overland-underwater.com - A charity drive from the UK to New Zealand
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Final Statistics: Alex & Maz Total distance: 93,550km
Furthest Point: Rotorua, NZ Now settled in Sydney, Australia
Final Statistics: Martin Total distance: 79,698km
Furthest Point: Hobart, Australia Now settled in Bristol, UK

Visas

Written by overland-underwater team. Uploaded 26 April 2005.

The table below shows the best information we had before setting off. We found the internet to be a very useful resource for finding information from other travellers who have gone before us, and of course we have got information from more official sources (embassies, tourist authorities etc.) but by the time you read this much of it could be out of date and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any of it.

For most countries we could not apply for the visas in the UK before setting off as they would expire before entering the country, so we have had to research which is the best place for us to apply for each visa. Entries in blue text are what we currently think are the best options for us and the less suitable options are shown in grey text, but we have left them in the table in case it's useful for anyone wanting to jump on a plane to come and join us! Black text means no visa is required.

(Note: all of us are travelling on United Kingdom passports!)

Country Req Issued By App Time Docs Needed Entry Within Valid For Single Multi Comments and notes from previous travellers' experiences
France no                
Italy no                
Slovenia no                
Croatia no                
Serbia & Mont no                
Bulgaria no                
Turkey yes Border Immed passport - valid for six months Immed 3 mo 10    
Syria yes UK 7-10 days 2 app forms, 2 photos, letter from your employer confirming occupation, passport - Need to get visa from the country of residence 3 mo   32 54 If you have visited Israel you will not be granted entry into Syria
Syria yes Turkey Same day 2 photos, passport Single 3 mo, multi 6 mo 2 wks     Long distance travellers can obtain a visa in Istanbul, in Ankara or in Cairo
Jordan yes UK 3 days Application form, 1 photo 3 mo   11 21 Private vehicles registered in other countries will be permitted to cross the border in accordance with existing regulations concerning type of vehicle permitted on each country's roads.
Jordan yes Border Immed Passport Immed 3 mo 10 JD 20 JD No point applying to Jordan Embassy in Damascus, often refuse to process a visa - should get one at border. Can only get a single entry visa at border. If you need a multi entry, need to apply at Embassy. Single entry visas are easy to obtain. Must "register" at main police station within 2 weeks of arrival
Eygpt yes UK 2 days Application form, 1 photo     15 18 All visitors to Egypt must register with police within 7 days of entry. Registration often carried out by the hotel or tour operator, but should check that it has been done as there is a fine for not registering.
Eygpt yes Jordan 3hrs to 3 days Application form 3 mo 1 mo 12 JD   Can be obtain on the ferry between Jordan and Sinai
Iran yes UK 2-8 weeks 2 application forms, 2 photos and passport 3 mo 7-21 days 54   Ladies must have the head, arms and shoulders covered in the photographs.
Iran yes Turkey 10 days   60 days 30 days 60 USD   An Iranian visa was not available at the Turkey/Iran border. This visa must be obtained in advance of arriving at Iran in Istanbul. A simple, but lengthy process. Advisable to wear conservative clothing to the Iranian consulate and keep legs and arms covered, women must wear headscarfs. If you fail at Istanbul, try Ankara and nearer the border at Erzurum.
Pakistan yes UK 2 days Application form, 2 photos, passport, guarantee letter, bank statement, copy of tickets 6 mo   40 54  
Pakistan yes Iran 3 hours   3 mo 30 days 30 USD   The consulate at Zahedan is a small, friendly and an 'informal' one. If you are not British or American your Visa will cost $1 - $3!
India yes UK 1 day Application form, 2 photos and passport 6 mo   30   If travelling to any restricted areas please contact us for further advice
India yes Iran 7 days Application form, 3 photo Immed 6 mo 370000 rials 50 USD Not available at the Pakistan/India border, must be obtained in advance of arriving at India. The visa validity is Immed i.e. the 6 month duration starts as soon as the visa is issued. Also this visa is not extendable.
Nepal yes UK 1 day Application form, 1 photo 6 mo 60 days 20 55 Visas can also be obtained on arrival from the Immigration authorities at all entry points (in US Dollars) provided travellers are in possession of valid travel documents, two passport photos and the relevant fee.
Nepal yes Border 1 hour   Immed 60 days 30 USD   Pleasant & relaxed border. It is in the extreme west of the country and you can drive along the spectacular Mahendra Highway along Nepal to Kathmandu.
China yes UK 4 days Application form, 1 photo and passport 3 mo 30 days 30 45 The Embassy will no longer accept postal applications direct to Embassy. Require government travel agency to issue necessary permits & also organise a guide to accompany you during your stay if in self-drive vehicles. Expensive..!!
Laos yes Border 1 hour Application form, 2 photos. Return/onward ticket and all docs req for next destination, Certificate of Bank Statement (min. USD 400.-) or life insurance policy, Has a contact/confirmed hotel reservation in Laos.   15 days 30 USD   The Department of Immigration in Vientiane will only extend tourist visas for one day. Sometimes possible to get an extension for an additional 15 days by submitting an application through a tour agency. Foreigners who overstay in Laos risk arrest, and they will be fined $5 for each day upon departure.
Thailand yes Border 3 days Application form, 1 photo and passport, departure ticket 3 mo   25   No visa needed for tourist visits of upto 30 days providing you can provide exit ticket
Philippines yes Border 5 days Application form, 2 photo, bank statement, passport, proof of departure 6 mo 30 days 22   A Visa is only required for a stay of over 21 days as long as you have proof of departure
Cambodia yes UK 5 days 1 application form, 2 photos, travel confirmation or itinerary from tour operator, passport 3 mo   15    
Cambodia yes Border 1 hour Passport photocopy, 1 photos (3 x 4 cm) Immed 1 mo 20 USD   Entry through Aranyapathet-Poipet Border and Trat-Koh Kong Border of Thailand
Malaysia no                
Singapore no                
Indonesia yes UK 3-5 days 2 app forms, 2 photos, passport, bank statement, ref from employer, travel confirmation 3 mo   35   If staying less than 30 days you can obtain at most borders on arrival. If stay is more than 30 days then visa in advance
Indonesia yes Border 1 hour demonstrate sufficient means to live during stay in Indonesia, not listed on official blacklist of individuals prohibited from entering the country Immed 30 days 25 USD   Also beware of the 30-day counting trap! Immigration officials count the 30-day period as: you arrive on the 1st day with a 30-day VoA, and you must leave on the 30th day (not the 31st day or the first of the next month etc.)
PNG yes UK 7 days application form, 2 photos, guarantee letter, stating dates and places of entry to exit passport 3 mo   38 78  
PNG yes Airport 1 hour The applicant must complete a Request for Entry Permit (Form 1), evidence of return tickets   60 days 25 PKG (7 USD)   Visitor visas are available upon arrival provided onward tickets are carried by bona fide tourists. Only PGK payment is accepted by Immigration so where possible have PNG Kina handy.
Australia yes UK   Full name, Date & place of birth, Passport number & expiry date & credit card details   3 mo   20 USD ETA VISA - This visa is issued by your agent/airline or Travcour (UK) It is an electronic visa (not visible on your passport). Valid for 3 months but valid for multi entries for 1 year
Australia yes Web 1 day   12 mo 3 mo   12 USD http://www.fastozvisa.com/system.htm
Australia yes Web     12 mo 3 mo   20 AUS http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/
New Zealand no                

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