A visa don’t come for free

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Travel

According to new research from UK-based travel insurance specialist Columbus Direct, Brits spent an estimated £180 million on necessary entry documentation to popular destinations between October 2015 and September 2016.

Columbus Direct also found that, of the 20 most popular destinations for British travellers during this time, eight require visas depending on the length of stay, with more than 3.2 million Brits having applied for visas during the period. Travellers were found to have spent around £18.3 million to gain entry to Turkey alone.

The research found that Brits visiting India spent nearly £60 million on visa applications over the 12-month period, while China was found to be the most expensive destination for foreign visas with more than 417,000 British visitors having paid a total of £63 million for visa applications.

When it comes to trips to Australia exceeding three months, found Columbus Direct, there is a visa fee of AU$135 (£80) per adult traveller, while trips to the US for more than 90 days can cost British travellers US$160 (£129) for a visa. A total of 30,490 Britons paid a collective £3.9 million in visa fees for their extended stay to the US during the year up to September 2016.

“As holidaymakers look to experience cultures further afield, they need to consider the entry requirements for their desired location and factor this into the overall holiday cost,” commented head of marketing at Columbus Direct Alison Wild. “It’s worth remembering that travellers need to check the expiry date on their passport too when making a visa application, as some countries like Barbados and Hong Kong require a minimum passport validity of six months for the request to be approved.”

Wild reminded travellers that different destinations have varying requirements for visa applications and advised them to research the necessary entry requirements and visa processing time in advance of travelling. “The visa application channel also needs to be considered, whether the individual can apply online, obtain one upon arrival, use a travel agent service, or is required to visit an embassy in person, as this will significantly impact timeframes and in some cases visa fees,” she said.