Here at Sherpa, we know travel visas. We also know that travel visas are easily one of the most dreaded aspects of the entire travel experience. That’s why we pride ourselves in providing a service and an experience unlike any other in the travel visa industry.
Travel Visas aren’t Easy
We hear the same questions over and over again – and for good reason! Travel visas are stressful for both the agents and the clients. It can often be difficult to sift through all the visa information out there. We’ve compiled the other options to talk about the pros and cons for each. Here are the other options your clients have to apply for their travel visas.
Visit the Government/Embassy Website
This is a valid option where you will find the right information for your citizenship travelling to the country of your choosing. The only catch? Finding the right Government Website. Often, the Official Embassy Website is buried amongst visa services that link to the websites. Years ago, the Government of Cambodia even released a statement warning travellers to only use officially listed websites, as other sites had been set up to lure tourists to the wrong information and incorrect payment portals. Recently, as of 2016, the Government of Canada warned foreign travellers about websites that were charging up to 17x the cost for the newly introduced eTA to Canada.
Third-Party Visa Services
Third-party visa services are currently the backbone of the travel visa industry. We distinguish services from products because these companies operate like law firms. While some are good and reliable, others rely on misinformation to lure travellers in. Often we see titles like “Official Service for Visas to Country X”. If it is a third-party website stating this, it’s always a lie. The only “Official” visa service is the Government Website of the destination country. Furthermore, their information and services can be outdated, their interfaces aren’t user-friendly, and their prices are substantially higher than processing through the Government Website on their own.
Direct Clients to Do it on their Own
By directing your clients/travellers to check the information for themselves, we relinquish liability for the visa process. Directing them to a helpful platform, however, is a great way to demonstrate your competence as a travel agent, while allowing for your client’s travel experience to be as smooth sailing as possible.
Shameless plug, but with good reason. We combine the right visa information, vaccination, and travel advisory information for all citizenships with a user-friendly interface. We’re focused on building a product that has a consistent interface from destination to destination – and actually automated the application process. Our portal and app allow users to take ownership of their visa application and allows you – the travel agent – the ability to confidently apply on your client’s behalf. Most importantly, we understand the travel visa space, and sitting at the leading edge of the industry allows us to move with the times and leave the “brick and mortar” companies in the stone age.
You can always count on the Sherpa to tell it as we see it because we certainly understand the industry. If you have thoughts about the travel visa space, we’d love to hear it. As always, Travel Easy!
– The Sherpa Team