I intend to get a Visa on Arrival at the destination country. In that case, without a visa, will the airlines allow to check-in at the source?

3 Answers 3


If it is indeed possible to get a visa on arrival with your documents (passport, etc.), the airline will let you check in after verifying the necessary documents.


This is possible, but I would recommend bringing proof to the airport that you can get a visa on arrival. I've been in the situation where the person checking me in didn't know I, as an American, could get a visa on arrival to Dubai—which is not a difficult thing at all. Perhaps the computer was down that day; perhaps the person had never worked that route. Whatever the case: bring proof for the sake of the person checking you in, because they need to approve your boarding.

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    Yeah, I've also found that I had to explain entry requirements before when using China's visa-free transit rule that allows residents of certain countries to remain in China for up to 144 hours (depending on the part of China in question) if they're in transit to a third country. Using the program once I got there worked fine, but I did have to explain to the gate agent why I didn't have a PRC visa and show my onward ticket and such, since PRC visas would normally be required in advance for an American (my nationality.)
    – reirab
    Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 22:51
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    @reirab: it is interesting they mentioned 144 hours instead of 6 days. I can understand that this is more precise, though (your entry time + 144 hours = your max exit time, while 6 days may be more or less depending on the interpretation)
    – WoJ
    Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 10:07
  • @WoJ Yeah, I'm sure that's why they word it that way. So people don't show up at 08:00 Sunday and leave at 18:00 on Saturday and wonder why they're in trouble.
    – reirab
    Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 15:12

The people at the check-in counter have a database in which entry requirements can be looked up. If the database states that you can get a visa on arrival, they will let you check in. If it does not, they might (in some cases) double-check with the airline or (much more likely) just refuse boarding.

Note that "it is possible to get a visa on arrival" is not exactly the same as "the database says it is possible to get a visa on arrival". For most destinations there should not be a problem, but some countries are not as good at keeping such info up-to-date as others.

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    The database is more to decide whether to punish the airline for bringing an unqualified person. They don't judge the airline for a refusal the airline could not have foreseen. Of course the airline must always remove the refused person at their expense, but can always re-charge that to the refused person. Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 3:09

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