Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Have Visa, Will Travel

Fed-Ex arrived at Christian Outlaw's door yesterday. The last piece of travel documentation was delivered, just in time. The visas for India are now glued on pages in the 3 team passports. Everyone can exhale. The Team is officially set to leave the country, with their passports in hand.

Why does someone need a visa if they already have a passport?

I've always been a bit confused about visas. Americans commonly use the word "visa" interchangeably with "credit card." However, worldwide, the "visa" is a small paper document with official looking stamps that are either loose, or permanently stuck on their own passport page. In addition to a government issued passport, some countries require travelers to formally request permission to enter and exit their country. The visa is essentially permission granted by a country to travel or visit during a certain period of time, for clearly declared reasons. Some countries just want to decide exactly who can or cannot enter. And they want to know exactly when foreigners are entering and leaving their borders.

So, the visa is basically a very serious go-directly-home-or- to-jail-without-it version of a permission slip.

For the guys, the Brazil visa application was cumbersome and hard to do on-line. Steve Leigh helped with that process, and was very frustrated with the way the form scrambled and wouldn't print out. He spent a couple of hours working on it before ditching the process to do it another way. The India visa, however, was simple and efficient. Christian was very happy with how smoothly the Indian government online visa process worked. So, if you are deciding between Brazil and India for your next spring break, and your main deciding factor is the visa process -- go with India!

Passports and Visas are in hand. V-Team is ready to fly.


1 comment:

V-TEAM said...

good work kelley, thanks so much for doing all this, you are amazing!