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D-5: Documents for visa

Legal Position of Volunteers

The laws for staying and working in a country are different in each country. In many countries a volunteer is an unknown legal concept. Sometimes it can be very difficult to get a visa for person working on a long term basis as a volunteer. It is essential that the legal position of the volunteer is worked out BEFORE the volunteers arrive at the project. There have been some cases where volunteers have been forced to leave the country because of visa problems, meaning that they can not finish their work on the project. This can also give the project a bad reputation with the foreign police.


Volunteers need to apply for visas at least 4 weeks in advance. For some countries you may need 7-8 weeks or even longer. Usually the volunteer needs to have official INVITATION LETTER from your organization when they apply for the visa. And since the process can take such a long time, please send the invitation letter as soon as your organization received the confirmation form from the volunteer.

On the invitation letter, you need to write:

*Brief explanation about your organization, and address

*About the project the volunteer is taking part in.

*The personal date of volunteer

*Name   *Sex    *D.O.B.     *Address    *Phone number

*Passport number   *Occupation

*The reason of his participation and its merits

*The period of participation *Your signature

It will be useful also if your organization have a guidance on how to take care of the visa for the volunteer. You can search the information from the internet and put them all together as a simple guidance.

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