James Belisle, an experienced traveler, discusses the difference between a passport and a visa. He also explains the easiest ways to find the information you need before you buy your tickets. The information he gives is completely necessary to anyone who will be taking a missions trip.
Hello, I’m Missionary Evangelist James Belisle. The second thing you have to take into consideration in order to take a trip on the foreign mission field is you have to consider what is called a visa. A passport is our country allowing you to leave the country. A visa is another country allowing you to come into their country.
Now every country has different requirements when it comes to getting a visa. In some countries you receive your visa the minute you land, and it is simply a stamp that they put into your passport which says when you came into the country and how long you can stay. Other countries, however, make it so that you have to purchase your visa before you even leave the United States.
It is vitally important that you find out what country requirements are there for you to get into their country. Now you can go to www.state.gov and look at the travel section under “Visas,” and our State Department will give you information about different countries. You can also go to independent contractors, such www.abriggs.com, and they can actually help you purchase your visa by going directly to the embassies here in the United States and going through all the processes. Of course, that will cost you more money, but it might alleviate your concerns that you are doing the right thing.
The most important thing to remember is to find out what the requirements are for the particular country that you intend to visit and find out what you need to do in order to get the visa for that country.