The flexibility of visa policies
Compulsory e-visa for Turkey
If you are travelling to Turkey, you will need to apply for an e-visa (electronic visa). You are no longer able to purchase a visa for Turkey at the airport. We have unfortunately noticed that not all travellers to Turkey are aware of this change in policy. A passenger may be refused travel at the point of departure if not in possession of this visa. However, you might also find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being stopped at the airport once you have arrived in Turkey and being returned home as a result. Please apply for your e-visa before travelling to Turkey.
Canada opts for ESTA registration
As of March 2016, Canada will be enforcing ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) registration. While this particular registration has been enforced for travel to the USA for several years, Canada will now be requiring ESTA registration as of March 2016. ESTA is also compulsory for travel to Australia. We have noticed that travellers are often not aware of this requirement.
Stricter rules for travel to the USA
The USA is also likely to make changes to its visa policies. As a result of global terror attacks, travellers from visa waiver countries that have travelled to Syria, Iraq, Iran or Sudan in the past five years will not be automatically given a visa to enter the USA. These travellers need to apply for a visa. Travellers who hold a dual nationality that includes any of the countries mentioned above are also affected by these new rules. The proposal for this amended policy is currently with the US Senate.
Stay informed of changes
The visa policies of a country can change fairly quickly, which may result in serious repercussions for travellers. We therefore recommend that you consult the websites of visa assistance services such as CIBT and to check before your departure whether any changes have been made to visa policies. We will also keep you up to date about any important changes to visa policies. Sign up to receive our newsletter and stay informed.