A time to prep..

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Africa is a key continent for South Africa as the activity in various industries across Africa rely on experts coming from South Africa i.e. Engineers, IT consultants, Auditors, Construction companies etc…Hence it is important to keep a look out on what is happening across the continent in terms of opening up borders and key sectors to tap into when the rat race begins. Here are some country gems to help us to determine where to head:

Algeria: main industries are petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical, food processing 

Angola: Angola’s most important minerals include diamonds, iron ore, manganese, and tin. The mining industry is one of Angola’s most important in the country due to the high quality of the country’s minerals 

Cameroon:  main industries are petroleum production and refining, aluminium production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair

Congo (Republic of): main industries are Agriculture, Clothing, Foodstuffs, Forestry, Mining, Oil Refining, Textiles. MAIN EXPORTS: Cobalt, Coffee, Copper, Diamonds

Congo (DRC):main industries are Agriculture, Clothing, Foodstuffs, Forestry, Mining, Oil Refining, Textiles. MAIN EXPORTS: Cobalt, Coffee, Copper, Diamonds. The Congo is the world’s largest producer of cobalt ore, and a major producer of copper and industrial diamonds

Egypt: main industries are textiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, hydrocarbons, construction, cement, metals, light manufactures

Equatorial Guinea:petroleum, fishing, saw-milling, natural gas. The main industries of the country are the oil and gas sector, followed by the fishing and forestry. Agriculture and farming, such as cocoa production were also big players in the country’s economy, but have been left unattended and without financing in the last decade due to economic and political circumstances

More countries in the next post..  

What we hope for :

Embassies are currently observing the Lockdown rules stipulated by the government and are not open to the public. However, as soon as Lockdown permits for free movement, consular offices will be ready to assist.

Corporate travel is pushed by the fact that businesses have to continue to operate. There’s no way that people can conclude proper business deals remotely. At some point you will need to physically go and assess things on he ground, whether it is be an industrial plant, construction site, plantations or mining sites, purchased machinery inspectiotion etc…Companies have already lost too much time. People are already rearing to go!

At this stage nothing is really certain but all we can do is keep hope alive and continue to plan our next steps after Lockdown

You can send through your provisional or planned movements and we will assist with initial visa fee quotations to assist you with project planning and budgeting as you bill your clients or partners.Email details to aamena@visarequest.co.za 

Overstaying…is it really that bad?

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Question: What happens if I overstay my welcome in a destination country?

Answer: DON’T YOU DARE!!!

This will only cause you headache in the future. It seems like it is not a problem because no one will hunt you down the second your visa expires. The problems will only start when you get to immigration desk when leaving.

Penalties vary between countries, and in some cases depending on how long you have overstayed your visa duration or type of visa you possess…. but you may likely be detained for a while, slapped with a fine or be banned from entering that country again for a set duration….In some instances the penalties may affect your inviting persons or the agent that will have assisted you in getting the visa

JUST DON’T RISK IT… This move definitely can increase the probability of being denied a return to your favorite destination (or any other country) or jeopardize you being able to visit your family and friends ever again…..,spending an extra few days illegally is not worth the risk of you never entering that country or any other country again.

…Imagine….a last minute request for you to attend a workshop in Australia has just sprung up at work and your visa application gets rejected because you overstayed your holiday in the UK 3 years ago….now your company loses out on you attending the workshop, Flight and accommodation cancellations…

 

THOU SHALT RESPECT PROCESSING DAYS ADVISED

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it is important to prepare for visa application with ample time

VISAREQUEST

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 We clearly explain the process and timelines of visa applications so that client can make an informed decision on whether they want to go ahead and engage with us. These processing days have clearly been thought out and based on our experiences with Embassies.

From the time an application leaves our offices for submission to Embassies, clients should appreciate that VisaRequest will have very limited control with regards to what happens to the application. And we advise clients not to pay for flights until they get their visa back because they may be unforeseen circumstances that may see the Embassy delaying in its processing days. 

