to avoid any problems with the travel.


Do You Have U.S. ESTA VISA Travel Authorization? If You Have ESTA Application, Check if it is Still Valid!

Travel to USA with VISA

All of the business, transit or US tourist Visa requirements have to be met if you are not a citizen of one of the VWP countries.

This gives a straight-forward answer to those of you who have asked: “Do I need a Visa for USA holiday?” and similar questions. Also, it is important to understand that if you are not a citizen of one of the VWP countries, ESTA does not apply to you in any possible way. And no matter what the purpose of your visit is and how long you plan on staying you will have to get a Visa.

The basic US Visa application requirements for tourist, business purposes, and transit are:

  • Original interview appointment letter and sample.
  • Visa fee receipt.
  • Current passport and old passports if there are any.
  • A confirmation page of the submitted Form DS-160 with a CEAC barcode.
  • A photography.

In different situations, you might have to go thru additional control before you are granted a USA Visa.

All of this goes to show just how convenient the ESTA application is and how you can benefit from it. However, if you are not eligible for an ESTA you will have to go thru the process of acquiring a Visa.

What else do you need and what should you keep in mind

After you are granted an approval to travel to the US you still have to keep in mind that there are other factors that might affect your travel.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is insurance, that covers anything travel related. We strongly suggest you acquire a travel insurance before traveling to the USA.

Also, even if you have been granted a Visa or ESTA you still have to have all necessary documents with you at all times when traveling, such as a passport or other form of ID. If you are traveling for a highly specific reason we suggest you have all of the permissions and licenses approved and ready for check-ups.

And of course, after going thru all of the preparations regarding the legal aspects of travel to USA, you should not forget about the simple things related to traveling. Make a list of all of the things you have to have with you and pack smart so that you can go thru security check-ups without a hassle.

Do not forget to bring the things you need, so plan ahead no matter what’s the reasons for your visit. This will make it a lot more easy for you and with no worries in mind, you will not miss out on anything.

There is no doubt that traveling to the USA take some serious preparation and there is a good reason for that: To make your experience the best it can be! This is what Visa’s and ESTA’s are made for and you should learn to know the difference and how to apply for the one you need.


Do You Have U.S. ESTA VISA Travel Authorization? If You Have ESTA Application, Check if it is Still Valid!

Visa and ESTA

Be sure to check if you can apply for an ESTA of if you have to have a Visa to travel to the USA before starting the application process for one of the travel approvals. An ESTA is without a doubt the most convenient approval for traveling to the US, but in for people who are not citizens of one of the VWP countries, there is no other choice, but to acquire a Visa.

Remember, that in many cases your application for Visa or ESTA can be denied because of various factors, so make sure you can meet all of the requirements.

If you still have some questions about what you need when traveling to the US or what applications are required we suggest you learn more about ESTA’s and Visa’s to successfully travel to the US.

Keep in mind that all of these restrictions have been implemented for the safety of you, people around you and most impotent to protect the rights and freedom of the USA therefore, no arguments about the necessity of these approvals should take place.

Your Definitive Guide to South America Visas: What Do You Need For Your Trip?

Your Definitive Guide to South America Visas: What Do You Need For Your Trip?

Perhaps the most daunting thing about travelling (except for finding good travel insurance), is understanding the entry requirements of each country. Visas can be tricky, with some nationalities requiring them in advance and others being able to get them at the border.

Visa requirements are prone to change which means what is true one minute may not be so the next. As such, it is always important to research what visas you need and make sure that you double-check this information a few days before you travel (just in case).

We here at South America Backpacker know how confusing this can all be and in an attempt to make it easier for you, we’ve compiled this South America visa guide!

Disclaimer: All of the above information is the result of hours of research and internet trawling for the most up to date information out there. Please bear in mind that whilst we always try to keep our articles up to date, this is a mammoth task for a small team like ours! If you do find anything that needs updating, please let us know so that we can continue to provide the most current and useful information.

However, please bear in mind that visa requirements are subject to change often. Always do your own research and contact the relevant embassy if you have any queries about the visa requirements. After all, there is nothing worse than arriving at a border only to be sent straight home again!

