Thursday, December 26, 2013

Travel insurance

Even if you’re fit and healthy don’t travel without health insurance, as accidents do happen. Declare any existing medical conditions; the insurance company will check if your problem is pre-existing and will not cover you if it is undeclared. You may require extra cover for adventure activities such as rock climbing and scuba diving. If your health insurance doesn’t cover you for medical expenses abroad, consider getting extra insurance. If you’re uninsured remember that emergency evacuation is expensive; bills of more than US$100, 000 are not uncommon.

Find out in advance if your insurance company will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas expenditures. (In many countries, doctors expect payment in cash.) Some policies offer a range of medical-expense options; the higher ones are chiefly for countries that have extremely high medical costs, such as the USA. You may prefer a policy that pays doctors or hospitals directly rather than you having to pay on the spot and claim later. If you have to claim later, make sure you keep all documentation. Some policies ask you to call back (reverse charges) to a centre in your home country where an immediate assessment of your problem is made.

Visas Sri Lanka

Beginning in 2012, Sri Lanka did away with its free visas, which had been issued on arrival. To nearly universal criticism, an online visa system was introduced. At time of research, this system was still being refined (e.g. after the number of people doing a short stopover plummeted, the visa fees were waived for certain 48-hour visits).

Obtaining a Visa
Before visiting Sri Lanka you should do the following to obtain a 30-day visa:

» Visit the Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization System several days before arriving.
» Follow the online application process and pay with a credit or debit card.
» Once approved, print out the visa confirmation.

You can still obtain visas at Sri Lankan embassies abroad and there is a counter at Bandaranaike International Airport for people who arrive without a visa, although you’ll have to wait with the other visa-less masses and pay a small penalty.

Visa Fees
Transit visa good for 48 hours » Free
Tourist visa good for 3-7 days » US$10
Standard 30-day tourist visa » US$20

Visas secured at Bandaranaike International Airport cost US$5 more. You can pay in rupiah, euros, UK pounds and Australian dollars in addition to US dollars.

Visa Extensions
For stays in Sri Lanka beyond the usual 30-day visa, contact the Department of Immigration and Emigration (https://www.vietnamimmigration.com). They are not hard to get but require jumping through some bureaucratic hoops.

Visa Sri Lanka Procedure

1.     When applying for Vietnam visa at Vietnam Embassy, you are required to do the followings:

a)  To bring Original passport (which requires one-month validity prior to the date of exit from Vietnam and/or six months validity to meet airlines’ requirements); 01 regulated sized-photos (2 x 2 inch).

b)  To complete an application form given by the embassy or download from the website.

c)   To pay for the Vietnam Visa fees including stamping fee and visa approval arrangement fee, processing fee, shipping, handling and expediting services.

d)  To wait for 5 working days before your entry is approved.

2.     All required fields in the application form must be filled with care and precision. For Name and contact in Vietnam, please provide the name of the first accommodation or the name of your acquaintance or business.

3.     A visa will be valid from the entry date to the exit date as printed. You can visit and stay in Vietnam any time between these two dates, i.e. you cannot enter Vietnam before the entry date and you must leave by the exit date. Therefore, you should be clear about the DATE OF ENTRY AND EXIT on your application form.

4.     Visa rules and fees for children should follow the same procedure as adults if they have their own passports. Children who are included in parents passports do not need separate visas and are not charged (however, their names must be stated in their parents application form with one accompanying photograph). The parents should sign the applications on behalf of children under 14 years old.

5.     Once the application is with the Embassy, there is no possibility of any change.

6.     Fees and charges once received are not refundable, except in case of rejection.