Visa Requirements for Asia

Brunei Darussalam: If you are a citizen of the European Union, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea or New Zealand you do not need to apply for a Tourist Visa up to 30 days.DSC_0225

Brunei Darussalam Visa Requirements

China: U.S. passport holders must obtain a China visa prior to departure. Friendly planet recommends using, CITS USA. “Friendly Planet travelers to China who obtain their visas thru CITS receive a discounted visa fee of $170 or $185 depending on your state of residence, instead of the regular price of $190 and $205. If you hold a passport from another country, please check the requirements”.

Embassy of China.

If you are traveling in an organized tour group you might not have an individual visa in your passport.  Instead, the tour leader will have a general one for the whole group.  In such situations you will supply your details to the organizer before you travel and then you have no further concerns.

If you are travelling to Hainan province in an organized group you might also find that a visa is not required.

Cambodia: U.S. and most other passport holders will be granted a Cambodia visa upon arrival. You must bring two passport-type photos and $20 (exact change, U.S. dollars only) visa fee with you.

More information is available from the Embassy of Cambodia.

At land border crossings, like the Thai/Cambodian border, the fee can be more expensive and is paid in Thai Baht. You will need two passport photos to apply, or you will be charged extra, usually only $1-2.

You can apply at  Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Yiy can pre-order your visa for a set price of $25 set price. You will need a digital photo of yourself to upload. Processing takes three days and you will get the visa straight to your mailbox.

Visa extensions can be obtained at Phnom Penh immigration office which is across from the International Airport. Tourist visas can be extended one month and cost about US$35.  Some hotels and travel agencies will also offer the service for a fee.

East Timor: Citizens from most European countries, Australia, Canada and the USA do not need to arrange a visa in advance.

Visas must be applied for in advance, as they are no longer granted on the land border.

It is important to note that there are no currency exchange facilities at the airport or other border posts, so you will need to take cash before you travel.

Visas can be extended for 30 days, costing up to $45. You must have a valid reason for staying.

Indonesia:Nationals of Australia, Canada, USA, UK and most European countries are eligible for a 30 day visa upon entry, which costs around $25 USD (cost varies depending on point of entry). Payments can be made in US Dollars. You will need 2 passport photocopies.

Japan: U.S. citizens do not need a visa for entry into Japan

Embassy of Japan

Laos: Most nationalities can obtain a 30 day visa for Laos at international airports and land border crossings. US$20 – $42, depending on your nationality. At the Thailand/Laos border (Nong Khai – Vientiane) if you pay in Thai baht fees can be more expensive. You will need 2 passport photocopies.

Malaysia: Most nationalities are granted a free 30-90 day Visa upon arrival at international airports and border crossings.

Embassy of Malaysia

Myanmar:Visa free entry is available at some border crossings for a short period. If you are going for the day to renew your Thailand Visa for example, you must enter and exit on the same day. Fees are around US$10 (depending on security situation, overland border crossings are frequently closed. Be sure to check the security situation before you travel).

Longer visas need to be applied for in advance. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months and you will need two passport photos.

Embassy of Myanmar

Nepal: Travelers to Nepal must have a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel, and at least 2 blank visa pages. U.S. citizens  will be granted a Nepal visa upon arrival.

Embassy of Nepal.

The Philippines: Tourist visas are granted free of charge upon entry for most nationalities for a stay up to 21 days. However, you may be required to show valid tickets for an onward destination. For longer stays up to 12 months; apply for a tourist visa before arrival at a Philippine Embassy. You can download application forms at the Bureau of Immigration, Philippines Official Website.

Singapore: Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, the UK and most other European countries are granted either a 14 or 30-day tourist pass upon entry to Singapore. Duration of pass depends on nationality and point of entry.

Thailand: Most nationalities, including Americans, Australians and most Europeans receive a free 30 day tourist visa upon arrival into Thailand by air. However, if arriving by land you will only receive 15 days.

Embassy of Thailand.

Visa extension: Visas can be renewed for a fee at immigration points. The cost is 1900 baht for 7 days extra and it can be extended only once. If you leave the country and return, your visa will be renewed for free. You can exit and re-enter the country as many times as you like this way and most travel agents can arrange border runs to neighboring countries.

Vietnam: Visas for entering Vietnam must be arranged in advance. You will not be allowed to board the flight if you do not show either a visa approval letter / or a valid visa.

You can do this at the Vietnamese embassies in whichever country you are in and some travel agencies also offer the service. Visas can also be obtained in advance via Vietnam Airlines, via or VisaHQ.

Embassy of Vietnam.

Depending on where you apply for it and how long you mind waiting, the Vietnam visa can cost anywhere between $35- $65 for a 30 day visa. You will need 1 passport photocopy.

To encourage tourism, at certain times there are visa fee exemptions. See the Vietnam Tourism website for further information.


Visas in General:

Visa is a document issued by a country’s government allowing the holder to enter. Regulations often change.  You can get a Visa before you leave home, or some countries allow you to purchase a visa in a neighboring country through their embassy.  Some even allow you to purchase it at the airport right before you take off/arrive.  Some visas are valid from when they are issued, but some visas let you enter in your arrival dates if it is within a month. Depending on your location and if you are buying in person the cost can depend on the mood of the worker issuing it and your negation skills. Do your research and come prepared.

Rates:  differ depending on your nationality.  The price can fluctuate depending on where you buy the Visa from, online may be less expensive than a consulate, embassy or at the airport, so look around for the best price. Depending on the country you are entering, you may even be able to negotiate prices.  Some will let you pay in another currency than their own, but you may be charged extra fees. If you go over the expiration date you can be charged a hefty fine.  For more than 60 days overstay travelers risk deportation or imprisonment.

Requirements: Most customs require seeing your passport and it must be valid for up to 6 months before entering/departing their country.  They usually like to see at least 2 unused pages in your passport. Pay special attention to international flight routing. Some countries require visas for transiting through their airports, even if you are just passing through en route to another country.

Time of Issuance: Some Visas are issued within minutes, and others can take 1-6 business days or longer depending on your situation.  Some entry points require up to 6 copies of your passport.  If you are in a populated city they may not charge extra, but if you are going remote it is a good idea to make copies before you leave home.

Extensions: Depending on the Visa you may be able to apply for an extension if you need one. Or if you are in a rush you may be able to pay extra for an expedited Visa.

Visa Types: There are different kinds of Visas.  Some are for a single entry and others are for multiple entries, if you want to leave the country and come back within a time frame. They have Tourist/Visitor Visas, Student Visas, Artist/Entertainer Visas, Religious Worker Visas, Transit Visas, Immigrant Visas and more.







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