The Best Time To Apply For A Travel Visa: Avoiding The Peak Season Rush
In the peak travel seasons, embassies have longer queues and take longer to process visa applications. Applying for a travel visa at these times will not only increase your waiting time but also make you sweat with anxiety if it is approved or not within the given time limit.
Fortunately, there are other times of the year when there are fewer applicants and shorter queues at the embassy or consulate. If you apply for a travel visa during this period, you get a fast-track service with short waiting times instead of queuing up for hours in front of a desk just to get rejected.
During peak seasons, embassies receive several applications from people who want to visit their country on holiday. Many people think that applying for a tourist visa during this period will give them an advantage because of the excess workload from all the other applications received in that period.
However, it is actually more difficult to get a tourist visa during this time as they have stricter requirements than usual. If you’re planning your next vacation and thinking about getting a travel visa beforehand, here’s when you should apply and where.
The best time to apply for a travel visa
The best time to apply for a travel visa is when there are fewer people applying for one. If you are looking for a holiday in a few months’ time, you should apply for your travel visa at least 3 months in advance. This gives you the time you need to get your application processed and approved.
This is the ideal time to apply for a travel visa if you are applying from the UK because applications are usually processed within 10 days. The same goes for the US and Canada, where applications are processed within 10 days. If you apply for a travel visa in Australia, New Zealand, and Germany, you can have your application processed within 3 days.
If you are applying from France, Italy, or Spain, you can have your visa processed within 7 days. If you are applying from Asia, you can have your travel visa processed within 4 days.
Avoid the peak season rush: Timing is everything
The best way to avoid the peak season rush is to plan your trip far in advance. The peak travel season changes every year and lasts for three months. If you want to avoid the rush and get a fast-track service, you should apply for your travel visa during the off-season. In the northern hemisphere, the summer months are the peak season.
This means that the embassies receive more applications during this time and they usually take longer to process them. In the southern hemisphere, the winter months are the peak season. If you are planning to visit a particular country, you should check the peak season timings for the year you are traveling.
This way, you avoid the peak season rush and get a fast-track service with short waiting times instead of queuing up for hours in front of a desk just to get rejected.
Peak season timings for 2017
If you are planning your next vacation and need to apply for a travel visa, you should do so during the off-season. Here are the peak season timings for 2017:
March and April: Visa application rush – You can expect longer waiting times and more rigorous questioning from immigration officials. If you have any criminal history or issues with immigration, you will have a harder time getting your visa approved.
May: Visa processing rush – The rush to process visas continues, making it difficult for applicants to get an answer quickly.
June and July: Travel season rush – The rush to issue travel visas continues as countries prepare for an influx of tourists.
August and September: Recovery period – The rush to process visas abates as countries see a decrease in tourist activity.
June and July: Travel season rush (and Ramadan too)
June and July are considered the peak season for travel to the Middle East. This is because the Muslim holy month of Ramadan falls in the middle of the summer, causing millions of people to travel to Saudi Arabia and nearby countries.
During this time, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, impose restrictions on visa applications. If you are applying from the UK, you will have to apply at least 45 days in advance to avoid disappointment. If you are applying from the US or Canada, you will have to apply at least 60 days in advance.
If you are traveling to Bahrain, you will have to apply at least 35 days in advance. If you are traveling to the UAE, you will need to apply at least 45 days before your intended travel date.
August and September: Recovery period
If you are planning to travel to the Middle East or Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, or India, you should apply for your travel visa at least 45 days in advance. All countries in the Middle East have shorter processing times during the summer. This is because they have already issued a higher number of visas during the peak season and are now recovering during the off-season.