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I'm in the very early stages of planning an overland trip from Singapore to western Europe in October this year. I would like to enquire about the easiest route from a visa point of view. At the moment it seems to be

Singapore -> Malaysia -> Thailand -> Laos -> China -> Russia -> Ukraine -> EU

But this isn't set in stone and depends largely on the ease of getting a visa in various counties. Any pointers on the recommended route?

Specifically regarding visa on arrival, this seems to be only an option if one can show proof of a return ticket. But in my case, I will be using transport that isn't even necessarily booked in advance to cross borders. So I assume I will have to get the visas done in advance anyway. All visas will be done in Singapore.

  • Assuming that you already have a residence visa for Singapore, you will only need to apply for a visa for China, Russia, and the Schengen zone. Malaysia issues e-visas for Indians, Thailand, Laos, and Ukraine have visas on arrival. You will have to check whether these visas on arrival are issued at all entry points or only at major airports. For the Schengen zone, you can indicate that you intend to enter overland in your itinerary, but it will be helpful to have confirmed tickets to leave the Schengen zone so that immigration officers are convinced that you do not plan to overstay your visa. – crayarikar Mar 3 '18 at 14:49
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    @crayarikar Ukraine only issues visas on arrival at 3 airports – Crazydre Mar 3 '18 at 16:22
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The following are the (overland) visa requirements for Indian citizens:

Malaysia: e-visa

Thailand: visa on arrival

Laos: visa on arrival

China: visa in advance

Russia: visa in advance

Ukraine: visa in advance (visa on arrival only at 3 airports)

Schengen: visa in advance

So you need to get visas in advance for China and beyond.

That said, you can be spared a Ukrainian visa by going through Latvia, which is a Schengen state.

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    If the OP is visiting the UK or Ireland, then they'll also need a visa for them. Ireland accepts UK issued visas to Indian citizens. dfa.ie/travel/visas/visas-for-ireland (Schedule 3). Indian citizens need a visa to visit the UK. – CSM Mar 3 '18 at 18:30
  • @CSM it's hard to see why the UK or Ireland should be included in the scope of the question, since they are both out of the way, and the question asks for the simplest route from a visa perspective. – phoog Mar 4 '18 at 19:04
  • Finland->Sweden is a long journey north, but Latvia->Lithuania->Poland is a simple way around the Ukraine. – ugoren Mar 4 '18 at 20:33
  • @phoog, the OP asked about visiting the EU as the last part of the trip. The UK is (currently) part of the EU, as is Ireland. – CSM Mar 10 '18 at 13:32
  • @CSM I rather suspect that the OP was making the all too common mistake of saying "EU" instead of "Schengen area," and included it because the Schengen area contains his destination. If this mistake puts other EU countries in scope, then the answer is incomplete without also mentioning Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and even Cyprus, which is an absurd result supporting the assumption that it is a mistake and therefore the conclusion that it should be treated as such. – phoog Mar 10 '18 at 14:07
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If you want to minimize visa requirements, you could do Russia -> Finland -> Sweden -> Rest of Schengen via the Oeresund Bridge.

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    This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review – Crazydre Mar 4 '18 at 8:35
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    I think this should/could be a comment on an answer, not a free standing answer. – Willeke Mar 4 '18 at 8:47
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    The OP is asking for advice on the best route, and this adds an option skipping the needs for a visa for Ukraine. Other options include entering the Schengen Area from Russia in Estonia or Latvia. – jcaron Mar 4 '18 at 13:03
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    While this is not a great answer, it IS an answer. The OP mention of Ukraine was not a requirement but a route he/she knew of and s/he was looking for a better one. – WGroleau Mar 4 '18 at 14:12
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    @Coke, the poster asked about the easiest route from a visa viewpoint and proposed one. I pointed out how one end of the route can be simplified from the visa viewpoint by skipping Ukraine. – o.m. Mar 4 '18 at 18:15

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