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SAS: Visas 101

You're sailing on Semester at Sea. You need visas. Now what?

Annie Rappeport

on 6 May 2016

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Transcript of SAS: Visas 101

Required Travel Documents for your Voyage
Visas and Passports
Required Travel Documents
A valid passport is required for all participants.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months past the end date of the voyage.
Countries will require travelers to have a certain number of blank passport pages upon entry. Each student is responsible for his or her own remaining, blank visa pages in their passport.
*Note that the pages at the back of your passport are reserved for amendments and endorsements and do not count among the blank pages required for this voyage
Visas - What are they?
A visa is a sticker or stamp placed in your passport that grants you permission to enter a particular foreign country during a specified period of time.
A: Yes, in order to process your visa application, the embassy or consulate will need to have your passport in hand. You will need to temporarily surrender your actual passport.
Don't have a passport yet? Instructions on how to apply are here:
Also note the type of visa. All Semester at Sea participants should apply for
tourist visas

(NOT student visas).
This is a sample Chinese visa. Note that visas can be single or multiple entry, and have a set validity period.
Required Visas
All voyagers will require visas for their voyage. US and Canadian passport holders may use Travisa and have the same requirements. Visa requirements vary depending on ports visited. Please follow instructions in your visa email to insure you are obtaining the visas you need.
Not a US or Canadian citizen? You may have different visa requirements. Don't worry, we're here to help. Contact us at programadministration@semesteratsea.org for more information about your visa process.
Make Copies of Everything!
Applying for your visas
Semester at Sea has retained the services of
to assist participants with passports and entry visas. When you call Travisa be sure to let them know you are with the Semester at Sea program and request to speak to a member of the
DA Team
You can download your Visa Instruction Packet at the link provided in your visa email.
Are you planning to apply on your own, not through Travisa? Or are you an international-passport holder? You will
still use the sample documents
in the instruction packet!
If you are applying for the visas independently, make sure to email us at programadministration@semesteratsea.org, as you will need some additional supplemental documentation typically provided by Travisa.
The instructions contain sample documents on how to fill out the applications.
Please read them carefully
, as they have information specific to our program and travel by ship.
Sometimes passports are lost or stolen. It is smart to always have copies of your passport and of the visas once you have them.
Frequently Asked Questions
A: Detailed information on how to fill that out is included in the sample documents in the information packet.
Frequently Asked Questions
A: This depends on which country's visa you are unable to obtain. For some countries, you may be able to obtain the visa on arrival; in some countries, you will not be able to to debark and must stay on board the ship; for some countries you absolutely must have the visa or you cannot sail on the voyage. Contact us immediately if you discover you can't get a required visa so we can discuss your situation.
Q: Do I have to mail in my passport?
Q: What happens if I cannot obtain one or more of the visas?
Q: Who do we list as our contacts/references in the countries we are visiting, as requested on the visa applications?
Q: Why should we use Travisa rather than apply on our own?
A: Obtaining the proper visas in a timely fashion can be a complicated process. Some entry visas have a short expiration, which means that they must be obtained close to the date of your departure. Travisa employees are visa experts who can manage the timing of the applications, and save you the time of having to apply in person.
Still have questions? Contact us at:

Visa Type
Valid Until Date
# of Entries
Visa #
Passport #
Birth Date
Duration of Stay
Issue Date
Q: When do I need a Single Entry versus a Multiple Entry visa?
A: Multiple entry visas usually have a longer validity period. If you were to apply for single entry visas, they are likely to expire too early. In addition, sometimes multiple entry visas are needed when two ports are visited within the same country.

What happens if I do not get a required visa?
It depends. Sometimes you may still sail without a required visa, but you will be detained on the ship during that port stay and cannot have and field class requirements in that port. Other times a visa is known as a "Do Not Sail (DNS)" visa and that means the ship cannot enter the countries waters if even a single passenger does not have the visa.
If you are unable to get a DNS visa, you cannot join the voyage.
Non US-Passport holders may set up a visa chat to discuss specific visa needs at programadministration@semesteratsea.org
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