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Visa on Arrival complete guide: Definition, process, requirements & more
6 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

Heading to a foreign country is a thrilling adventure, but let's be real, dealing with visa stuff can be a headache. But here’s the good news: choosing a destination that offers a Visa on Arrival (VOA) can make all the difference.

Many destinations now offer these types of visas that you’ll receive upon arrival, which makes life much smoother for travelers from around the world!

Indonesia visa tourism

What is a visa on arrival?

As the name suggests, a visa on arrival is pretty much what it sounds like: A visa you get when you arrive in a country.

Unlike a traditional visa, you don't have to go through a lengthy application process and get it in advance.

You’ll be granted your visa at the designated desk at the airport upon arrival, and you’re ready to explore!

Check out some of the amazing destinations that offer this option for spontaneous trips and stress-free travel.


Indonesia offers a visa on arrival for tourists and business travelers. The best part? Pre-register for the Indonesia VOA online to skip the queues upon arrival, saving you time and effort!


Nepal also provides a visa on arrival, making it easier for trekkers and tourists to explore the Himalayas. Just fill out some info beforehand, and you’ll receive your Nepal Visa on Arrival as soon as you land.

Other countries offering visas on arrival

Here are some other incredible countries that offer this hassle-free visa deal:

  • Maldives
  • Cambodia
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Turkey
  • Thailand
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam

Don't forget, the entry rules can differ per nationality, so make sure to double-check what's needed before you go!

How long can you stay in the country with a visa on arrival?

How long you can stay with a visa on arrival depends on where you're going. Usually, it's anywhere from 15 to 90 days, which is plenty of time to explore for most travelers!

Visa extension: Process for extending a visa on arrival

If you need more time in the country, no worries, extending your visa on arrival is usually as easy as getting the visa itself.

You'll need to do a little paperwork to extend your visa in many places. The forms are typically found on the government website or at the local immigration office. Sometimes, they might ask for proof of why you need more time in the country, like a medical note for emergencies or details about your upcoming flights.

Purposes for which travelers can get a visa on arrival

A visa on arrival is pretty flexible and can often be used for different purposes, depending on the destination:

  • Tourism: A visa in arrival for tourism makes it easy to explore new places without dealing with complex visa paperwork in advance.

  • Business: For frequent business travelers, the visa on arrival is a game-changer, saving time, money, and effort.

  • Transit: A visa on arrival makes connecting flights a breeze, allowing you to relax during layovers without worrying about complicated visa procedures.

  • Other purposes: A visa on arrival provides flexibility to various travelers, such as those visiting family or attending short courses, without the need for extensive planning.

How to get a visa on arrival with pre-registration

There’s no doubt about it, a visa on arrival makes the lives of travelers much easier. Depending on the destination, there are two types:

  • No pre-registration: Just wing it and sort out your visa at the designated visa counter when you arrive at your destination. Getting a visa couldn't be easier!

  • Pre-registration: In this case, you'll need to provide some details like your passport info and travel plans before you arrive.

This is meant to avoid lengthy airport queues and ensure your passport meets the visa requirements.

Step-by-step guide to get a visa on arrival with pre-registration

Even with pre-registration, getting a Visa on Arrival is simple. In fact, it saves you lots of time at the airport, with all checks done beforehand:

1. Check your eligibility: Before you go, check if your destination offers a visa on arrival for your nationality and the kind of trip you’re planning.

2. Fill out your details: Provide your personal details, such as your passport number, travel dates, and contact info. Pay for the visa with a debit or credit card, all online.

Typically, you complete this form on the government website or use our platform or app for an even easier process!

3. Arrive at your destination: At the airport or border, show your passport and confirmation. If all’s good, they’ll place your visa in your passport as a stamp or sticker.

That’s all there is to it!

Required documents and info for a visa on arrival

Usually, your passport is enough! As a rule of thumb, make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond your departure date from your destination.

If pre-registration is required, have the confirmation or reference number on hand too.

Visa on arrival fees: cost and additional fees

The cost of a visa on arrival can range from free (yes, FREE!) to a more substantial amount, especially for longer stays or specific visa categories like business.

You can generally expect to pay between US$10 and US$30, depending on where you’re going.

How long does it take to process a visa on arrival?

Getting a visa on arrival is quick and easy, often just taking a few minutes to a few hours at the airport or border.

We recommend planning your trip to arrive at your destination early in the morning or late at night to dodge the crowds (and long queues), especially during the peak tourist season.

Visa on arrival at the airport

Getting a visa on arrival at the airport is a breeze and makes your travel plans smoother than ever. Simply touch down at your destination to get everything sorted right there.

Arrival procedure: What to expect at the destination

Here’s what to expect at the airport when you arrive.

  1. Once your flight lands, you'll disembark and head toward the spot that says 'Visa on Arrival' or 'Visa Desk' – that's where you'll get and pay for your visa.

  2. Hand over your passport, fill out any necessary forms (if they give you any), and show any extra documents they might need, like a return flight ticket or a pre-registration confirmation.

  3. Then, pay the visa fee, usually in the local currency or with any other payment methods they accept.

If everything checks out, they'll place the visa stamp or sticker in your passport, and you're good to go!

Visa on Arrival vs. eVisa: What are the differences?

A Visa on Arrival and an eVisa are two different ways to get your visa for visiting another country. Let’s break it down:

eVisa Visa on Arrival
Application process Do the application online before you go. Get it when you land! Sometimes a pre-registration is needed.
Processing time Usually approved within a few weeks. Approved on the spot.
Visa fees Cheaper than traditional visas, but there’s always a fee involved. Ranges from free(!) to US$30.
Validity and extensions A few weeks to months. Can typically be extended online. A few weeks to months. Can typically be extended online.

Why choose iVisa for your visa needs?

When it comes to pre-registering for your visa on arrival, we've got your back, and here's why:

  • We keep it simple: We break down the registration process into a few simple steps.

  • Apply anywhere: Register for your visa on arrival online from anywhere with our user-friendly iVisa app.

  • Help when you need it: Our top-notch customer support has all the info you need to plan your trip.

  • Your data is safe: We keep personal info safe, with strong encryption and data protection.

  • No surprises: Clear pricing and simple instructions.

Simply put, iVisa is your passport to hassle-free travel, making your trip planning a breeze!

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