3.1 Visa processing for international emergency personnel

International personnel may be requested to support the emergency response. This will be coordinated by the HR unit (refer to the Chapter on Human resources). Once incoming personnel are selected, the administration unit should obtain the following information from the HR unit (or directly from the personnel if there is no HR unit):

  • passport details of the selected applicants, preferably a scanned copy of the passport
  • current location of the applicant
  • copy of the applicant’s curriculum vitae and job description
  • tentative arrival dates and expected duration of the assignment.

The administration unit should then prepare or obtain a letter of invitation and commence the visa application process. The exact process will vary according to each country, and according to the nationality of the incoming personnel. If you are not familiar with the visa entry process for the country, check the following:

  • What type of visa are humanitarian workers required to enter on?
  • Does the CO have copies of the relevant application forms?
  • Is a visa available on arrival at the airport?
  • Can a visa be issued by the diplomatic mission in the candidate’s home country? If not, then where is the closest location that a visa can be obtained?
  • Does the visa require in-country approval by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or other government department? What is the process for obtaining this approval?
  • Is a letter of invitation required? Can this be an official letter from CARE or is this an official government-issued letter of invitation?
  • What are the restrictions or variations that apply to specific passport holders?

This information and necessary documentation (for example, a letter of invitation or support from CARE) should be provided to the incoming staff member, ensuring that necessary documentation is sent to them as soon as possible to allow them to apply for the visa.