“A client recently demanded us to have their passport withdrawn from embassy because according to them, the embassy had delayed to release it  (even though time frame was still within the stipulated processing days we advised)…we had advised that it would take 8 working days and on the…

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THOU SHALT RESPECT PROCESSING DAYS ADVISED

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qvisainfo-nig

 We clearly explain the process and timelines of visa applications so that client can make an informed decision on whether they want to go ahead and engage with us. These processing days have clearly been thought out and based on our experiences with Embassies.

From the time an application leaves our offices for submission to Embassies, clients should appreciate that VisaRequest will have very limited control with regards to what happens to the application. And we advise clients not to pay for flights until they get their visa back because they may be unforeseen circumstances that may see the Embassy delaying in its processing days. 

“A client recently demanded us to have their passport withdrawn from embassy because according to them, the embassy had delayed to release it  (even though time frame was still within the stipulated processing days we advised)…we had advised that it would take 8 working days and on the 6th working day client called us demanding to have their passport back as they wanted to fly elsewhere that very day….we had to press the consulate to get the passport out but the implication is that the visa was not granted… but on VisaRequest’s end we had settled the non refundable visa fee of R3000+  and client had not paid us for this. We were nice enough to return passport and incur a loss of R3000!!”

We learnt this lesson well and shall not repeat it especially at the  expense of the impatience of client who was well advised

qvisainfo-candrc   We have circumstances were we may request Embassy to assist us in expediting visa by releasing it a day early but this is not something that is consistent as Embassies have their own processing guidelines and policies that may not be compromised.

If consulate say yes its a maybe-yes, and if they say no…its a NO! no matter how loud we shout or whether you are going to incur thousands in changing your flight…that is not their problem.

Just start your application with ample time to avoid disappointments

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Visa’s are implemented to control the number of people that visit a country and to safe guard the security of that country by vetting those that visit it, so believe us Embassies take this very seriously and will not be forced to grant individuals visas by skipping some of their procedures.

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As an application assistance firm we have no reason to delay in assist our clients. That is our reason for existence. To help applicants receive their visas FAST, EASY, HASSLE FREE.

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Equatorial Guinea insight

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Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea is a small country in West Africa, divided into two parts the mainland and the islands. This former Spanish colony, borders Cameroon & Gabon, and It is one the largest oil producing countries in Sub Sahara behind Angola and Nigeria

Few facts about Equatorial Guinea

Language– Both Spanish and French are official languages but most people speak native languages as their mother tongue, including Fang and Bubi.

Climate– Equatorial Guinea has tropical climate with one dry season that usually lasts from December to February. Temperatures remain constant throughout the year, averaging between 29-32 degrees Celsius. The wettest months are May and June.

Best time to visit– The dry months are between December and February to visit Equatorial Guinea.

AFCON 2015 will be held at Equatorial Guinea from the 17th January to the 8th February 2015 so you have the perfect excuse to visit the country. But before departing please note that a visa is needed for entry.

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Attractions to explore between match schedules…

  • Malabo- The capital city is home to Spanish buildings leftover from colonial days. The Presidential palace is vast but off limits. There is a small biodiversity centre in Moka that is worth a visit. If you enjoy hiking, check out the Pico Malabo volcano.
  • Bata- The country’s largest city. It is situated on the mainland and it is a port city. Bata has decent hotels, a popular market and good nightclubs.
  • Monte Alen National Park- A protected wildlife park where you can enjoy tropical forest that are home to leopards, gorillas, forest elephants and many other animal species, birds and butterflies.
  • Beaches and Markets- One of the best ways to enjoy a day in any town, is to head for the local market, followed by the beaches like Luba and Mbini.

Its unfortunate some people think that Africa is one big country but FYI its not and there are no Ebola cases that have been reported in Equatorial Guinea.

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The Forbidden Fruit:China

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Planning on going for a vacation??! We think China is the country to visit this time around. China has a large number of wonderful tourist destinations including the delicate water towns, imposing imperial palaces, splendid national cultural heritage and colourful folk custom…just think of all those scenes you see in karate movies

Beijing, Xian and Shanghai are the three major cities that should be on your list when visiting China. No to mention:

the Great Wall of China (seen all the way from space!),

the Forbidden City (we all love forbidden things),

Summer Palace (South Africans love their summer) and

Temple of Heaven (we all want to go there)

These all depict the long and colourful history of Beijing….still wondering why we say China is the place to be??

