Useful Information

 

Visas/Passports

The following information is for British Citizens only. If you do not hold a British passport (or have a British passport issued overseas) or EU passport, then you must check with the appropriate embassy to see if you require a visa.

You will require a valid, full ten year passport for your holiday. Please check with www.fco.gov.uk for any validity requirements beyond the return date of your holiday. Please keep your passport in your hand luggage and not in your suitcase.

British citizens whose dates of birth fall on or before 2 September 1929 are eligible for free ten-year passports. This concession has been made to recognise the sacrifices made by World War II veterans and civilians.

It is advisable to take a photocopy of your passport with you on holiday but do not keep it with your passport.

Please check before you travel

  • You have a valid 10-year passport which is essential when you are travelling abroad.
  • Please ensure your passport is valid for at least six months after your scheduled return to the UK. If it is not, you need to contact your nearest passport office immediately in order to obtain an extension or new passport.
  • Please ensure the name on your travel documents and tickets exactly matches your name on your passport. If it does not, please call us straight away as airlines will refuse boarding if the two documents do not match.
  • Please ensure you have completed the ‘next of kin’ section in your passport.

Always keep a separate note of your passport number, place and date of issue, or preferably a photocopy of the back pages, packed separately from your passport. It is also recommended that you leave a copy with a friend in the UK and carry with you another form of identification (such as a driving licence). All this will be useful if your passport is lost or stolen.

When traveling, always keep your passport in a zipped pocket in your hand luggage.

Visas: countries such as Vietnam, Zambia, Turkey, Cambodia and India require visas for UK passport holders. Please see the relevant country’s embassy website for details. You will need to have an empty page in your passport for each visa. Visa costs are not generally included in our prices and may change without notice. Obtaining a visa is your responsibility, please do not leave your application until the last minute.

UK passport enquiries

For further details regarding passports and the requirements for traveling abroad please call 08705 210 410 or visit http://www.passport.gov.uk

Botswana entry requirements

British passport holders do not currently require a visa to enter Botswana but must have at least three empty pages in their passport and at least a six-month validity from date of travel.

Cambodia entry requirements

Please ensure you have at least two empty pages in your passport and that it is valid for at least six months after your return date. Available on arrival in Phnom Penh upon completion of a simple application form and payment of $30 per person. You will also need two passport-sized photos and if you arrive without photos, there is an extra charge of around $2 per person. Visas may also be arranged and paid for online prior to departure: please see http://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh for details. Please note all visa costs are non-refundable and subject to change without notice. 

Canada entry requirements

Canada, USA - ​UK & Irish nationals do not require a visa. However beginning on August 1, 2015, all travellers to Canada will need to go online and apply for an eTA ahead of time. The earlier travellers get their eTA, the sooner they will benefit from knowing whether they have been pre-screened to enter Canada and their eTA will remain valid for up to five years. Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after the intended return date.

This new entry requirement is not mandatory until March 15, 2016.

Under Canada’s Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) program, citizens from countries other than the United States (U.S.) who do not need a visa to enter Canada will need to obtain an online authorization before flying to Canada, unless otherwise exempted.

eTA is not a new concept: both the U.S. and Australia have implemented similar programs, so many travellers are already familiar with this type of entry requirement.

Travellers will apply online, providing basic personal information similar to what is currently collected when they arrive in Canada. The only difference now is that Canada will know the answers to these questions before their arrival. The answers to a few simple questions given in the eTA application will be used to pre-screen travellers to ensure that they are not inadmissible to Canada.

eTA is a convenient authorization that that is electronically linked to a traveller’s passport, which means travellers will need to travel with the same passport they used when they applied for and obtained their eTA.

eTA will improve the safety and security of Canadians and protect the integrity of our immigration system by preventing inadmissible visa-exempt foreign nationals from travelling to Canada, while facilitating travel for those who are low-risk. 

To find out more, visit Canada.ca/eta.

