Passport and Visa – how to prepare for traveling abroad

How to prepare for traveling abroad – Passport and visa process questions answered!

Getting ready for a volunteer trip abroad can be both an exciting and daunting experience especially for the inexperienced traveler. Whilst setting your itinerary or packing your goods can be such a thrill, one of the most stressful parts in the preparation is securing your passport and visa. Before you get overwhelmed, let me tell you that you can pull it off! You just have to know how…

First things first, you might find yourself asking, “What is the difference between the passport and a visa? “

A Passport is issued by a government to its citizen to verify holder’s identity and nationality when traveling internationally whilst a visa is an endorsement placed within a passport that officially allows the holder to enter, remain within, or leave that country.

Next question to ask would be, “What does your placement country require for your entry?”

A Passport is definitely vital wherever you go and it is recommended that your passport must have an expiry more than 6 months after departure from your placement country. Below are some links that can help you get or renew your passport depending on your nationality. If you are in a rush to get your passport, note hat you have an option to request from your passport acceptance office for the expedition of your application but there will be an added fee for this.

Online Passport Application-UK
Renew Passport-UK
Online Passport Application-US
Renew Passport-US

*Note: All participants from around the globe are welcome to volunteer through Kaya. For other nationalities, you can search the internet for the online passport application of your country or visit the passport acceptance office nearest you.

Visa requirements, on the other hand, vary in each country depending on the guest’s nationality. So how do you check your visa requirements?
  • Read your pre-departure welcome pack – When you sign up for a Kaya program you will be given access to your personal portal including a Welcome Pack for your country. Dig into it and you will find the passport and visa section with all the information you need. 
  • Talk to your Kaya placement advisor – if you are still unsure, then speak to your Kaya advisor. We are here to help and hold your hand every step of the way to help you get ready for the experience of a lifetime!
  • Contact the Embassy – You can call (or drop by) the placement country’s embassy nearest you as they would know the latest updates on visa requirements. You can check the links below for the list of the embassies in the UK and the US.

           Foreign Embassies in the UK
           Foreign Embassies in the US

  • Visit Visa application sitesYou can find these on the internet and you might even end up applying with them. Here are a couple of those providers:

           https://www.ivisa.com/
           https://www.visahq.com/

Once you get your passport and visa all sorted out, you can then breathe, sit back and set your eyes on the placement country by reading more about it while packing your bags. We wish you the best of luck in your passport and visa applications as you prepare for traveling abroad!

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