Second Passports

No Visa? With “Visa on Arrival,” There’s No Problem

For the last few years I've traveled to dozens of countries with a passport issued by the Commonwealth of Dominica.  And while you can't travel to as many countries without a visa with a Dominica passport as you can with, say, a U.S. passport, in many cases that poses no impediment to international travel.  The secret is a little-known system (at least to U.S. travelers) called "visa on arrival"

Here's how the system works in many countries, especially in Asia.  Upon arrival of your international flight, all passengers are directed to passport control.  Just before you arrive, you will see an office or desk marked "Visas."  If you haven't   already obtained a visa at a consulate or embassy, this is where you can obtain one.

To obtain your visa on arrival, all you need to do is to complete a form, present one or two passport-sized photos, and pay a nominal fee—generally $50 or less.  (If you travel to other countries extensively, as I do, you'll learn to carry a dozen or so spare passport-sized photos with you.)  This entire process takes only a few minutes, although if you're at the back of the line, you may need to wait a little longer. When completed, the visa clerk will affix a sticker to one of the visa pages in your passport.  You then proceed to passport control.

I've used the visa-on-arrival system in many countries with my Dominican passport, including Vietnam, Laos, Jordan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Timor Leste, and other countries too numerous to name.  Other countries, such as Panama and the Dominican Republic require a tourist card.  Again, you can purchase this card at the visa desk or even from your airline carrier.

All you need to do is to find out in advance what the visa requirements are for the country or countries you plan to visit a few weeks in advance of your visit.  Often, you can find this information on an airline Web site.

The easy availability of visa-on-arrival or tourist cards greatly increases the number of countries I can travel to on my Dominica passport without needing to make advance arrangements with consulates.  And all that's required to use this system is a few minutes time on the Internet—and of course, a passport from the Commonwealth of Dominica.

To learn more about the how you can obtain "economic citizenship" and a passport from the Commonwealth of Dominica, contact us today!

 (P.T. Freeman is a pseudonym for a friend and business associate who is a former U.S. citizen.)

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