Alaska, USA – British passport holders do not require a visa under the USA Visa Waiver Programme. Please ensure your passport is machine readable (i.e. a red passport with two lines of letters, numbers and ‘>>>>’ at the foot of your personal details page) and is valid for at least six months after your departure date from the US. Please note British passport holders qualifying for the Visa Waiver programme must now apply online for authorisation to enter the USA, for which there is now an administration fee of $14 per person. This may only be submitted online by logging on to: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and registering at least 72 hours prior to travel. It is now a requirement that all passengers apply in this way. Without authorisation prior to travel, admission may be denied at a US port of entry. For the latest information, please visit the ESTA website, as detailed. Holders of non-British passports will need to contact the American Embassy in London for details at least three months prior to departure. Details can be found on: http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/niv/vwp.html.

There are no current health requirements for Canada or the USA. However, whilst the travelling schedule shall pose no problems for people of any age in normal physical health, we would point out that we often enjoy walking tours (sometimes over unmade paths) of the various places of interest. This tour also reaches an altitude of 5,700ft and temperature variations can be unpredictable, especially during spring and autumn. For these reasons this holiday may not be suitable for clients of greatly impaired mobility. Please bear this in mind when considering this holiday.

India entry requirements

All holders of British Passports will require a visa to travel to India. A Single entry tourist visa costs £80 per person, plus a £10.20 service charge and a £2 consular charge and can be applied for in person or by post. The duration of the visa issued is generally three months and the visa is valid from the date of issue. We therefore recommend applying for the visa approximately two months before departure, to ensure it covers the full duration of your stay in India.

Personal applications: to apply for an Indian visa please visit http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk where you can apply, pay online and schedule an appointment to submit your application in person at your nearest centre, dependant on your home address.

Postal applications: you must either apply and pay online, print off the completed application form, payment confirmation and submit by post; or alternatively, you may apply online, print off the completed application and submit along with payment by postal order. Personal cheques are NOT accepted. In both cases you must submit your passport along with a self addressed stamped envelope and 2 2"x2” photos to the address below. Handwritten applications are no longer accepted.

Indian Visa Application Centre (WEST LONDON)

The Visa Centre
First Floor - Part A Block
50 Salisbury Road
Hounslow
TW4 6JQ

Please note passports are required to be valid for a minimum of 190 days at the time of application for the visa and not at the time of travel/return from India. You can travel as long as both the passport and the visa are valid.

The majority of the questions will be personal to you; however, we have listed below some frequently asked questions concerning the completing of the application form. Everything on the form marked with a red asterix is a mandatory field.

UK Referee

1 UK referee is required. Friends and family are acceptable, but can not be at the same address as the applicant.

Indian Referees

1 Indian referee is required; this address will be sent with your travel information or my be found on our website, in the price includes section of your relevant tour.

Processing Times

Processing times vary from application to application at the sole discretion of the High Commission of India and its Consulates in the UK, and some applications may take longer than others to get processed. Here are some estimates of processing times under normal circumstances:

Applications submitted in London, Birmingham and Edinburgh will take minimum 2 to 3 working days to be processed. Applications submitted in Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow will take a minimum of 5 to 7 working days. (The same are for UK nationals only, though would vary from case to case)

Applications in the following cases may take longer (minimum 7-8 weeks or more) to be processed:

  • Non-UK passport holders residing in the UK for less than two years (minimum 15 working days)
  • Nationals or origin of Pakistan (Minimum 7-8 weeks)
  • Nationals of Sri Lanka, China, Bangladesh, Afghanistan (Minimum 15 working days)
  • Where clearance from India is mandatory

In addition, if the High Commission or the Consulate General requires an applicant to attend an interview, the India Visa Application Centre will contact the applicant and inform the date and time of the interview accordingly.

Please note VFS is not involved in the process of assessment of visa applications, or their grant or refusal. The assessment of visa applications is carried out by the High Commission of India or its Consulates, and the grant or refusal of India visas is at their sole discretion. The processing of your application is subject to the procedures and timescales of the Indian High Commission and Consulates, over which we have no control.

Postal applications need a minimum of 10 -15 working days to be processed. This does not include the period they are in transit to and from the High Commission or the Consulate General. Application once sent in post can not be withdrawn unless there is an emergency for which documentary evidence shall be required. VF Services UK Ltd, shall not bear responsibility for any delays in postal transit or loss in transit owing to third party involved. We hope this information will be of use to you and assure you of our best attention at all times.

