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Does travel insurance cover visa refusals?

Travel insurance won't cover you if your visa application is refused by the government of the country you're travelling to.

Unfortunately, travel insurance doesn't provide any cover if your visa application is refused by the government of your destination country. Travel insurance policies will exclude any claims that arise if you fail to obtain the appropriate visa. As a result, you won’t be reimbursed for any cancellation fees and lost deposits.

So what should I do?

If your visa is rejected, the next course of action will vary depending on which country denied you the visa. Typically you can

  • Re-apply for a visa or ask for a review. For example, if your application for a visa for the United Kingdom (UK) is rejected, you can request an administrative review of your application by filling out a review form online.
  • Ask your travel service provider if they can let you reschedule your trip. This will give time for your destination's embassy to review your new application or appeal.
  • If all else fails, ask your travel service provider for a refund. You might be able to get a partial refund back for your trip.

If you've yet to book you're trip or apply for a visa, it's important to apply for a visa well in advance of your planned travel dates. Applying early allows enough time for you to take whatever action possible without having to cancel or rebook your trip.

How do I avoid a visa refusal?

  • Understand the visa requirements for a country. Australians can read about the entry requirements for popular travel destinations on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smartraveller website.
  • Understand how long it takes for a visa to get processed. If a country typically takes one to two months to process visa applications, applying a few days before your scheduled departure isn’t going to help.
  • Leave extra time for processing and knock backs. Even if you satisfy all eligibility criteria, allow extra time in case processing your application takes longer than expected or your first application is refused.
  • Apply for the visa before you book any travel arrangements. Travel insurance won’t cover your cancellation costs if your visa application is refused, so apply before you hand over any money to book your holiday.
  • Confirm with the embassy of the destination country that you have met the visa requirements. Double-check with the relevant embassy that you have satisfied all the necessary requirements to gain entry. Confirming that you will be allowed entry ahead of time can save you a whole lot of stress in the long run.

Compare travel insurance cover for cancellations and lost visas overseas

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