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Raptim Humanitarian Travel Tips

Obtaining The Right Documents

One thing humanitarians know from working abroad is how complicated bureaucracy can be. Traveling from one place to another requires a whole lot of paperwork and proper preparation. Waiting in an immigration line can be frustrating at best, but when you are a humanitarian aid worker on a tourist visa, there’s also always the risk that a vigilant immigration officer starts wondering why you have been visiting the country so often lately.

Travel Tips For Obtaining The Right Documents

To gain entry into a foreign country, the government issues a travel visa that provides permission for you. Not every country requires a travel visa, and it is your responsibility as a humanitarian aid worker to determine whether or not a travel visa is needed for your upcoming humanitarian trip. Try this quick check to see the travel visa requirements for a particular location.

As mentioned before, the specific requirements to enter a country vary, though there are some common things you need to be aware of. Most countries require that you submit recent photographs, fill out an application form and submit your current passport.  The visa is affixed to a blank page in your passport.

Other documents may also be needed such as a detailed travel itinerary, information regarding your health or letters of invitation. A thing to keep in mind is that visa requirements can change frequently. This emphasizes the need to research regulations, how annoying, confusing and time-consuming that may be, it has to be done.  Passports usually need to be valid for at least six months after the return date of your visit. In case your passport expires before that, you have to renew it.

Traveling on a tourist visa might work. However, there are multiple examples of countries taking issue with humanitarians on such visas. Lebanon cracked down on NGO staff working on tourist visas as part of its effort to reduce the number of refugees in its territory.

Other countries stall visa processes or restricting the number of international staff to a ratio of local staff. It is often part of a wider array of restrictions on NGOs. A recent survey conducted on the Facebook page of Fifty Shades of Aid highlighted that for many aid workers, being employed without a residence or work permit is a frequent occurrence.

At Raptim, we seek to take away as much burden as possible for you, like providing you with travel tips. Our specialized services make us a full-service humanitarian travel management company second to none. Making sure the paperwork is in order is of great importance so that you can focus on doing your invaluable work as a humanitarian wherever that takes you. Every day, we seek to improve the quality and add value to the world of humanitarian travel. Kindly inform your travel manager about our travel services. Look at our factsheet for a full overview and contact us should you have any questions.