23 September 2013


The Emabssy of Burkina Faso is pleased to announce that they have finally abandoned the old text form and produced a new PDF visa application form. This looks very professional and reflects well on their consular office. Click here to apply for a visa for Burkina Faso.


Dear Friend of Life and Hope Association (LHA)

Although my last letter to you was from Boston following my May 30 graduation (from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University), I am now back in Siem Reap reconnecting with the wonderful children and our great LHA staff, and applying some of my new learning to our programs.

Mostly, I use these letters to update you on news about the programs that you so generously support. But because we always emphasize personal responsibility in all of our programs, I'd like to begin this letter by sharing some of the ways in which the recipients of your generosity are giving back.

We were so delighted when Koe Pek, Nang Sreyna, and Bou Sochea, 2010 and 2012 graduates from PAGE (Program Advancing Girls Education) decided to use their university vacation to volunteer at LHA’s CDV (Children Development Village).

PAGE girls --- Over the past two months, they have tutored the children on school subjects, taught them English, and acted as house mothers.

Another 10 PAGE girls also volunteered to help with LHA’s interviewing and counselling project at CDV. PAGE graduates use their vacation to volunteer at CDV

Phari Srein who lived at CDV for 6 years before becoming a Wat Damnak temple boy for 3 years, recently graduated from high school. He has decided to return to CDV to work full-time with the children while continuing his studies for university part-time. And as we staff up at CDV, three of our recent PAGE graduates are also considering that same career option.

In another act of generous giving back, Venerable Loeurm has initiated a new project in which LHA community members are donating their hair.

These donations will be made available to people around the world who cannot afford prosthetic medical wigs after they lose their hair following chemotherapy for cancer treatment.

Meanwhile, our programs continue to provide loving care and educational opportunities to bring about positive life changes for the poorest and most vulnerable children, young women and families:

* To our delight, the 12 PAGE girls who took their final high school exams in August all passed and now head off to university, teachers training college, or employment opportunities. We plan to keep supporting them as we are able.

* We also celebrated Nup Sophal’s graduation from Royal University of Phnom Penh — quite an achievement for a 10th grade drop-out who entered our sewing school then joined PAGE to complete high school. Next month, she begins her career teaching Khmer literature and history.

* In August, we built four more Peace Houses, bringing the total to 55 homes that we have offered poor families in exchange for their commitment to send their children to school and renounce abuse, alcohol, and gambling.

* We are now in the process of selecting 12 new PAGE girls from 50 well-qualified, highly motivated candidates who want to continue their education but don't have the opportunity due to family poverty. They will follow the 35 girls who have previously been admitted into PAGE, 22 of whom have now graduated from high school. None of those girls has ever failed or dropped out.

My thanks once again to all of you for your generous and loving hearts , and for helping to change young lives forever.

With peace and love, Somnieng

Executive Director| Life and Hope Association | Wat Damnak | Siem Reap | Cambodia

20 September 2013


Non-Canadians must generally get SCHENGEN visas in order to travel to Europe.

Non-Canadians must apply IN-PERSON at the appropriate embassy or consulate. This cannot be done for you. You must go in person only. Do not hire a service for this.

Here are the usual requirements for a Schengen visa:

1) - Passport valid at least three months after the expiry date of the visa. + photocopy of all pages. Your passport must have been issued less than 10 years ago (first issuance). Refugees residing in Canada, even if they hold permanent resident cards, must have in their possession a travel document for refugees, 1951 Geneva Convention Model.

2)- 1 original signature on a completed Schengen visa application form.

3)- 2 recent and identical photos ID, format 35mm X 45mm only, with a clear and plain white background.

4) airplane or train reservation for the entire travel in the Schengen zone or proof of participating in an organized tour.

5) - If applicable, any document allowing your entry in the country of your main destination.

6)- Depending on the purpose of your stay : = Tourism : hotel reservation for all cities and countries visited. Be aware that once you submit the hotel reservations, you will not be allowed to change them. = Family visit or private stay : you must provide one of the following proof of accommodation : — EITHER the original of the registration from the City Hall in country here your host is residing. This can not be changed and must cover the whole duration of your stay. — IF YOU RENT A PROPERTY : the original of the lease and proof of payment. — IF YOU OWN A PROPERTY : the original of your property title. = Business trip : original of the detailed letter of invitation from the host company , stating the purpose of your stay, whether your expenses, including medicals will or will not be taken care of by the host company during the entire length of your stay. This letter must also state that you will not receive any financial compensation or pay in country during your stay.

7)- Proof of your socio-professional status in Canada: = If you are self-employed, you must provide your business registration + photocopy = If you are employed, you must provide a detailed proof of employment (letter from your employer) as well as your last three pay stubs + photocopy = If you are retired with pension, you need to provide a proof of it + photocopy = If you are a student, you must provide a recent detailed letter from your school + photocopy = If you have a scholarship, you must submit your scholarship papers + photocopy = If you are unemployed you must provide your spouse detailed proof of employment (letter from the employer) as well as the last three pay stubs + photocopy AND the marriage certificate translated + photocopy

8) - Your last three months of bank statements

9) - If you are a minor under 18 years old, you must provide the parental authorization signed by both parents.

After the visa is authorized you will have to provide the following:

10) - Original of the airplane ticket or eticket or proof that your ticket has been paid in full.

11) - Proof of confirmation of the hotel reservation if you are staying in a hotel.

