What is an eVisa?

Sherpa breaks down eVisa travel to save you from confusion on your next trip.


There’s a global trend moving towards using eVisas. Did you know Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kuwait have some form of eVisa system implemented? Sherpa dives in to bring you all the eVisa details.

What is an eVisa?

An eVisa (also commonly referred to as an “e-visa” OR “evisa”) is simply the electronic version of the typical entry visa or embassy visa. They are another way to gain entry into a country for shorter stay visits. They are obtained electronically before the traveller embarks on their journey.

Where in the past travellers needed a physical sticker or stamp in a passport for entry, most of the eVisas today replace those. An eVisa does not replace your passport, however. eVisas are something that accompanies your identification at a border.

For example, travellers heading to Turkey apply online with their personal and travel information, and they are issued a letter with a unique barcode which must be printed out and physically brought to the border upon arrival.


How do I apply for an eVisa?

eVisas can be applied for online. Different governments have different portals or official websites that allow travellers to apply for an eVisa.

With the emergence of the eVisa, travellers need to be mindful of the websites where they are filling out their secure information. Illegitimate scam or “look-alike” websites have been set up where a traveller thinks they are at a legitimate government site when the opposite is true. For an example, here’s a great bit of commentary on eVisas and using “official” sites.


What do eVisas look like?

eVisas come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the government issuing it. Some are just a barcode that can be presented on the phone, while others are a full-page printout.


How does an eVisa differ from an ETA?

An ETA is an Electronic Travel Authority. While countries like Turkey offer an eVisa to allow certain citizenships entry, Sri Lanka, Australia, and Canada offer an ETA. An ETA is also applied for online via an application system to gain the traveller entry. There is a difference, however.

Where the eVisa is still a traditional visa that is shown upon arrival, the ETA is linked to your passport information and registered online with the visiting country’s government authorities. Nothing has to be printed out after you apply, and no stamp or sticker is placed in the passport.


What countries offer eVisas for travel?

Some of the countries that offer eVisas for travel are Turkey, Cambodia, and quite recently Vietnam, among a variety of others. Brazil is even planning on implementing eVisa to replace the embassy visa for four major citizenships. For a list of the ones Sherpa offers, click here. We’re always adding new ones as they become available.

At Sherpa, we’ll continue to be the up-to-date knowledge holder in the visa space. Find anything new about visas and immigration on your travels?


Looking for Sherpa’s Visa Advice?

Are you a travel agent looking for a visa solutions for your clients? You can check out our Sherpa for Agents page – we work with travel agents and we’d love to work with you as well!

As always, Travel Easy!