Visa Guide to South American Countries A-Z

Visa information for Argentina:

If you are travelling as a tourist and do not require a visa, you will usually be granted a 90 day stay on a multiple entry basis. This allows you to enter the country numerous times within the period granted. 90 days is the maximum that can be given.

The nationalities that don’t require a visa to enter Argentina include all South American countries, USA, UAE, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most western European countries.

For those of you who do require a visa to enter the country, these will be charged at $50USD each.

Contrary to what you may read online, as of August 2018, Australians, Americans and Canadians no longer need to pay a reciprocity fee.

Passports must be valid for the entirety of the stay granted in Argentina. For example, if you plan to stay for 30 days, the passport must have at least 30 days of validity left.

Onward travel required: Those flying to Argentina are legally required to have proof of onward travel.

Staying longer in Argentina?

Renewal of your visa: An extension to your visa can be given at the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones (Buenos Aires Immigration Office) however, you can only extend once for the current trip that you are on. Needless to say, you should go to extend your visa before it runs out.

The visa extension given will never be more than the length of the original stay granted. For example, if you enter Argentina and are granted a 90-day stay, the maximum you could extend for is another 90 days. For nationals not from Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, the cost to extend your visa is around $15USD.

Border Runs or ‘Visa Runs’: If you are from a nation that doesn’t require a visa, it is possible to travel to one of Argentina’s neighbouring countries and then re-enter to get a new entry pass into the country.

Limits on the number of border runs/visa extensions: According to the Consulate website, the number of times that a traveller can re-enter the country in this way cannot be determined in advance. It is solely based on whether the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones are satisfied that you are not hiding your immigration purpose.

Overstay penalties: The fee for overstaying your visa is AR$600 (around $15USD) which must be paid at the airport upon your departure. Police can demand identification at any point which could cause lots of problems if your visa is no longer valid!

Visa information for Bolivia:

Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most countries in South America and western Europe (including the UK) do not need a visa to enter Bolivia.

If you do not require a visa to enter Bolivia, you will be given a free 30-day entry stamp on arrival.

Visas are required for citizens of the UAE, China, Russia and the USA. There is no cost for the first three countries however, travellers from the USA will be required to pay $160USD for 90 days entry (valid for 10 years). Be aware that damaged or torn bills will not be accepted.

Although it is theoretically possible to get a visa on arrival, some airlines are reluctant to fly passengers who do not already have a visa if required. Therefore, we recommend getting them in advance.

To obtain a Bolivian tourist visa, you must:

  • Fill in an application form
  • Provide proof of flights or travel itinerary
  • Provide a hotel reservation or invitation letter
  • Hold a certificate of yellow fever vaccine
  • Provide 2 passport photos
  • Hold a passport with at least 6 months validity
  • Show proof of funds if necessary
  • Citizens from the USA also require a police certificate
  • Cash for fee (if required)

If you are visiting Bolivia, you are required to have at least 6 months validity on your passport after your length of intended stay in the country. You should also ensure that you have at least one empty page in your passport for stamps before you travel.

Entry vaccinations required: Visitors to Bolivia could be refused entry if they do not hold a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever. This applies if you are flying from a country with risk of the disease.

Onward travel required: You could be asked to show proof of this at borders.

Staying longer in Bolivia?

Renewal of your visa: Renewing your tourist visa in Bolivia is thankfully, very simple. Simply head to the Immigration Office in a major city. You can renew for another 60 days, free of charge.

However, you will need to do this on two separate occasions, a maximum of three days before your current visa expires. Visa extensions are only granted for 30 days at a time and can only be extended to 90 days in total (per year). You will need your passport and immigration card plus photocopies of these and your Bolivian entry stamp.

Overstay penalties: You will be charged a set fee per day (20 bolivianos at time of writing) if you overstay your Bolivian visa. Bear in mind that travellers who overstay longer than a couple of weeks may attract the attention of immigration and could be banned from re-entering. It is also possible that Bolivian border officials may ask for a bribe if you have overstayed.

Bus company Bolivia Hop has lots of good and easy to understand information on its website regarding visa requirements and details.

