Visas...difficult to get?

Feb 2nd, 2010, 06:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 28
Visas...difficult to get?

Hi again,

I also had a question about how difficult/easy it is to get visas for various African countries. I'm focused especially on Botswana, but would be interested to know for Namibia, Zambia, South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique...or really any other country that folks might have insight into.

My fiance, when we marry, will not be a U.S. Citizen - only a permanent resident (green card holder). Does anyone know how difficult/easy it will be to get visas as a green card holder for these various african countries? Is there hope for us to be able to travel to africa or will we need to wait a few years until he can finally become a us citizen?

i am worried because generally for safaris you have to book way in advance to get the places you really want, and I am afraid we will plan and pay for everything, and then when the time comes to get the visas, he will not get approved, and we will lose all the money we put into the trip.

aestuo is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,490
The green card is only of interest to the US authorities. What nationality is he? Presumably he has a passport from that country? That's what he'll need for getting visas and entering other countries. He only needs the green card for getting back into the US. Note that if he's out of the US for more than six months then he has to start over on the five year qualification for citizenship.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 08:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,252
Yes, knowing the nationality would be helpful. But as long as the country is not one of those few identified as requiring special visa processes (these are listed on the relevant embassy and foreign ministry web sites), from expereince, you should basically not have any problem at all with a valid passport from the country of which he is a national (note requirements for "x" empty pages and validity of up to "x" months from date of entry for some countries too).

But it's a sensible question to ask whoever you book through, if you're worried.
kimburu is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 09:01 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,490
Also, does your fiance already have a green card, or will he be applying after the marriage? If not, you need to make sure that he can re-enter the U.S. if he leaves before getting his green card.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 05:27 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 28
thanks all! he's ecuadorian, and it's often hard for ecuadorians to get visas. i know in some cases being a u.s. permanent resident holder makes things much easier (e.g. in for costa rica apparently you don't need a tourist visa if you have a U.S. green card, regardless of your nationality) but have no idea if it matters to other countries.

thursdayd - yes, he's got an ecuadorian passport. and no, he does not have a green card yet, we will be waiting for the travel permissions before travelling outside the country, and part of why we are waiting so long for a honeymoon is so that he will have his green card by then.
aestuo is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 06:03 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Interesting - when I had a green card I just used my passport, but it was a UK passport.

I was going to suggest that you check the web site for the Botswana embassy in Quito, but there doesn't seem to be one! However, the site for the Washington embassy has a helpful list of countries that require/do not require visas. Afraid he will need a visa, but the application form is on the web site - see Or you could use a visa service like Travisa or CIBT. Recommend checking the web sites for the other countries you listed. And congratulations on the marriage.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Absolutely check each country's websites for who can entry, requires Visa, what's needed, costs, length of stay, etc. Call their embassies in the US if you have to and have them provide information to you in writing so there are no misunderstandings.

Since you're waiting for his green card (which is only important for re-entry to the US) still make sure what limits there maybe as to where he can/can't travel.

For US passport holders, there are Visa fees for entry to Zambia and Zimbabwe; no fees for Botswana, South Africa or Namibia, but Visa stamps will be entered in passports. For all of these countries Visas can be obtained on arrival. If your BF travels on his Equadorian passport, he may require Visas ahead of time.

And, as above, do ascertain the number of blank passport pages required for each country. If you don't have sufficient pages you can send for additional pages (especially if passport isn't due to expire for 5+/yrs), or apply for a new passport, requesting the larger size with more pages.

You've got some homework to do!
sandi is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 09:16 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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thanks all! guess i'll start querying the embassies...i guess worse come to worse we can wait until our 5-year anniversary...hopefully he'll be a US citizen by then.
aestuo is offline  

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