Many people confuse the difference between visa and passport, but they are not the same thing. Both are required when travelling internationally.
Some nations have visa agreements that allow their residents to travel visa-free, but in most situations, anyone travelling to another country must have a passport.
This article explains deeply the difference between visa and passport.
What Is a Passport?
A passport is an official identification document provided by your country of citizenship that is often necessary for international travel. To re-enter your nation of residence, you must normally present a valid passport.
A passport includes important personal information such as your full name, nationality, date of birth, and current photograph. It also includes a number of blank sheets that are stamped while entering and exiting specific nations.
Most modern passports are biometric, which means they have an electronic chip containing biometric information that may be used to validate the holder’s identity.
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Types of Passports?
Depending on your demands and situation, many types of passports are issued:
- Standard passport. This is a typical national passport granted to the majority of a country’s inhabitants.
- Service passport. This sort of passport is provided to government employees and their dependents who are travelling on official business.
- Diplomatic passport: Diplomats and their families are awarded diplomatic passports for overseas travel and residency, usually to serve a state mission. Having this sort of passport, however, does not automatically confer diplomatic immunity; diplomatic privileges are discussed with the host government.
- Emergency Passport: An emergency passport is given when a person has lost or stolen their passport and requires a passport quickly for foreign travel. This form of passport is normally only used temporarily until a regular passport is available.
- Group passport: These travel passports are granted for group travel, such as kids on a school trip.
- Passports for family members. Family passports are granted to a single family for use as a travel document. So, for example, there is one passport holder, and the other members of the family are listed on the document. This was typically true for parents and their young children, but currently, few nations grant passports and demand separate travel documents for each family member.
What Is a Visa?
A visa is a piece of paper granted by a foreign government that allows the holder to travel to and enter their country. A visa can be issued as a single or multiple entry document, and it can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
Depending on your location, you may be able to obtain a visa in a variety of methods, including in advance from an embassy or consulate, or by submitting a visa-on-arrival application at a border entrance checkpoint.
Many nations now allow passengers to apply for an electronic visa online, which speeds up the application process significantly.
Different Visa Types
Depending on your travel purpose, you can apply for one of the various types of visas:
- Tourist Visa: A tourist visa is often provided for a period of 30 to 90 days in order to visit a specific country as a tourist destination. Some countries provide tourist visas for up to ten years, but only for occasional visits.
- Transit Visa: A transit visa is only provided to allow travellers to transit through a country while waiting for connecting flights; it is normally only valid for 24 hours, but it can be issued for up to two weeks.
- Business Visa: This visa is provided to do business in a foreign nation; the validity period varies depending on the country and the type of activity; it can last several months.
- Medical Visa: Medical visas are issued when visitors need to travel to another nation for medical treatment; the duration of the visa is determined by the patient’s situation.
- Student Visa: Students who desire to pursue a degree in a foreign nation are granted student visas, which are valid for the duration of the study program.
- Work permit Visa: Individuals employed in another nation are granted a work visa; the visa is normally valid for the term of the work contract but can be extended.
- Working holiday visa: Working holiday visas are usually good for a year or two and allow people to visit a country as tourists while working in particular industries.
- Pilgrimage: Pilgrimages, such as the Hajj pilgrimage, require pilgrim visas.
- Retirement Visa: This sort of visa is offered to retirees who can sustain themselves in another country during their golden years.
- Immigrant worker’s Visa: Immigrant visas enable someone to get permanent status in another country.
The Difference Between a Passport and a Visa
The primary distinction between a visa and a passport is that passports are granted by your home country’s government and allow you to enter and exit your region of residency.
Visas, on the other hand, are issued by a foreign country’s government and allow you to enter that country’s territory.
Another distinction is that in order to apply for and acquire a visa, you must have a passport. A visa is often connected to the same passport used to complete the application process.
When you change your passport, an approved visa normally expires, and you must apply for a new one before you can continue travelling to your destination.