If you consider visiting a foreign country, you will probably need a visa. Do you ask what a visa is? A visa is an official document that allows a foreign national to enter, stay and leave a foreign country.
However, many different types of visas are issued by a country’s government, each with its requirements, restrictions, and ways to apply. And the most common type of visa is a Regular Visa vs EVisa. Wondering what the difference between a Regular Visa vs. EVisa is? Let us dive straight into it.
What Is An E-visa?
An evisa or an electronic visa is a digital visa usually offered by a country for the purpose of tourism or short business trips. Travelers can apply for an evisa over the internet using their computer or smartphone in a few easy steps.
An evisa is a convenient and quicker way of getting a visa for a foreign country. The visa application and processing time are significantly shorter than a standard visa from an embassy or consulate. It is either emailed to the applicant in PDF form or linked directly to their passport. Additionally, the validity of an evisa is usually granted only for a short period, anywhere between 30-90 days for single or multiple entries.
However, it is essential to note that not all countries’ citizens can apply for an evisa. In addition, many foreign countries only allow evisa application for citizens of specific countries. Hence, before applying for an evisa, you must check your nationality’s eligibility.
You can also use apps to apply for your evisa directly from your smartphone. For example, you can complete your entire visa application in a few simple steps, pay, and track your evisa progress using the Atlys app.
How To Apply For An E-visa?
Generally, applying for an evisa or electronic visa is more straightforward and involves fewer steps. As I mentioned, individuals can apply for an evisa from the comfort of their home with only a few documents.
Gather Required Documents
The first step is to gather the required documents for any visa, including an evisa. This is because certain countries require you to upload PDF or scanned documents on the visa application portal.
Fortunately, for an evisa, applicants do not need an extensive list of documents. However, you must remember the following visa requirements for an evisa:
- A valid passport. The validity of the passport depends on the destination country.
- Blank pages in the passport
- Proof of accommodation or stay in the country
- Proof of flight tickets
- Credit card or debit for the visa fees
Depending on the country, you might have to provide additional documents or information for the online visa application.
Applying For The Electronic Visa
The majority of countries that offer evisa have online portals that applicants can visit to fill out their visa application form. For an evisa, applicants must provide accurate information such as personal details, passport details, and travel itinerary on the evisa portal.
For example, Vietnam and Turkey offer evisa through their evisa website to citizens of specific countries or nationalities that meet specific requirements. Applicants must also pay for their evisa online, which is usually cheaper than getting a regular visa. Once you have completed the online application form, you will review, pay, and submit it.
Electronic Visa Approval
The visa processing time for an evisa is generally only a few days; however, this would depend on the destination country. Once your visa is approved, it will either be electronically linked to your passport or received via the email address you provide when filling out the application form.
Most countries that send the visa via email would require the applicants to carry a printout of the emailed visa. However, some countries even accept a PDF or screenshot of the visa on your smartphone.
How Much Does An Evisa Cost?
As mentioned earlier, the evisa costs are usually much less than the regular visa. However, this depends entirely on the country you apply for. Some countries do not charge visa fees for specific countries, whereas others charge depending on the country you are applying from.
For example, a Turkey evisa is available to citizens of the US and Canada. However, the visa fees for both countries differ; US citizens would pay $50 for a Tueky evisa, whereas a Canadian citizen would pay $60.
A List Of Countries Issuing E-visas
Many countries have started offering online visas to foreign citizens. However, not all countries offer evisas equally to foreign citizens. Moreover, only a handful of countries offer evisa globally to citizens of all foreign countries.
Some of the countries that offer e-visa to citizens of foreign countries are:
Antigua and Barbuda, Ascension Island, Bahrain, Benin, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malawi, Montserrat, Myanmar, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, São Tomé and Príncipe, South Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
What Is A Regular Visa?
In contrast, a regular visa, also known as a standard visa or sticker visa, can be obtained directly from your destination country’s embassy or consulate in your home country. Citizens of a country that are not eligible for an evisa for their destination country would have to apply for a visa directly from the embassy. In addition, some countries do not have an embassy for a specific country; in that case, applicants must apply for their visas in a neighboring country.
In cases when a particular country’s embassy does not offer consular services, you would have to apply for your visa through an outsourced visa application center or authorized visa agencies. Applying for a regular visa can be daunting, especially for long-stay visas, because of the different documents and printout copies you need to gather. Applicants must keep a file of the paperwork, which they must submit to the embassy or the designated visa application center.
The visa application process for a regular visa can be lengthy, depending on the country you are applying for. Additionally, a few extra steps are involved, such as paying for the visa fees via bank or attending a visa interview.
However, foreign nationals can apply for a regular visa for various travel purposes and more extended visits, such as a study visa, a work permit, or a residence permit. The validity of a regular visa ranges anywhere from a few days to a few years.
How To Apply For A Regular Visa?
As mentioned earlier, the visa application process for a regular visa can be very time-consuming with much more paperwork. Many steps are involved, and there is no room for error, or the embassy will not grant a visa.