Visa information for Brazil:

Brazilian flag

Nationals of all EU and South American countries, as well as New Zealand, are allowed to enter Brazil for up to 90 days, visa -free.

Citizens from USA*, Australia*, Canada* and China all require visas.

  • The following countries can apply for an electronic visa before their visit.

For more information on whether your country needs a visa for Brazil, check out the UK consulate website.

Visa fees are generally based on reciprocity which means that costs are determined by what a Brazilian National would have to pay to enter the other country. At the time of writing, the fees are as follows:

These fees can be paid by debit card or postal order. You cannot pay for a visa on arrival at the airport.

To obtain a Brazilian tourist visa, you must:

  • Book an appointment with the Consulate
  • Complete the visa application form online

You must provide the following original documents when required:

  • Valid passport (with at least two blank pages)
  • One passport photo
  • Copy of your return travel and itinerary (can be an e-ticket or a booking reservation from a travel agent)
  • Proof of sufficient funds for your trip. You must provide one of the following:
    • Bank statements and three months transactions
    • International credit card statements and three months transactions
    • Your most recent three payslips

    The visitor visa (VIVIS) will allow you to stay for up to 90 days in the country. This is counted from the date you enter the country and allows for multiple entries.

    Visitors to Brazil must have at least 6 months on their passport, starting from their date of entry.

    Onward travel required: This is mandatory for travellers visiting Brazil, as is being able to show proof of sufficient funds for your trip. Bank statements can be used to show this. Generally, the accepted budget is $150USD per person each day of your trip.

    Staying longer in Brazil?

    Renewal of your visa: You can extend your Brazilian visa for up to the same period which was originally granted to you when you entered the country. You must request a visa extension whilst your current visa is still in date with the Federal Police.

    Please note: Schengen Area member state passport holders, (except Liechtenstein, Iceland, Poland, Norway and Portugal) are only permitted to remain in Brazil for 90 days every 180 days. This means these citizens are not eligible for a visa extension.

    Overstay penalties: The penalty for overstaying your Brazilian visa is a fine of 8 reais (around $2USD) a day. It is possible to pay this fine when you leave Brazil or when you return. You will not be allowed to re-enter the country until you have paid this fine.

    If authorities catch you with an out of date visa, you will be given 7 days in which to leave the country, as well as receiving the standard overstay penalties and a six-month ban.

    It is worth bearing in mind that overstay is one of the most common reasons to refuse a Brazilian e-visa in the future.

    Visa information for Chile:

    A visa is not required for citizens of the following countries, the UK and most other EU countries*, USA, Australia*, Canada, New Zealand and South American countries.

    Upon entry, you will be granted 90 days entry into the country. You will also be given a ‘Tarjeta de Turismo’ (Tourist Card) which you must keep safe and present to immigration when you want to leave the country.

    *Travellers from Greece are only permitted 60-day entry on arrival.

    * Australians are required to pay a $117USD reciprocity fee.

    Visas are required for Chinese and Indian citizens. Once approved, they will be granted 90 days entry.

    The following documents are required for a tourist visa application:

    • Valid passport
    • Criminal background check issued by police
    • Health certificates pertaining to infectious/contagious diseases
    • A clear description of your financial situation (e.g. payslips or bank statements)
    • Contact person in Chile (name and address)
    • 3 passport photos
    • Application letter to Consul detailing visit motivation and length of stay
    • Applicant telephone number and proposed dates of travel

    Travellers entering Chile are only required to have a valid passport for the duration of their stay.

    Onward travel required: You may be asked for proof of onward travel.

    Staying longer in Chile?

    Renewal of your visa: It is possible to renew your tourist card for an additional 90 days at the Departamento de Extranjería. To do this you will require copies of your passport and tourist card. The cost is around $100USD.

    Border Runs or ‘Visa Runs’: It is possible to travel to a neighbouring country and then re-enter to get a new entry pass into Chile.

    Overstay penalties: Fines are issued to travellers who overstay their visas.

    Visa information for Colombia:

    You do not need a visa to enter Colombia if you are from most South American countries, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada* and most western EU countries including the UK.

