Those planning to travel outside of their home country will possibly have to apply for a visa. 

  1. Every country has its own requirements and costs for visas. This is the case even within a bloc of countries such as the European Union (EU), Southern African Development Community (SADC) etc.
  2. Visa requirements differ depending upon in which country the applicant has citizenship and thus the country usually issuing their passport. If resident in another country and not that where you have citizenship you may have more than 1 passport but it is your country of citizenship which takes priority.
  3. Visas and the appointment for the interview cost money. Factor this into your hidden costs. Making an appointment for the interview is very helpful as, those who simply arrive during office hours, will be attended to BUT only after those with scheduled appointments.
  4. Allow at least 2 hours for your time at the consulate or embassy
  5. Apply for your visa as far in advance as possible but ensure that you have ALL the required documentation ready. The documents Senior Citizens must produce often include proof of residence, ownership of property and investments in their home country. This is to ensure that we plan to return home and not quietly extend our stay with children who live outside SA. Both Western and some Eastern countries are battling with an aging population which is costly for the governments. Proof of insurance is also an essential.
  6. Today, most visas are applied for on-line but must be printed and signed in readiness for the interview. (NOTE: If you use a small home printer, it is possible that the barcode does not print clearly enough so take the application with you on a USB.)
  7. Ensure that the person who takes your photographs is qualified to do photos for visas. The sizes are not all the same for all countries and they are very particular these days and will not accept photos which do not meet the digital and bionic requirements.
  8. With reference to point 1, many people believe that a Schengen Visa can be applied for through any country, even if it is one not being visited. Even though a multiple entry visa can be used in any country which is Schengen friendly, the visa must be applied for through the country where the most number of days will be spent. When applying for a visa always request a Multiple Entry Visa as a Single Entry may prove a problem should you unexpectedly have to leave the holiday country and wish to return you will be unable to do so.
  9. You may have to visit another city to attend the interview for your visa. Factor this into your planning – time, cost, travel etc
  10. Some countries allow for visas to be applied for at the border post but check first as it may involve an extra cost.