Smart Planning for Long Term Travel: All about Visa

Now that you have secured your passport, the next thing that you have to check is Visa (not the credit/debit card). You have to check if you are required to present a Visa on your destination. According to Wikipedia, it is estimated that 104 countries and territories granted visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to Philippine passport holders.

Some countries allow us to enter without visa like Thailand, or will allow us to secure a visa upon arrival like Nepal. Some countries are a little stricter, you have to get your Visa before you fly out like USA and most countries in Europe.

You have to UNDERSTAND the premises on Visa agreements to avoid hassles along the way. Last 2009, I misinterpreted what I’ve read, I thought we could enter Myanmar overland and get a Visa upon arrival and travel anywhere in that country. I went on the Mae Sai –Tachilek border and found out that I could only travel as far as 2KM from the border if I enter Myanmar overland. That means, to be able to travel farther to Bagan or Yangon, I have to fly in.

If you are not sure with the information that you get online about Visa requirements, DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL THE EMBASSY. This will ensure that you have accurate and updated information.

Smart Planning for Long Term Travel: All about Visa

Here are some websites that can help you know more about Visa requirements of different countries.

1. IATA Travel Center
2. Visa HQ
3. Project Visa

Four Tips on Securing a Visa

Complete Documents: This is the surest way of speeding up the process. You won’t be asked to return just to give additional documents if you give a complete set on your first visit to the embassy.

Follow Instruction: Some countries are very meticulous with processing and even require proper arrangement of documents. They also have their preferred size for ID picture etc. Follow everything so you wouldn’t be asked to return.

Proofread: As soon as you get the Visa, you have to check if all the details on it are correct. People working on embassies make mistakes too. You don’t want to end up in an airport with an expired visa or with a misspelled name. All details should be accurate, if not, ask them to make the necessary correction.

Maintain Multiple Copies: If you’re holding a Visa that lasts for a few years like for example a multiple entry for 10 years visa to US, photocopy, scan and email it to yourself as well. Leave a printed copy at home and bring another copy with you, this will be handy in case you lose the passport.

Do you have an additional tip to share?

Previously: Smart Planning for Long Term Travelling: All about Passports


  1. Most of the visa procedures I’ve done were pretty clear cut. Although when applying for one visa, I accidently forgot to send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the consulate. I called them up and asked where to send it. They were very nice and it didn’t slow down the process for me getting it.

    • getting a visa seems to be easier for people from 1st and 2nd world countries compare to citizens of 3rd world… just my observation…

  2. Citizens from developed countries don’t even have to worry about visas. They can enter any country without one, or get visas on arrival. Totally different for us, who find it difficult even to get a visa. Sigh.

  3. This is so helpful. Happy travelling, cheers!

  4. hi,

    do u have any experience in acquiring a tourist visa in Australia? could i diy it? would it be as easy as getting a Chinese visa?

    • flipnomad says:

      i havent been to australia yet… i recommend that you check out the australian embassy’s website for updated information about the process 🙂

  5. Hi sir! Do you have any idea if it is possible for us, Philippine passport holders, to lodge our visa applications at embassies in our current locations? Say for example, Im on a tourist visa in Korea and halfway thru my stay, have decided to visit Japan which is one boat ride away, for a few days. Will it be okay to apply for a visa at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul?

    Im planning to go off on at least a year of travelling and this visa issue is driving me nuts. :/ i plan to kick start my travel in Asia and SEA alone will prolly last for at least 6 months. Yes, I prefer to travel slow. 😉 Visa validities issued by countries like Japan and/or SK only last for 3 months. what if the visa I applied for in their embassy in the PI has already expired? Does it mean I have to go back home and apply again? Or baka naman pwede sa embassy (as long as meron) ng current country where Im in, pwede ko maglodge ng application? Ive been reading thru the websites of my supposed countries of destination, some of them said that we can only apply at our home country while others have vague information about this matter.

    Pasensiya na, ang haba na ng question. 🙂 Been scouring the internet about this issue but I cant seem to find a definitive answer. So far, your blog has proven to be the most helpful.

    • Hi Kach,

      No worries, here are some info that might help…

      Q1: Visa Application in Another Country

      A: You may apply visa when you’re in another country but it depends on which country. I have applied for Indian Visa in Cambodia and it got approved although for Japan I’m not quite sure since there are countries where visa applications need to be filed in your country of residence. I do suggest to contact the embassy directly to get a clear answer on this one. Goodluck on your trip. 🙂

      Q2: Visa Expiry (Extension)

      A. It depends. If your visa (lets say for country A) expired and you’re already in “country A” then you may file for an extension. Although again, this policy varies per country (example, Indonesia doesn’t process visa extension for us) so it would be best to check the visa policies of your target destination. But if you’re visa (lets say for Country A) expired even before you reach “country A” then you have to apply for a new visa. The need to go home to apply for that visa again depends on that country’s policy, I again suggest that you contact them directly. Most countries in mainland SEA (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos) can process visa extensions while you’re inside those countries.

      Goodluck and safe travels 🙂


  1. […] Previously: Seven Practical Guides in Choosing your Destinations Next: Smart Planning for Long term Travel: All about Visa […]

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