    *Entrance fees for Canadians were abolished on May 1st, 2019.

    Upon arrival, you will be given a 90-day multiple entries stay in the country.

    Citizens from China and India require a visa. To check whether you need a visa, head to the consulate website.

    The easiest way to obtain a Colombian visa is online. Complete your application online here.

    In terms of cost for a Colombian visa, these are the current fees:

    Colombia & Rest of WorldEurope & Cuba
    First payment$52USD€40EUR
    Second payment (if visa is granted)$82USD€63EUR

    To enter Colombia, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months.

    Onward travel required: This is a requirement although it is rarely enforced. The same is the case with showing adequate funds for your trip. A recent bank statement showing upwards of $1200USD is generally sufficient.

    Staying longer in Colombia?

    Renewal of your visa: It is possible to extend your stay in Colombia by an extra 120 days. The maximum you can stay in Colombia is 180 days in a calendar year. Previously, it was a requirement to go to Migracion Colombia office to extend your visa. However, this can now be done online here.

    It is advised that you renew your visa no later than 5 days before your current one expires. All of the supporting documents can be uploaded in PDF format at the end of the form. You will need the following:

    • Copy of your passport (the page with your photo and personal details)
    • Copy of your Colombia tourist entry stamp
    • Proof of onward travel

    The cost to renew your visa is 99,000 pesos ($144USD) unless you are from a Schengen country in Europe, in which case it is free.

    If you prefer not to use the online service, you can still go to your local Migracion Colombia office. These are located in most major Colombian cities. Be aware that some offices may require you to arrange an appointment in advance.

    Border Runs or ‘Visa Runs’: You can leave the country and then return with a new 90-day entry stamp.

    Overstay penalties: If you overstay your Colombian visa, you will be required to pay a fine. To avoid any delays when you fly, it is worth paying this fine a few days in advance (after you have booked your flight) at the Migracion office. The starting point for fines is around 380,000 pesos (around $118USD), although this changes depending on how long you have overstayed.

    If you overstay by less than 6 months, you will simply be required to pay the fine. You can re-enter Colombia with a new visa in the same year (provided it is still under the 180 day in any year rule).

    However, if you overstay by more than 6 months, you will need to pay the fine and leave immediately. If you have overstayed, you will need to visit the Migration office and ask for a ‘salvoconducto’ no more than 15 days before your departure. This is a temporary permit that allows you to stay in the country until your departure date, even though your visa has expired. You will need to present this to the airport staff when you leave.

    To obtain a ‘salvoconducto’ you will need to present the following:

    • Passport
    • Copy of your passport (photo and personal data page)
    • Copy of your most recent Colombia visa stamp
    • Credit/debit card to pay the fine and also for the ‘salvoconducto’

    A ‘salvoconducto’ costs 60,000 pesos (around $19USD) and you will still need to pay the fine which could rise as high as 5 million pesos ($1558USD)! Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

    Visa information for Ecuador:

    Most people travelling to Ecuador will not require a visa, including those from South America, the UK and most of Europe, USA, Canada and Australia. On arrival, you will usually be granted 90 days entry (in a 12-month period). This allows for multiple entries.

    You will be presented with an embarkation/disembarkation form when you enter the country which will be stamped with your entry date. This will need to be kept safe with your passport as it will be required when you exit the country.

    A handful of nationalities will require a visa to enter, including Ethiopia and Kenya. Please check the official Consulate website to see whether you require one.

    For travellers to Ecuador, you must have a passport valid for at least six months beyond your travel dates.

    Onward travel required: This is a legal requirement so you could be asked to show proof of your return ticket. Officially, you could be asked to prove evidence of sufficient funds, however, this is rarely enforced.

    Please note: It is also an official requirement that travellers to Ecuador hold relevant health insurance to cover their stay.

    Staying longer in Ecuador?

    Renewal of your visa: You are allowed to extend your Ecuadorian visa only once before your current 90 day period is up. The maximum that you can extend for is another 90 days and you can only do this if you pay the accompanying visa extension fee. It is surprisingly challenging to find the up to date cost for extending your Ecuadorian visa. From what we found, it looks like it is currently around $131USD. This was the price in Jan 2019.

