Creative Access Countries Series Continued… (Read Part 1)
Tourist – This option usually is easy and most people sometime during their entry obtain this type of visa. This is also easy and popular with many short term missions groups. Many countries consider this a “general visa” meaning if they don’t have a visa for your purpose, then this is the default option. We used this visa on short term trips to China as well as long term. We were on this type of visa for about a year (one year, multi-entry, ninety-day-stay).
pros to this option is that you virtually have all the time that you need. All of your time can be used for ministry and to accomplish your mission. You can feel free to travel without regulation. It is great when you are first starting to see what location is best for you to start your ministry.
cons to this option is that that is usually is hard to obtain a long-stay tourist visa. This means that you would have to exit and enter the country more frequently, which can be expensive if you don’t live on a boarder town. No salary or benefits, you must raise your own support, some privileges might be restricted since you are on a temporary visa (housing permit or driving licensee, but I was able to obtain both of these on a tourist visa).
Also, some worry that suspicion can arise do to the fact that you are a perpetual tourist. I have been asked questions like, “what are you doing here?,” “where does your money come from?” At first, some of these questions caught me of guard, but now I have learned how to answer properly.
result of this option have been good in the realm of church-planting and evangelism. Many short-termers are easily able to obtain this visa and accomplish short-term evangelism trips. Also, church-planters have been able to use this option occasionally to free up their time and work in their mission.
Businessman – This option is the hardest. You can look for job options and apply or you can start a business. If you start a business, first you need to have a business plan, money to invest, and go through all of the legal process and paperwork. This option is more necessary in countries that are more hostile against the Gospel. Some popular examples of this are coffey shops, cafes, language schools, or an import-export business.
pros to this option is that you have a long-term visa, you have the possibility of making a good salary, and you can use your business space as part of your mission.
cons to this option is that is takes a lot of time and money up front to get things going. Longterm, running a business and making a profit can me extremely time consuming. Also, you have the problem of mixing business and ministry together, which can cause conflicts.
result of this option is that many people who start a business are able to use their business space as a location to hold bible studies on off work hours. Also, several who have been able to work in a company have been able to be a witness to those higher in society.
Next Post: Creative Access Countries (3 of 3) – Student & Legit?