Jordan entry requirements

All UK passport holders traveling together as a group to Jordan require a visa which is provided free of charge on arrival.

Morocco entry requirements

UK passport holders do not require a visa, but other passport holders should check with the relevant embassy

Russia entry requirements

All Russia Visa Application forms must be completed electronically and be signed by the applicants. The granting of a visa is at the discretion of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in London and its Consulates. All payments made towards visa fees and service charges are non-refundable and do not guarantee the issuance of a visa should your application be declined. Please ensure you have at least two empty pages in your passport, and that it is valid for a minimum of six months after the visa’s expiration. You will also need one recent passport photo, a ‘Tourist Voucher’ which can be obtained from the hotel via us - no charge applies for this however a fee of approximately £105pp is charged by the hotels should the reservation be cancelled. Applications must be made in person at the Application Centres in order for biometric data (fingerprints – a simple process taking 5 – 10 minutes) to be collected however the initial application must always be completed on line at http://ru.vfsglobal.co.uk. Alternatively should you require additional help through an agency please contact us for a recommendation. Please apply for you tourist voucher and visa no more than six weeks prior to travel.

South Africa entry requirements

British passport holders do not currently require a visa. However, please ensure that your passport is valid for at least thirty days after the intended return date and there are at least two empty pages.

Sri Lanka entry requirements

British and Irish passport holders do not currently need a visa to enter Sri Lanka. However, please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after the intended return date and there are at least two completely empty pages.

Turkey entry requirements

British passport holders will need to obtain a visa online prior to departure at a cost $20pp via www.evisa.gov.tr. Please also ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months on entry into Turkey and you have at least three months validity from the date you are exiting Turkey.

USA entry requirements

British passport holders do not require a visa under the USA Visa Waiver Programme. Please ensure your passport is machine-readable (i.e. a red passport with two lines of letters, numbers and ‘>>>>’ at the foot of your personal details page) and is valid for at least six months after your departure date from the US.

Please note British passport holders qualifying for the Visa Waiver programme must now apply online for authorisation to enter the USA, for which there is now an administration fee of $14 per person. This may only be submitted online by logging on to: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and registering at least 72 hours prior to travel. It is now a requirement that all passengers apply in this way. Without authorisation prior to travel, admission may be denied at a US port of entry. For the latest information, please visit the ESTA website, as detailed.

If you are not a British national or have a British subject passport issued overseas: please call the US Embassy visa information line on 09042 450100 or visit http://www.usembassy.org.uk.

Vietnam entry requirements

All British passport holders require visas for Vietnam. Single-entry tourist visas can be applied for by post or in person up to six months before travel from the Embassy of Vietnam, 12 Victoria Road, London W8 5RD, tel. 0207 9371912 (visa section 9.30am-12.30pm Mon-Fri). For postal applications, please send your passport, a passport-sized photo, a completed visa form, a self-addressed envelope, and a postal order payable to the ‘Embassy of Vietnam’. Charges for a standard up to 30-day tourist visa are £44 per visa, plus an additional charge, for returning your passport by Royal Mail Special Delivery, of £8 if submitting one passport, £6 per passport for two or three passports, £5 per passport for four to seven passports, or £8 per passport for eight applications. Please allow 5 working days for processing. For full details and a downloadable visa form, please see www.vietnamembassy.org.uk/consular.html.

Zambia entry requirements

Multiple-entry visas to Zambia are required for all British passport holders and cost £60 per person from the Zambia High Commission at Zambia House, 2 Palace Gate, London W8 5NG, tel: 0207 5896655. Visa forms may be downloaded from www.zambiahc.org.uk and you will need to enclose a completed form, your passport, 2 passport photos and a photocopy of your Riviera confirmation invoice - no other documents are necessary for normal tourist visas. Postal applications normally take 5 working days to process. Other passport holders should check with the relevant embassies well before departure. Visa fees can change without notice and once issued, any costs are non-refundable.

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