Learn More: Permission of Entry
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A visit to Antarctica is daunting to say the least, which is why we strongly recommend that only experienced individuals themselves venture into such a rugged and vast territory. The climate is harsh, the trip can be dangerous, and only those who are well-trained can endure its treacherous conditions.
No country owns Antarctica, so we little to say about its visa policy. However, some countries signed the Antarctic-Environmental Protocol which states that visitors must request permission to take a trip to Antarctica. That permission can be issued by a string of international offices, but the process is not as easy as getting a visa for any other territory. Obviously, you can't simply apply online.
For the sake of discussion, let’s just say that you want to visit the British Antarctic Territory. Since that particular region is administered by the Polar Regions Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, you'd need to take a trip to London and submit your application there. However, if you are a US national, you don't need to fly across the pond. In fact, there are many offices internationally where one could file an application (although that list is limited to countries that signed the protocol). Usually, if a state administers an Antarctic Territory, it has an office that issues travel permits for that location as well. For example, as a US citizen, you can refer to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO).
We recommend that you use a tour operator since they know precisely what they are up against, and they can help you get your travel permit with as few hiccups as possible. Getting it filed without professional assistance may be complicated (if not impossible).
- Something else worth mentioning is that when traveling to Antarctica, a passport stamp is the least of your concern.
- The fact of the matter is that you cannot go to Antarctica alone and must travel with a group, typically a team of scientific researchers.
- There are very few people who go there for leisure. With that being said, there needs to be an expedition organizer.
- It falls under this organizer’s duties to prove to the issuing authority that all the necessary precautions and preparation have been undertaken. There needs to be convincing evidence that the trip is well planned since conditions can become life threatening.
As you can imagine, iVisa cannot help you get a visa for Antarctica for the sole reason that there is no actual visa for Antarctica. There is the travel permit, but it cannot be issued by authorities other than the aforementioned. Of course, extensive research must be done long before departure.
Keeping this all in mind, our information is not intended to deter travelers! On the contrary, go forth and explore the ends of the Earth.
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