Hopefully at some point in your modeling career you get the chance to travel. Modeling in America is great all in itself, but getting the added benefit of exploring the world while modeling, is a whole other story. Almost everyone likes to travel and it is the traveling experience as well as the modeling experience that makes international modeling so enticing. Couple these things with some good money and it’s a no-brainer. So where does the Travel Visa come into play in all this, and furthermore, why do international models need them? The truth is, it all depends on where you go.
No matter where you travel outside of the U.S. you will need a passport, so make sure you have this first. But only some places require a Travel Visa. A Travel Visa is documented authorization (typically a stamp in an individual’s passport) allowing an individual to enter another country or territory for which the authorization was issued. Or in other words, it is a stamp that allows you to enter another country. Obtaining one of these visas can be a task all in itself. It usually implies that you fill out a form (make sure it is the form you need as there are many types of visas) and then physically bring it down to the embassy or consulate of the destination you are heading to. For example, to head to Beijing you will need to bring the correct, filled out form to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate nearest you. The whole process takes time and costs money (roughly $100-$150). They may then mail it back to you or ask you to come back and pick it up at a later date and time. After all that, you should be good to go (there are government websites that will guide you through the whole process).
Some countries require a visa upon entry and some do not. So whether or not a model needs to obtain a travel visa is dictated by where they are going. Some international models will have an entire passport full of different visas, where as others may only have a few. It all depends on where you travel.
With all that said, unless you are planning some traveling in the near future, you may not have to concern yourself with all this just yet; though it is still good to be prepared. A good idea is to have a passport regardless. This way you are good to go for any other type of travel, and if modeling requires you to head out, you have one less obstacle between you and modeling internationally. The less you have to do and the faster you can get situated, the faster you can be on the road and the less chance of something falling through. We already know the modeling industry is shallow and minds can change in a heartbeat. So get your passport and then get working on some international traveling at the expense of modeling.