Now that you have secured your passport, the next thing that you have to check is Visa (not the credit/debit card). You have to check if you are required to present a Visa on your destination. According to Wikipedia, it is estimated that 104 countries and territories granted visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to Philippine passport holders.
Some countries allow us to enter without visa like Thailand, or will allow us to secure a visa upon arrival like Nepal. Some countries are a little stricter, you have to get your Visa before you fly out like USA and most countries in Europe.
You have to UNDERSTAND the premises on Visa agreements to avoid hassles along the way. Last 2009, I misinterpreted what I’ve read, I thought we could enter Myanmar overland and get a Visa upon arrival and travel anywhere in that country. I went on the Mae Sai –Tachilek border and found out that I could only travel as far as 2KM from the border if I enter Myanmar overland. That means, to be able to travel farther to Bagan or Yangon, I have to fly in.
If you are not sure with the information that you get online about Visa requirements, DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL THE EMBASSY. This will ensure that you have accurate and updated information.
Here are some websites that can help you know more about Visa requirements of different countries.
1. IATA Travel Center
2. Visa HQ
3. Project Visa
Four Tips on Securing a Visa
Complete Documents: This is the surest way of speeding up the process. You won’t be asked to return just to give additional documents if you give a complete set on your first visit to the embassy.
Follow Instruction: Some countries are very meticulous with processing and even require proper arrangement of documents. They also have their preferred size for ID picture etc. Follow everything so you wouldn’t be asked to return.
Proofread: As soon as you get the Visa, you have to check if all the details on it are correct. People working on embassies make mistakes too. You don’t want to end up in an airport with an expired visa or with a misspelled name. All details should be accurate, if not, ask them to make the necessary correction.
Maintain Multiple Copies: If you’re holding a Visa that lasts for a few years like for example a multiple entry for 10 years visa to US, photocopy, scan and email it to yourself as well. Leave a printed copy at home and bring another copy with you, this will be handy in case you lose the passport.
Do you have an additional tip to share?