When you need a visa (and need it fast) there are two ways you can go about speeding up the visa process, but its important to know whether you’re eligible for emergency. The route you take depends on the reason behind your rush to get a visa. Below we’ll dive into expedited vs emergency visas.
In order to receive an expedited visa, all you generally need to do is pay the additional fee that comes with speeding up the process. You don’t need to have any special reason for requiring the rush other than you’d like to obtain your visa as speedily as possible.
Unless you need to schedule an in-person visit at the embassy, the process typically involves gathering the required documents, filling out required paperwork and then submitting it for processing.
Depending on the visa requirements of specific countries, expedited visa processing can often take as little as one business day. Expedited visa services, such as those offered by Swift, can be used for both business visas and tourist visas.
Emergency visas refer to visas issued only if you need to travel to a specific country for an emergency. You usually need to submit some type of proof of your emergency to be considered for an emergency visa, such as documentation backing up your case.
While many different circumstances could constitute an emergency, some of the more common include:
Medical emergencies would include travel to another country to receive emergency medical treatment. This situation typically requires a description of the situation and the contact information of the attending physician.
Accompanying an immediate family member seeking emergency medical treatment may also qualify for an emergency visa. You would need to provide the same information regarding the situation and attending physician.
Family emergencies would include situations where you’re urgently needed by your family. Situations may include a death or illness of an immediate family member. You would generally need to provide the name of and relationship with the immediate family member, along with a description of the situation and contact information for the attending physician or funeral home as applicable.
If you’re suddenly summoned to court or otherwise need to travel to take care of unforeseen legal issues, the situation may merit an emergency visa. You would again generally need to submit information regarding the situation and contact information of the parties involved.
A number of other situations may qualify as emergencies, such as:
- Urgent need to start or return to work or classes
- Unexpected travel due to a matter of economic, political, cultural or journalistic importance
- A stolen or lost visa
The process for obtaining an emergency visa often involves submitted an emergency visa request to the consular office of your destination country. The office will either approve or deny your request and provide further instructions from there.
For more information on expedited vs emergency visas or other travel-related questions, please feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to help!
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.