    To extend your visa, you must visit the Migration Office with these three things:

    1. A completed application form
    2. A photocopy of your passport
    3. A photocopy of your entrance stamp

    Border Runs or ‘Visa Runs’: Unlike in other countries, you cannot do visa runs in Ecuador to extend your legal time allowance in the country. The only way to extend your stay is to go through the official channels.

    Overstay penalties: If you overstay your allocated time allowed in Ecuador, you will receive a fine. If you do not pay this penalty, you will be banned from returning to Ecuador for two years and your name will remain on immigration watch lists. Assuming that you pay the fine, you will be allowed to return on an official visa issued by your nearest Ecuadorian Embassy abroad.

    Visa information for Guyana:

    Citizens from North and South America, Western Europe including the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Japan do not require a visa to enter Guyana.

    If you are from a country which is entitled to visa-free entry, you will usually be granted 30 days on arrival.

    Citizens from Eastern Europe (including Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia), China, UAE and India will need a visa.

    To obtain a visa you must present the following documents:

    • Completed application form
    • Valid passport
    • 3 recent passport size photos
    • Evidence of sufficient funs

    Tourist visas cost $30USD.

    For all travellers to Guyana, you must have a passport with at least six months validity, from the date that you enter the country.

    For more information on visas in Guyana, check out this website.

    Staying longer in Guyana?

    Renewal of your visa: To extend your visa you will be required to visit the Ministry of Home Affairs in Georgetown.

    Overstay penalties: Unlike some other countries in South America, overstay penalties are very severe in Guyana. As well as being charged a fine of up to G$50,000 ($240USD) you will also face up to one year imprisonment and deportation (at your own expense).

    Visa information for Paraguay:

    Citizens from the UK and most of Europe can enter Paraguay without a visa. Upon arrival, you will be granted a 90-day stay.

    Those travelling who are from the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia will be required to obtain a visa. Generally, visas will need to be arranged in advance for most nationalities but citizens from the countries listed above can get them at immigration upon arrival. You will be granted up to 90 days within the country.

    To apply for a visa for Paraguay in advance you must provide:

    • A completed application form
    • A passport (valid for at least 6 months)
    • Return air ticket
    • Proof of sufficient funds
    • Visa fee: single entry $72USD, multiple entry $110.

    These are the prices for the countries which can get a visa upon arrival:

    CountrySingle entry/ Multiple entries
    New Zealand$153

    The cost for single/multiple entries is the same for those who are able to arrange visas on arrival.

    To enter Paraguay, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months.

    Onward travel required: This is a requirement of entering Paraguay. You could also be asked to show proof of sufficient funds for your stay.

    Staying longer in Paraguay?

    Renewal of your visa: Your visa can be extended for an additional 90 days at the National Immigration Office. However, you can only stay for a maximum of 180 days in a one year period.

    Border Runs or ‘Visa Runs’: It is possible to leave Paraguay and re-enter at one of its many land borders. You will receive another 90-day entry upon arrival provided this will not push you over 180 days in a year period.

    Visa information for Peru:

    Travellers from the USA, Canada, Europe including UK, Australia, New Zealand and all South American countries do not require a visa to enter Peru.

    Citizens from China will be required to get a visa. For the full list of countries which require a visa, see this list.

    The maximum amount of time that you can spend in Peru in any one year is 183 days. Upon entry, you could be granted a 90-day or 183-day visa. If you require the latter, simply ask for this when you arrive at immigration. This will be granted at the discretion of the immigration worker.

    Those who require a visa to enter the country will need to provide the following:

    • Completed application form
    • Valid passport
    • Proof of onward travel
    • Accommodation reservation
    • *Proof of sufficient funds (a bank statement displaying a minimum $1255USD)
    • Passport photos
    • Application fee

    *This only applies if you are applying for a visa.

    A tourist visa costs $30USD.

    Travellers to Peru must enter the country with a passport valid for at least six months. It must also have at least two blank pages.

