visa information below will provide you with answers to frequently
asked questions about travel visas. Whether you are new to
international travel or are a seasoned traveler, the facts below will
help you to become better informed.
What is a visa?
A visa, also known as a travel visa
entry visa or foreign entry visa allows a person from one country to
travel to the port-of-entry of another country and request permission
of an immigration inspector to enter.
It is important to understand that having a visa in your
passport does not guarantee that you will be granted permission to
enter the country you plan to visit. This is left to the discretion of
the officer at the port-of-entry who will examine your travel
What types of visas are there?
There are various types of visas which are divided into two
categories - immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. An immigrant visa, also
known as a resident visa, is for those who plan to move to another
There is a larger variety of nonimmigrant visas. Some of the most common types include tourist visa
, business visa
, work visa, student visa
, transit visa
There are also visas for special situations such as visas for exchange
visitors, employees of special international organizations,
journalists, performing athletes, employees in specialized fields, etc.
What does a visa look like?
come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The visa from many
countries is nothing more than an ink stamp. It can be in the shape of
a rectagle, square or, even, triangle. The ink can be purple, blue,
black, green or red. Sometimes the stamp contains a lot of information
and other times it has nothing but the name of the country, type of
visa and date of issuance.
Some countries print their visas on special paper with elements
of security embedded in them. These usually have more detailed
information. They are adhered to the visa page of your passport.
Oftentimes, they are stamped with a raised, embossed emblem of the
country of issuance.
Do I need to get a visa?
The answer depends on your destination
. There are a lot of countries in the world where no visa is required
to visit. This usually applies to tourism only. The majority of
countries that allow visitors to enter for tourism without a visa still
require a visa for other purposes such as business, work or study.
What are the visa application requirements?
The visa application process can vary depending on the country
you are applying to and the type of visa you are requesting. There are
some basic requirements that are common to most countries. These
include a completed visa application form, one or two passport-size
photos, valid passport and payment. Other requirements might include
your travel itinerary, letter of invitation and proof of financial
Where do I apply for a visa?
Visas are acquired through the embassy
or consulate general of the country or countries you wish to visit. The
majority of embassies have a website where you can access information
such as physical address, email address, phone number and, especially,
hours that travelers are attended to. You can either apply for the visa
yourself or, if you are in a hurry, can submit your application through
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