12) - Travel medical insurance valid for the entire length of your stay in the Schengen zone, covering medicine, hospitalization, repatriation, death, pregnancy, for a minimum of Cdn$50,000 Attention : your provincial insurance is not enough, you must purchase a private insurance.

Please note that additional documents will probably be required.


Neither the German Embassy in Ottawa nor the Consulate General in Montreal can offer consular services. For consular matters please contact the Consulate General in Toronto. For short-term Schengen visas, please contact the Embassy of Austria in Ottawa. All Schengen visa seekers going to Germany must apply IN PERSON at the Austrian Emabssy in Ottawa or at the German Consulate in Toronto.

Click here for Germany.


The Indian government visa processing offices would like to remind Canadians that India requires people to apply IN PERSON if possible. If not possible, courier applications can be made to three offices only. There are several consular offices across the country open for in-person applications. Please contact "BLS India" for more information.

Click here for Indian visa details.

Click here for BLS India


We at Visa Services Canada have noticed that the vast majority of applicants seeking Russian visas get the form horribly wrong.

Here are the most common mistakes. For full details and assistance please read our on-line instruction help manual for Russian visa forms on pages 8-11 of our online Russian form on our website. If you already have an on-line application in the Russian computer you can follow STEP #2 in our online Russian visa manual in order to edit the form.

To edit your Russian visa form please visit visa.kdmid.ru

Your applications must have the correct place of submission on them. Please follow the on-line Russian manual and put "VISA APPLICATION CENTER (correct city)" on the top of the forms.

Please ensure that you list your passport type as TOURIST PASSPORT. You are NOT an official passport holder.

Please ensure that you list your passport as having been issued by a city (eg: Winnipeg), not as issued by Canada. Check your passport for issuing authority city.

TOURIST buying vouchers from Visa Services Canada can fill in "INTELSERVICE CENTER" as the inviting company, and "011293" as the registration number. Confirmation number is "1".

Do not put a comma in your name.

Do not add Canada to place of birth unless it appears in your Canadian passport. Type place of birth exactly as it appears in your passport.

Your entry and exit dates have to match the invitation / voucher exactly. You cannot pad the dates after you received a voucher.

Plese include the personal letter explaining your journey. Remember, the dates must match exactly the dates on the form and the voucher.

If you have an invitor (private or business or official), you must also list the city of the invitor on the same line.

You must list Canada as having issued you with a passport for item #26.

Add in all school and employment details. You must list previous jobs and schools (after grade 12) with full addresses. If you do not have post-high school education, do not write anything at all in those boxes.

Please ensure that all address are full legal addresses (street, city, prov, postal code) for schools, jobs, homes and hotels.

Please ensure when printing the form that the entire page prints double-sided. Please do not cut off at the bottom so some answers are not printed on the page.

Please print a new version of the form, and SIGN it and ship the original signed form to us as soon as possible. Do not allow your signature to touch the edge of the box. Remember the date format under the signature is dd/mm/yy only.

Photos MUST be printed as 35x45mm images - no exceptions - no Cdn passport sizes allowed. Do not cut the photo print.

Click here for the newest Russian visa forms.


The new Embassy of Qatar in Canada has slowed visa processing. Applicants are warned that the consul can now take anywhere from ten working days up to six weeks to issue a visa. Yes, you might have to wait up to a month and a half. So apply early and be prepared to wait. Obviously there is no fast service available, and all times are changable and at the discretion of the embassy.

Click here for Qatar visa forms.


Travelers are reminded that they must check their visas prior to travel. It is your responsibility to check to ensure that you have the correct visa for your journey. You should check all the validity dates, number of entries, and type of visa. Also check the spelling of your name, passport number, and date of birth. We at VSC check all visas, but it is still your responsibility to do a final check.


Turkey wants all Canadians to buy E-VISAS. Well, not all Canadians, but all Canadians travelling to or through Turkey. The system is easy and cheap. Please apply for your Turkish e-visa on-line from the comfort of your own home or office prior to travel. The old option of a visa-on-arrival is being phased out - so get your Turkish E-Visa now.

Click here for your Turkish E-Visa.


The Chinese Government has rolled out their new visa form, and everyone must use the new form. The old form will not longer be accepted. So make certain your Chinese form says it is the 2013 edition.

Click here for the newest Chinese visa application package.


The Govenment of Nigeria has instructed their high commissions and embassies and consulates world-wide to reject applications from people with a criminal record. Canadians should be aware that even a full pardon by the Canadian government does not affect this regulation. Canadians with criminal records, even if expunged, will not receive a visa.

Click here for Nigerian visas.


Applicants seeking authentication and legalization of documents by the Angolan Emabssy are warned that stamping of the documents is now taking at least one month.

Click here for A&L forms.


VSC is pleased to announce that the charitable organization our company supports, the LIFE & HOPE ASSOCIATION in Siem Reap Cambodia, is working even harder for the poor and vulnerable people of Cambodia.

The head of the organization, the Venerable Somnieng Hoeurn, has graduated from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University with a masters degree in public administration of NGOs. We offer our congratulations to Somnieng. This now means that Somnieng is even better prepared to advance the objectives of LHA and to offer more programmes to aid the poor and vulnerable.

Click here to learn more about LHA.


The High Commission of Ghana asked that we respectfully remind visa seekers that the Ghanaian government requires applicants to provide letters from their employers in addition to the letters from their invitors for all business or work journeys. Click here for Ghana visa.