    Onward travel required: This is a legal requirement for travellers entering Peru. Although it is rarely enforced, your airline could ask you for this and refuse you to board if you fail to provide proof.

    Staying longer in Peru?

    Renewal of your visa: Tourists can no longer apply for a visa extension whilst in Peru. Those who have entered on the Tarjeta Andina de Migración (TAM, a form completed and handed over at the border) you will need to exit and re-enter Peru.

    Border Runs or ‘Visa Runs’: If you were given a 90-day entry upon arrival, you should have no problem obtaining a new one if you cross a border. However, if you have already spent the maximum of 183 days in a year, you may be refused entry. However, this seems largely dependent on luck and the disposition of the immigration officer. There is no clear rule here.

    Overstay penalties: If you overstay your Peruvian visa, you will be fined at $1USD per day. It is possible that the fine could be less hassle and actually cheaper than leaving and reentering Peru (although we certainly don’t recommend this)!

    Not all border points accept fine payments so make sure you check this prior to trying to leave the country.

    Visa information for Suriname:

    Suriname flag

    The USA, Canada and most of Europe including the UK, will require a visa to enter the country. Alternatively, you can apply for a tourist card for stays of less than 90 days. It is now possible to apply for an e-visa or e-tourist card before travel, although it is still possible to obtain these at airports.

    Visas and tourist cards are not available at land borders.

    The difference between the two is that visas can be used for multiple entries whereas the tourist card will cover you for single entry only.

    To obtain a tourist card you must:

    • Submit a valid passport (with at least 6 months validity)
    • Present a round trip ticket and a trip itinerary

    The Tourist Card Fee (single entry only) costs $40USD or €35.

    Several countries are exempt from visa requirements. For a full list of visa-exempt countries, please see the Suriname Embassy page.

    To enter Suriname, your passport will need to be valid for at least 6 months.

    Staying longer in Suriname?

    Overstay penalties: You can receive a one year ban from re-entering the country if you overstay. This will be marked in your passport.

    Visa information for Uruguay:

    Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and those from Europe including the UK and the USA do not require a visa to enter Uruguay.

    If you do not require a visa to enter, you will be granted a stay of up to 90 days.

    Citizens from China and India will require a visa.

    The following documents are required to apply for a visa:

    • Visa application
    • Passport
    • Photograph
    • Round-trip flight itinerary
    • Covering letter which explains the purpose of your visit and itinerary
    • Bank statements covering the last three months. You will need a few thousand US dollars.
    • Copy of credit/debit cards
    • Accommodation reservation
    • Police clearance (could be requested)
    • Travel history (not necessary but appreciated)

    The cost of a visa is $42USD. This fee will only be payable if a visa is granted. An interview is usually required.

    To enter Uruguay, your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay. No additional period of validity is required.

    Onward travel required: This is something that you could be asked for, as well as proof of sufficient funds for your trip. There is information online to suggest that you could also be asked to present documents which show proof of your trip’s purpose e.g. tourism. A hotel reservation or something similar should suffice if called on.

    Staying longer in Uruguay?

    Renewal of your visa: To extend your visa for an additional 90 days you will need to contact the Dirección Nacional de Migración. This extension will come with a fee.

    Visa information for Venezuela:

    Venezuela flag

    Canadian, Australian, European and British citizens do not need a visa to enter Venezuela. Citizens of these nationalities can enter the country for 90 days upon arrival with a tourist entry card, provided on aircraft or at borders.

    Please note: Nationals arriving by boat will need to arrange a visa in advance of travel.

    However, those from China and the USA will require a visa for their stay. This must be obtained in advance and costs $30USD. They are multi-entry and are not available on arrival.

    To apply for a Venezuelan visa, you will need to submit the following:

    • Original passport and two copies of the photo and information page
    • Visa application form
    • 2 recent passport photos
    • Proof of travel arrangements (including onward travel)
    • Proof of sufficient funds
    • Letter of employment – This letter must state that you are in good standing with your current employer. They must also detail the dates of your annual leave (for this trip) and your expected return date. It must also specify your length of employment, salary and position.

