Needing to send your passport away for a visa is slowly starting to become a thing of the past as more and more countries come on board with e-visas and visas on arrival.
E-visas are visas that you apply for online. You enter your details, sometimes upload a photo, pay the fee and generally within a day or two you get your approval letter by email. It doesn’t guarantee you entry into a country but it means you have the necessary paperwork to enter when you front up to immigration.
Visas on arrival mean that when you turn up to a country, you can apply for a visa at the airport. It’s a simple process of filling out the paperwork, often providing a photo and paying the fee. In many cases such as Egypt and Jordan, a visa on arrival is merely just a formality to enter the country and all you do is pay a fee.
Here’s a list of 14 countries which now offer e-visas or visas on arrival for Australian passport holders that have been tried and tested by yours truly. There are many other countries that offer e-visas or visas on arrival for Australian passport holders, but these are the ones I have first hand experience in.
The information below relates to Australian passport holders only based on my experiences and relates to tourist visas only.
Note that the information in this article is correct as of September 2018 but is subject to change at short notice. For up to date entry information for Australian passport holders, take a look at the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website.
You can now apply for a 90 day visa for Turkey online via https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/
This is an easy site to navigate.
It’s also possible to get a visa on arrival in some entry points such as the Istanbul Ataturk International Airport, but the e-visa avoids at least one queue. Istanbul’s airports (there’s two international airports) get very busy so be prepared for huge queues even if you have the e-visa.
The visa fee depends on your nationality.
Myanmar has only recently introduced an e-visa system, making it easier than ever to visit the country.
It’s easy to apply online at https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/ and pay the $50USD fee for a 28 day visa. Visa applications are usually approved within three days and you will receive the approval via email.
You have 90 days to enter Myanmar from the date the visa is approved and can stay for 28 days once you enter the country. When you arrive in immigration, you’ll need to hand over a printed copy of your approval letter to the immigration officer.
Ports of entries for tourists with an e-visa are listed here: https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/visafees.aspx
You can get your 30 day e-visa for Sri Lanka at http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/
Cost is $35 USD for Australians.
It’s also possible to get a visa on arrival but it’s a lot more efficient to organise your visa beforehand.
The Sri Lankan e-visa provides a double entry as long as you don’t exceed 30 days over the two stays.
Jordan offers a visa on arrival at Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport and some land borders. More information on land border visa entries can be found here on Jordan’s tourism board website.
A single entry one month visa costs $56 USD or 40 Jordanian Dinar.
At the Queen Alia airport, hand over your passport at immigration, pay your money and you’ll get a sticker in your passport.
You’ll need to pay in Jordanian Dinar. There’s money changers located just before you reach immigration and US Dollars is recommended to exchange for the best rate.
A full list of countries that can obtain a visa on arrival can be found on the Jordan’s tourism board website.
Laos offers a visa on arrival. You need to produce a passport sized photo and fill out the paperwork at the airport. The fee ranges from $25 to $30 USD depending on your nationality.
Payment is via cash. US Dollars is preferred and it’s best if you have the exact amount.
Nepal offers a visa on arrival. You can get a 15, 30 or 90 day visa on arrival. Cost is $25/40/100 US Dollars respectively at time of writing. Major currencies are accepted, but best to bring US Dollars or Euros. Small bills are best if you’re getting the 15 day visa.
When you land at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport, you need to fill out an immigration form, provide a passport size photo or use the machines to take a photo, and pay the visa fee.
Note that the visa on arrival machines do not work very well and there’s often large queues to use them. You’re better off just bringing a passport sized photo with you and filling out the paperwork.
Egypt offers a visa on arrival. Landing at Cairo International Airport, simply head over to the visa counter just before immigration when you arrive, pay the $25USD fee and stick in the stamp they give you. Then proceed through immigration. Be aware that you can only pay with US Dollars – not Egyptian Pounds. Credit cards are not accepted.
Ukraine offers a 15 day visa on arrival for many nationalities including Australia. Catch is you have to arrive by air through Boryspil International Airport (Kiev), Zhuliany Airport (Kiev), or Odessa International Airport. The Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website recommends landing during business hours otherwise you might find no one at the visa on arrival counter.
If you’re entering Ukraine from Poland, Hungary or via the Odessa seaport, you’ll need to organise a visa before you arrive. You can apply through the Embassy of Ukraine in Canberra.
To be granted a visa, you have to provide proof of accommodation or tour bookings, and your passport. You’ll then be asked to fill out a form detailing your name, address, contact details, occupation and duration of your stay. You can also find the link to download this application form on the Smart Traveller website. Fill this out before arrival to speed up the process.
When I visited, it was possible to pay by credit card at Boryspil International Airport, but it’s best to carry cash as a back up in Euros or US Dollars as the situation is subject to change. The visa was $130 AUD for Australian passport holders at the time of writing.
One of the Immigration officials will take your passport, paperwork and process your visa. Expect this to take about 30-45 minutes depending on how many others are in the queue. Your passport will then be returned to you with a visa sticker inside and then you proceed to immigration.
Azerbaijan offers an easy e-visa process. You can apply online here and you’ll likely get your e-visa approved within 48 hours.
The standard e-visa costs $65 USD.
Be aware that even if you have an approved visa, you cannot enter the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh in Armenia before arrival into Azerbaijan or your entry will be refused.
Tajikistan also offers an easy e-visa process. Find out about how to apply on the Caravanistan site here.
The cost of the visa is $50 USD but if you plan to cross into the GBAO (Gorno-Badakhshan) autonomous region (which most people do to drive the scenic Pamir Highway) you need to apply for an additional permit at the same time for an extra $20 USD. You will need to carry the permit with you at all times during your time in the GBAO area.
You should receive your approved visa by email within 48 hours.
Tanzania offers a visa on arrival for many nationalities.
The fee is $50 USD for most nationalities ($100 USD if you’re a US citizen(). Payment is in cash only and notes must be in good condition without tears and folds.
Remember if you’ve been in Kenya or any other yellow fever zones, you will need to show proof of yellow fever vaccination on entry into Tanzania.
The visa will take up a full page in your passport.
Uzbekistan only recently introduced their e-visa system. For information on how best to negotiate the website, check out the Caravanistan blog on the topic here.
The Uzbekistan e-visa is valid for 30 days within a 90 day period of validity. This means you must enter and exit the country within 90 days of submitting your e-visa application, but can stay only for a maximum of 30 days.
Cost of the e-visa is $20 USD and you can enter the country from all airports and land borders.
For many nationalities, you can enter Cuba by buying a tourist card at the gate where you board your flight to Cuba. When entering the country, you may need to show proof of health insurance.
Cost is $18 USD and is payable in cash.