Shanghai has become a worldwide metropolis in the last fifty years . From the Bund on the Huangpu River, you can see the city’s rapid development, demonstrated by the great changes on the two banks.

Xian is the shinning pearl on the Yellow River along which the ancient Chinese culture originated.

Winding through the eleven provinces and cities the Yangtze River is the longest river in China. A Yangtze River Cruise from Chongqing to Yichang will be an enjoyable holiday with endless green mountains.

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Here is a tip or two

Check the weather- At any time of the year there are a lot of places where one can enjoy the ideal weather for travel but almost everywhere the weather is perfect all year around. To ensure your first trip to China doesn’t become a wind-beaten blowout or just a damp squib, get info on  what’s hot and not in the month you’re planning to travel. Spring and autumn are the best seasons to travel to China though.

When it comes to public transport- Rather not use taxis and planes but hop on buses and trains to experience and see how Chinese locals see the world. Yes, it’s easier to fly from one city to the other or take a taxi around once you there. China’s public transport systems are extensive and they get bigger and better every year.

In order to visit China you definitely need a visa.

It would be advisable to apply for a double or multiple entry visa as this allows you to exit from the Chinese mainland and re-enter just in case you decide to take a little detour. When travelling you can never be too sure…a few hours in Hong Kong maybe considered an exit from the Chinese mainland, so in order to return you must have a valid visa that enables you that entry.

NB!!!!!!  a single entry visa allows you into a country once and a double entry visa allows you entry twice. Once it has been issued to you and you exhaust your entry permissions you will have to apply for a new one.

For visa application assistance visit www.visarequest.co.za or 1131 Stanza Bopape Street, Hatfield, Pretoria.

Agency VisaRequest API: Greater convenience & Earn more

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Every international flight leaving South Africa is probably carrying 100+ passengers that acquired a visa. When and how did they get these visas done? Visa applications can sometimes be a daunting task and we know that applicants or travel agencies don’t like going through this process…

Firstly, embassies are not the easiest places to get through to when looking for information. Either the phone doesn’t get picked up/emails don’t get responded to (Embassy staff are very ‘busy’ people to have time to answer such..) and all you need is just to know what the application process is and visa fees …

Travel consultants aren’t too keen to get their hands dirty with this part of travel arrangements because it can be a loooong!! process and visa requirements/rules do change without notice. Agents wouldn’t want to mislead their clients and be labeled incompetent. So what do we do about this??

On the desktop/browser of every travel consultant you will find:

1.The GDS application their agency uses to book flights either Amadeus or Galileo etc..

2. Hotel booking app or site bookmarked

3. The GSA communicator app for latest travel news and info etc..

4. Their own in house travel app to help manage client database and market travel destinations.

BUT WAIT…Before you can board a plane, to visit that awesome destination, stay in that 5 star hotel you booked and enjoy those picturesque scenes you see in the magazines…YOU NEED A VISA!

Where’s the visa assistance app or portal?? Where are the guys who tell you how much it costs to get to destination Z? How does the process work? and How long will it take?

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Okay…Travel consultancies need a place where they can get this information…we created http://www.visarequest.co.za

Now…With a client breathing down their neck,consultants have no time to leave their portal/website & load visarequest to get info so what to do?? we create API to be put on agency website e.g.http://feesbus.wix.com/festus-feesbus#!visas/csff…DONE!!

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Here you can now get price of the desired visa..YAY (a note of the application process will appear on API quote).. if happy with quote click apply to enter into VisaRequest client login and get your application forms and requirements checklist..YAY.. when requirements collected and application form filled..we can schedule courier to pick up documents, process and facilitate visa application for you, once Embassy makes decision we send back to client/ agency..YAY

Like we said in the beginning every international flight leaving South Africa is probably carrying 100+ passengers that acquired a visa. Here is a great opportunity to create a new revenue stream for a travel agency through commission earned from applications that originate from your websites …a bit more R for agency, more marketing budget, or even travel consultant performance incentives…now everybody is happy..YAY

Need more info on the API? email vincent@visarequest.co.za