    Everyone entering Venezuela must hold a passport which is valid for at least six months with at least one blank page.

    Entry vaccinations required: Travellers who enter Venezuela from certain countries (please contact the Venezuelan Ministry of Health for more information) could be asked to show proof of a yellow fever vaccine upon entry.

    Onward travel required: Proof of onward travel could be asked for and if not shown, this could prevent you from being given a tourist entry card. However, this is not always enforced.

    Staying longer in Venezuela?

    Renewal of your visa: You must extend your visa before your current one expires. To do this, you will need to contact the Immigration service (SAIME) and pay a fee for the extension. You can extend for another 90 days.

    Overstay penalties: If you overstay your given time in Venezuela, you could be fined or even arrested.

    Got more up to date visa information for us? Let us know in our Facebook Community!

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    Sheree Hooker | Editor @ South America Backpacker + Winging The World

    Sheree is the awkward British wanderluster behind, a travel blog designed to show that even the most useless of us can travel. Follow Sheree’s adventures as she blunders around the globe, falling into squat toilets, getting into cars with machete men and running away from angry peacocks.

    U.S. Travel Documents Requirements: Traveling to and from the USA

    If you are planning a trip to or outside the U.S., the first thing you need to make sure is that your travel documents are in order. A travel document is a form of identification issued by a government to ease the movement of individuals across international borders. Before you leave for the airport, you need to make sure that your travel document is valid, and that you have all the necessary extra documentation, including any required visas. There are different types of travel documents that are issued based on immigration status and purpose for the trip. U.S. law requires that every individual, regardless of citizenship, age or destination, needs to hold a valid travel document(s) to travel outside of the United States. Of course, the requirements for crossing international boundaries vary depending on the country of destination. It is paramount when traveling either domestically or internationally to make sure you have the necessary travel documents, required visas, for entering or departing the United States.

    Main Travel Documents

    It is important to keep in mind that the travel document requirements for traveling outside of the U.S. may not be the same required to enter another country. The main travel documents issued by the U.S. government are passports, U.S. permanent resident card (Green Card), Refugee or Stateless travel document, Re-Entry Permit, and emergency travel document issued by an embassy or consulate. But what are the differences between them?


    The passport is perhaps the most common travel document there is. It is usually issued in a booklet format. It has a biometrics page with the holder’s information and also blank pages for entry and departure stamps and visas. It acts as a form of identification and proof of citizenship. Most countries require that a passport is valid for at least 6 months at the time of arrival.

    The governmental entity responsible for issuing passports in the U.S. is the Department of State (DOS). U.S. passports act as proof of U.S. citizenship and allow their holder entry into a total of 156 countries visa-free.

    Passport Cards

    Both apassport and passport card are considered U.S. passports. They both serve as proof of your U.S. citizenship and identity. The passport card is a wallet-sized travel document that can only be used by U.S. citizens to re-enter the United States at land border-crossings or ports-of-entry by sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. This card is a smaller, more convenient, and less expensive alternative to the traditional passport, especially for those who frequently travel to these destinations. The passport card, like the passport book, is valid for 10 years for an adult, and five years for children age 16 and younger. If you already have a passport book, then you may apply for the passport card at a reduced price.

    USA Travel Documents

    Form I-94 and Arrival/Departure Records

    Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, is used to record traveler’s’ arrival/departure information to the United States. However, CBP now gathers this information automatically from their electronic travel records. All those arriving in the U.S. via air or sea are no longer required to complete Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. However, if they need the information from their Form I-94 admission record to prove their legal-visitor status, they can access their arrival/departure record information online. Because CBP only collects this information automatically for air and sea travelers, CBP will still issue a paper form I-94 at land border ports of entry.


    To travel to and enter the United States, travelers need a visa. The type of visa you will need to apply for depends on the reason for your visit. You can apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your country of residence. Your approved visa will be placed on directly in your passport. A visa usually comes in either a stamp or loose piece of paper format and shows the purpose of your trip as well as its validity. You cannot enter the U.S. after your visa’s expiration date. At the port of entry, the DHS officer will enter the date when you are required to leave the U.S in your I-94 form. You have an obligation to leave the United States by this date since it is when your immigration status expires, or face not being allowed to re.-enter the U.S. even if you have a valid travel document.

