Passports & Visas: Prerequisites to enjoy cross-border travels – for work and leisure

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By Annalise Kempen
Photos courtesy of Raw Pixels

Planning a trip across our borders, irrespective of whether it is to visit one of our neighbouring countries, an exotic island or a country as far afield as in Europe, the Americas or Australasia, is exciting. Along with the choice of accommodation and activities, one thing that can easily ruin the trip is when one neglects to pay sufficient attention to acquiring visas and other travel documentation. Failure to get the required travel documentation can result in the traveller being prevented from boarding a flight or ship or be left stranded in a foreign country.

First-time travellers are often confused about the documentation needed for their travels across our borders and may think that the mere possession of a passport is sufficient to leave your home country and enter a foreign jurisdiction. As a minimum, two travel documents are usually needed for international travel, namely a passport and a visa. A passport is issued by the country where you are a citizen and comes in the form of a small “booklet” containing the passport holder’s personal information and photo. A visa is issued by the country you want to visit and is attached to your passport showing that you have permission to enter that country. The validity of the two documents also differs with passports usually being valid for a ten-year period, while visas are typically only valid for a few months and in extreme cases for a few years.

[This is only an extract of an article that is published in Servamus: March 2024. This article is available for purchase.]

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