home Travel Do I Need a Visa for a Country

Do I Need a Visa for a Country

A big question whenever you travel is, “Do I need a visa for the country?”. This is ultimately answered by your own research, because it depends on your citizenship, the reason for your entry to the country, how many times you will exit and enter the country, and the length of your stay.

I am going to say what I have done for my trips. I am a Canadian and my reason for travel is always tourism. Th rules could have changed, but at least it gives you a heads up. Almost every country you can get your visa before you leave for your trip, but it takes time and money. It does let you know for sure that you will be okay when you go (unless it’s Africa, but I’ll talk about that below).

Please note, this is from my experience only. Contact the country’s embassy for exact instructions.

My Passport Visa Experiences

Country Year Description
Cambodia 2004 I did need a visa, but I purchased mine when crossing the border from Thailand to Cambodia at a town called Poi Pet. It cost me $20US cash. I believe it was good for either 14 days or a month
China 2007 China requires Canadians to have visas. It was just over $50 and I could do it at the consulate in Calgary, where I live. It was processed within a couple of days.
Cuba 2005 Didn’t need a visa. They don’t even stamp your passport, because they want to encourage Americans to come without having the proof in their passport. You passport does need to be valid until at least one month after your planned departure date.
Ecuador 2005 Didn’t need a visa, but I did need my yellow fever card when I went. It might have been for the Canadian government to let me back in, I’m not sure.
Egypt 2008 I picked up my visa at the airport in Cairo for a small amount of money. You have to buy it from one of the currency exchanges before you go through immigration.
Holland 2007 This is part of the European Union. No travel visa necessary for Canadians.
Jordan 2008 We took a hydrofoil from Nuweba, Egypt to Aqaba, Jordan and they issued us our visas for free on the boat while we boated across.
Kenya 2006 Need a visa and I bought it when I crossed into the country.
Malawi 2006 Visa is needed and you can get it at the border. However, they will hassle certain nationalities depending on the day and make it really inconvenient. When we went through it was the Polish, Swiss, and Austrians. The tour guide bribed them to let us even into the country and then we had to go sit in the capital for a whole day trying to get them a visa. Apparently the trip before us they picked on the Canadians.Note: We had people on our tour that had already purchased their visa before they left on their trip (Austrians) and they still wouldn’t honour the visa. The government is corrupt so be prepared for anything.
Mongolia 2007 I required a visa which cost me over $80. It was processed rather quickly at the embassy in Ottawa, Canada.
Peru 2005 Didn’t need a visa. Same yellow fever card was needed though.
Russia 2007 This is one of the more annoying ones. You have to have a letter of invitation to the country. This can be obtained by paying for one, booking at a hotel, or booking a tour. Once you have this, you can apply and I believe the fee was around $70. When you are there, if you stay in a city for more than 3 days you are supposed to register with the local police (tourist police I guess). This wasn’t the case for me, so I’m not certain. It is also a good idea to keep your train stubs and photocopies of documents to present to tourist police if you are stopped. You are not required to hand over your originals, so don’t. They can try to extort money from you.
South Korea 2004 I was only there for a short time, but didn’t need a visa.
Syria 2008 I was told that this is one of the more annoying places to get a visa so I pre-purchased mine in Canada from the embassy for around $80. It was processed in around a week and a half at the embassy in Ottawa, which was nice.
Tanzania 2006 Need a visa and I bought it when I crossed into the country
Thailand 2004 Visa is free and you can get it at the airport if you going to be there less than 30 days. I was in the region for 2 months and wanted multiple entry so I went and paid around $40 to get my visa before I left. There is a Thai embassy in Calgary, where I live. When we were there, however, people would just leave the country for a week and come constantly to renew their free 30 day visa. Next time, I would just fly over and get one in the airport.
Turkey 2008 I crossed by land from Syria into Turkey and it cost me $70 or $80 (I can’t remember). It was a bit of confusion at the border, but the taxi driver taking us across helped us get everything figured out. That was the standard rate for all the Canadians we were with. It was cheaper for the Americans.
United States multiple years No visa needed for Canadian citizens if you are traveling. You used to be able to drive across the border without a passport, but I believe that has changed. Best just to get one regardless, you need it for flights anyways.
Vietnam 2004 I was worried about this one the most. In Bangkok, I went to the Vietnamese embassy and got my visa for around $50US. You have to specify the days too and it is only good for a month. Anyhow, when I was in Phnom Penh, you could get them easily there from tour shops for less than what I paid. I don’t know how easy it would be in Laos or what would happen if you just showed up at the border.
Zambia 2006 Visa is needed, but you can get it when you arrive in the airport. I was booked with a tour company so they waived the fee.

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