Once you know your purpose of visit and which visa you need to apply for, an applicant must start gathering the documents. An applicant would also have to meet the eligibility criteria and visa requirements for their destination country. The document list for a regular visa can be very long and, to name a few, includes documents such as:
- A duly filled visa application form
- A passport that is valid for a specific duration stipulated by the destination country
- The required number of blank pages in the passport by the destination country
- Passport size photographs that meet the requirements
- Proof of payment for the visa application
- Proof of sufficient funds such as bank statements
- Proof of flight tickets
- Proof of accommodation
For long-stay visas, you might have to provide supporting documents for your visa application, such as:
- Invitation letter, if applicable
- Proof of employment
- Proof of education
- Job contracts
- Criminal records
- Medical test results
- And any other documents required by the embassy
Submit The Documents
Depending on the country you are applying for, you must submit the documents directly at the embassy or through a visa application center in your home country. Once you have gathered all the documents, you must pay the visa fees, attach the proof of payment with your visa application file and submit it.
Book And Visit Visa Appointment
After submitting your visa application, many countries require applicants to book an interview and attend it. Therefore, applicants must attend and successfully pass the interview to get their visa. However, for some countries, getting a visa appointment could be difficult and take a few weeks; hence applicants must plan accordingly.
After your successful interview, the embassy or the application center will notify you of your visa approval. However, receiving your passport with the visa sticker could take additional days. The entire visa application can take a few weeks or even months.
How Much Do Regular Visas Cost?
Generally, the regular visa or embassy visa costs most than an electronic evisa. The costs for a regular visa are not only limited to visa application fees but also include costs for, traveling for interviews, medical reports, criminal records, and even getting copies of the original documents. Additionally, when applying through a visa agency, you would have to pay the service fees.
What Is The Difference Between The Features Of An E-visa And Regular Visa?
Now that you know what an evisa and a regular visa are and how to apply for them, it is time to understand the critical differences between them.
|Getting an evisa, in general, is cheaper than an embassy visa.||Getting a regular or embassy visa is more expensive than getting an electronic visa.|
|The electronic visa application is a more straightforward process.||The visa application process for a regular visa involves a lengthy process and many steps.|
|The visa application for an evisa takes place in a virtual environment or online.||The regular visa application involves the physical submission of the application at the embassy.|
|Applicants require minimum documentation for evisa application.||Applicants must gather an exhaustive list of documents for a regular visa.|
|Applicants can apply for an evisa for short-term tourism, travel, or business trips.||Applicants can apply for a regular visa for several travel purposes, including study, work, long-term stay, or residence permits.|
|Not all countries offer evisa to other nationalities.||For a regular visa, usually, all nationalities are eligible.|
|The processing time for an evisa is shorter than a standard consular visa.||A regular visa involves longer processing times.|
|The evisa is in digital forms such as a PDF document that the applicant must print out or store on their smartphone.||You will receive a regular visa on your passport as a visa sticker or stamp.|
|If the evisa is rejected, you cannot claim a refund. Instead, you would have to apply for a new evisa.||In some instances, you can claim a refund for your visa application fees. However, this is not true for all embassies or visa applications.|
If you need to visit a country for a few days on short notice and are eligible, the best option would be to apply for an evisa. However, most governments require applicants to apply through an embassy or consulate for a long-stay visa which could be a long process.
Most nationalities have access to both visa types and depending on the need, number of days, and purpose of travel, you can opt for either visa type. However, you must never forget to check your eligibility for an evisa or a regular visa in your home country.
What Are The Types Of Visas Available?
Depending on the purpose of your visit, you can apply for different types of visas. Though there are several visa types, the application process or how you apply could be different. For example, though many countries are introducing online platforms for long-term visas, not all countries have them.
Applicants must apply for long-stay visas such as work visas and residence permits through the embassy or consulate. Additionally, these different visa types might not be available for evisa. This is because evisa are usually only available for a short-term visit for a few days or months. Some of the visa types available are:
- Tourist Visa
- Transit Visa
- Work Visa
- Medical Visa
- Business Visa
- Working Holiday Visa
- Digital Nomad Visa
- Pilgrimage Visa
- Residence Visa
- Dependent or Family Visa
- Refugee visa
- And many other visa types
What Is The Difference Between Short Stay And Long Stay Visas?
Generally, short stay visas are granted for a single entry for a short period of time. Mean that with a valid visa, you can only enter a foreign country once and only for the stipulated time in your visa. The visa validity period is only for a few months; for example, on a tourist visa for specific countries, you can enter the country once for a maximum period of 30 days.
The long stay visa allows multiple entries and staying in a country for extended periods. For example, a work visa would allow the visa holder to stay up to 5 years, depending on the country. Additionally, the visa holder can enter and exit the country multiple times during the validity of their visa. In some instances, long stay visas allow the primary applicant to sponsor tehir family members to the foreign country to live with them.
You’re Now a Visa Pro!
Visas don’t have to be complicated! After reading through this guide, you should clearly understand the difference between an evisa and a regular visa. As a final tip, always double-check entry requirements before traveling abroad. In most cases, you’ll need to apply for a visa to enter (unless you enjoy visa-free travel, of course).