How to get a new visa while overseas

If you're travelling overseas and need a new visa, what can you do? Whether you travel for business, volunteer work or are a tourist, plans can change without warning. If you're staying in a country longer, or need to travel to a new destination, there are a few easy steps you can follow to get a new visa outside of Canada.

How to get a new visa while overseas

1. Find the nearest embassy or consulate of the country you want to visit

If that nation doesn't have a local consulate, it may have arranged for a friendly nation that does to handle its affairs. You can usually find out by phoning or faxing your destination's nearest embassy or checking the government tourist or immigration service online.

2. Research short-term, on-arrival visas

When you've identified the proper parties, ask if the nation allows short-term visas on arrival. If this is the case, you can usually stay for 30 days without needing a visa application.

3. Find out about application methods

If you want to stay longer or there is no short-term visa, ask if you can fax or email your information. This can prove especially useful if the nearest consulate office is a fair distance from your current location.

4. Gather the appropriate information

If you need to apply in person, be sure to determine the information you'll need before you visit the consulate. You will likely need to present a visa request form, your passport and a recent photo. If you have temporary resident status overseas, you may need to show your documentation for that as well.

5. Update any and all documentation

Processing a visa application can take some time. Consulates and embassies tend to be more cautious when granting visas for overseas travellers. Before applying, make sure your documentation is up-to-date. You may have to adjust your travel plans to reflect a longer application process.

6. Ask about processing time

If the visa process takes some time, you will have to leave your documentation with the embassy. Make sure you have duplicates available for other uses. Some countries may ask you to leave your passport as well, since the visa will be added to it. Try to avoid this, as you could need it to provide identification to local authorities or to make further travel plans. Instead, offer to make a second trip and present the passport when the visa approval comes through.

Applying for a visa when travelling can be a little more cumbersome than getting one at a home. The good news is that most embassies are familiar with the process and can help you through the application. Bear in mind that if you have difficulties getting the visa, you may be able to turn to the local Canadian embassy for help.

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