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Visas and Red Tape
Citizens of the Commonwealth and E.U. nations need only have a valid passport to enter St Almost and can remain for up to three months on an ordinary stamp. Exception is made, for some unknown reason, for Belgians, who must apply for a visa six months before they wish to travel. American nationals may stay for up to sixty days without applying for a visa.
For longer visits the traveller must either get a special visa before leaving – from a St Almost Consulate or designated representative (see table below) – or apply for an extension once in the country. On the whole, it is wiser to do the latter. It is unlikely that you will be thrown out once in the country, and the St Almost bureaucracy is rather slow.
In theory, extensions are issued by the nearest District Police headquarters or the Foreigners Registration Service, in Port Almost (tel: 35154). In practise, it is better to go straight to the Registration Service, as local District Police stations will have often run out of the necessary forms. There is a further difficulty in that the officers of the Maritime Police, who safeguard the waterways of the archipelago, have a habit of disrespecting the permits of the District Police (see Where To Go When In Trouble). You should apply for an extension at least a week before your time runs out and have some proof that you have enough hard currency to support you during your stay without working.
You will need a passport stamp if you plan to hire a car or boat during your stay. It is illegal to fish in St Almost waters without a permit from the Ministry of Resources. These are not expensive unless you plan to do some big game fishing, the only reason many Americans visit the islands.