A passport can be defined as “an official document issued by a competent public authority to nationals or to alien residents of the issuing country”. Another purpose of the passport is to provide evidence of legal entry into another country. Some countries allow joint passport, that two or more people traveling together hold a single joint passport.
Travel agents should ensure that:
- Clients understand that individuals wishing to travel to another country usually require a passport.
- The client’s passport is valid for the whole time spent traveling.
- Clients are made aware of any other regulations relating to the passport validity, e.g. some countries require that a passport be valises for up to six months beyond an individual’s stay in a particular country.
- People who travel on a joint passport must travel together. For example, a mother and a chills traveling to America. The mother would not be able to continue her journey to Australia leaving her child in America. This is because the child would be left with no proof of legal entry into the country and therefore would not be able to leave without the mother.
An agent will be confronted with many passports issued by various countries. The information that agents need to refer to might be located in different places. Having state this, there are general rules regarding the validity and other information contained within passports. These include:
- A passport is normally valid for ten years
- A passport normally valid for all countries unless exceptions are noted
- A passport that is ten years old or that has no further room for visas must be replaced by a new one.
- Check the passport expiry date (some countries require that an individual’s passport be valid for six months beyond the traveler’s intended length of stay)
- Children over the age of sixteen will normally require their own passport
- A passport remains the property of the issuing authority and can be withdrawn at any time.
All passport generally contain similar information. This includes:
1. Family name
2. Given names
4. Date of Birth
7. Place of Birth
8. Date of Issue
10. Date of expiry
12. Holder’s signature
13. Holder’s Photograph
Other travel documents are also used instead of passports. These include:
1. Identification Cards (I/D Cards)
2. Travel certificate
3. Military I/D Cards
4. Seamen discharge books
6. Government-issued birth certificates
Types Of Passport:
1. Normal Passport
2. Alien’s Passport
This type of passport may be issued to individuals living in a country of which they are not citizens.
3. Children’s Identity Card
Issued by some countries only instead of a passport, e.g. the German “Kinderausweis”. It is often not accepted by other countries. Therefore travel agents should ensure that the country to which the child is traveling will accept such cards.
4. Diplomatic or Consular Passport
Issued to diplomatic, consular and other government officials on missions entitling the bearer to diplomatic or consular status under international law and custom.
5. Other passports
International Red Cross and Laissez-Passer travel documents supplied to refugees. These are passports issued by international organizations such as the United Nations and the International Red Cross.
6. Official, Special or Service Passports
Issued to government officials or other persons on government missions. The type of passport has to be specified by the issuing authority.
7. Other Travel Documents
These documents may not have the same legal effect as passports, and they may be valid only for travel between a limited number of countries and for specified purposes.
Obtaining a passport:
- Complete the application form
- Photograph (how many, what photo size and what colour)
- ID Card
- Family Card
- Government-issued birth certificate
- Sponsor Letter (parents or company)
- SBKK 1 (formulir 4)
- Letter of Change Name
A visa is a permit allowing a citizen of one country to enter another country. Some countries require that citizens of other designated countries obtain a visa prior to traveling to their country.
The visa system assists immigration authorities in keeping records of who and how many visitors are likely to travel to and from a country. Visa regulations are drawn up in a bilateral agreement between two countries.
The definition of visa is:
“ A visa is an entry in a passport or other travel document made by an official of a government, indicating that the bearer has been granted authority to enter or re-enter the country concerned. It usually specifies the authorized length of stay, the period of validity and the number of entries allowed during that period.”
Agents should collect the following information from the client in order the check visa requirements:
1. Country of origin (where journey begins)
2. Any stopover or transfer points on route
3. Country of destination
4. Country of final destination
5. What passport the client is traveling on
Outlined below is a suggested visa check-list for travel agents:
1. Travel agents should check visa requirements for all clients
2. The agent is responsible for providing advise on obtaining a visa.
3. Check transit and entry requirements to all countries visited or being transited
4. Remember that the rules regarding transit often differ from those related to a “stopover”
5. A “transit” can mean different things indifferent countries – check the time permitted for transit. If the client’s transfer is longer than the transit time allowed, then the visitor visa must be applied for instead of a transit visa.
6. Several countries restrict entry to certain nationals.
TYPES OF VISA
1. Visitor Visa
Also referred to as: entry permit, entry visa, business visa or travel pass. It provides right of entry to another country, subject to satisfying immigration authorities at the point of entry.
The usual conditions for obtaining a visitor’s visa include: proof of holding sufficient funds for the length of stay and proof of prepaid onward travel. Some countries ask for proof of funds and onward tickets before issuing the visa.
2. Transit Visa
Provides right of entry into another country purely for the purpose of making travel connections onwards to a third country. Regulations related to transit vary from country to country and should be checked.
For example, one country may stipulate that passengers who transit within 8 hours, for example, do not need visa. Whereas another country may require a passenger to obtain a transit visa even if they arrive and leave all within a four-hour period
3. Transit without visa
Many countries have made agreements that allow other (TWOV) nationals to transit their country without the needed to obtain a visa.
The period of validity of a TWOV will vary from one country to another.
4. Re-entry permits
Where necessary, these permits entitle travelers to return to their country of domicile.
5. Exit permits
They entitle travelers to leave a country.
These permits may be necessary for citizens to leave their own country of domicile.
Exit permits may be required by foreign nationals to leave a country through which they had been traveling, or by expatriates.
6. Schengen Visa
4 types of schengen visas:
1. Airport transit visa
2. Transit visa
3. Short period visa (3 months)
4. Long period national visa (valid in country of issue only)
Schengen state comprise: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
Created in 1995, the Schengen is an agreement between several member states of the European Union (EU), and effectively creates a “borderless” region known as the Schengen Area.
Visa extension are normally allowed.
Obtaining a visa:
- Complete the application form from the country’s consulate or embassy
- Pay fees
- Check how long the procedure will take. Visa can take several weeks, even months to issue.
Agents should check for any compulsory vaccinations required to protect against disease and infection whilst traveling. As well as general advice on any vaccinations and preventative health precautions recommended for the area visited, it is necessary to check the health regulations of:
1. The country of destination
2. The country of origin or departure
3. Any transit countries
To types of immunization are described in TIM: compulsory vaccinations and recommended immunizations. Only certain countries require compulsory vaccinations, whereas many more may recommend certain immunizations especially if travelers are traveling outside of urban areas.
The international certificate of vaccination is an individual certificate and is obtained from health clinics, travel clinics, doctors or other authorized medical personnel. Any individual who arrives in a country without a required health certificate may be subject to quarantine or deported.