    In addition to the traditional visas, the USCIS also issues three types of travel documents for exceptional circumstances. These special travel documents allow their holders to re-enter the U.S. country without having to apply for a visa. To apply for these travel documents, individuals need to complete and file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document and choose which document they want to apply for:

    • An advance parole document
    • A refugee travel document
    • A re-entry permit

    All those who applied for asylum or were considered asylees on or after April 1, 1997, can lose their status should they return to the country for which they sought asylum.

    Advance Parole

    Individuals who are in the process of adjusting their status or applying for an immigrant visa (refugees and asylees) are required to apply for advance parole document. Failure to do so can lead to severe consequences upon returning and trying to enter the United States, as these individuals may be found inadmissible, their applications may be denied, or both. It is paramount for non-U.S. citizens to obtain the proper documentation before leaving the United States. However, there are three exceptions to the requirement for nonimmigrant visa holders to apply for advance parole: H1B, L and K3/4 holders as well as their dependents. Those who hold a K1/2 visa and who have married a U.S. citizen must apply for legal permanent resident (Green Card holder) status and advance parole before leaving the United States, by filing Form I-131.

    Non-immigrant visa holders must obtain Advance Parole, before departure, to re-enter the United States if they have:

    • Filed an application for adjustment of status but have not received a decision from the USCIS;
    • Hold refugee or asylee status and intend to depart temporarily to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa in Canada; and/or
    • An emergency or personal reason to travel temporarily abroad.

    Refugee Travel Documents

    The USCIS grants refugee travel documents to individuals with refugee or asylum status and to lawful permanent residents who obtained their Green Cards based on their refugee or asylee status. If you want to travel abroad, you will need a passport. A refugee travel document is the equivalent of a passport for asylees and refugees who need to travel outside the U.S. temporarily. Before traveling abroad, those who were granted asylum or refugee status must apply for a refugee travel document. Family members who are classified as derivative asylees or refugees must also apply and obtain a refugee travel document before traveling outside of the United States. Failing to get a refugee travel document before leaving the U.S. could have serious consequences like being denied re-entry into the U.S. or even being deported. It is also important to keep in mind that both asylees and refugees you should never travel to the country from which they claimed persecution.

    Re-entry Permits

    A reentry permit allows a permanent resident (Green Card holder) or conditional resident to apply for re-entry after having spent at least a year outside of the United States. Those who are granted a re-entry permit are not required to apply for a returning resident visa from a U.S. embassy or consulate.

    If you are a U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder), and you need to spend a year or more outside the United States, you are required to get a re-entry permit to maintain your status. While Green Card holders are allowed to travel, they cannot spend more than an allotted time outside the U.S. running the risk that immigration authorities may consider the act an intent to abandon U.S. residence status. A re-entry permit helps prove that you did not mean to give up your status. A re-entry permit is also useful for when you cannot, or do not wish to, get a passport from your home country. The permit (which looks like a passport) can be used in its place. Remember that you cannot extend the time on your re-entry permit. If it expires, and you want to renew it, you will need to return to the U.S. and apply for a new one.

    Emergency Travel

    In the case of emergency, and before leaving the United States, the USCIS might process an application for a travel document faster. If you are experiencing an extremely urgent situation, you may visit your local office to request an emergency travel document. You will be required to submit any additional documentation required, including proof of your emergency situation, e.g.; medical documents, death certificates, travel records, etc. It is important to understand that business trips, weddings, holiday parties and other planned events are usually not considered emergency situations. USCIS considers emergency situations to be, life-threatening conditions, a humanitarian situation like a natural catastrophe. Your requested assistance to attend a cultural or social program which would benefit the United States, etc.

    So if you are a foreign national planning a trip outside of the U.S., please make sure you have all the appropriate travel documents in order or risk losing their rights and benefits given to you by the U.S. government. Failing to do so may result in being found inadmissible upon your return, or your applications may be denied, or both. That is why it is paramount that the proper documentation is obtained before leaving the United States.




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