has become one of the sought-after passions and almost always included in the
to-do bucketlist of people. As Francis Bacon puts it, travel is a part of
education for the younger sort and a part of experience for the elder. However
traveling to a foreign country, be it short or long term, often requires some
proper government documents such as a travel visa upon entry.
is travel visa and why is it important?
from Latin charta visa, translated as
“papers which has been seen”. A visa is a travel endorsement granted by legitimate
representative allowing a foreign individual to enter, travel through or reside
in the country for certain duration. A travel visa typically includes the following
information: issuing country; holder’s photo and personal data such as surname,
given name, passport number, date of birth, gender; status or type of issued visa;
period of sojourn; number of entries; place and date of issue; final entry date
or expiration. The actual visa is either a sticker form or a stamp on the
passport while an electronic document or e-visa may possible be issued by a
country. Reasons for visit, proof of funds, return ticket or a confirmation
that the holder will return home and particulars of past trips are some of the
considerations to get an approved visa issuance. A travel visa typically grants
non-citizens access to enter a country with limited and specific restrictions
such as length of stay, time frame for entry and employment. However it does
not ensure smooth entry or approval to enter the country. The holder still need
to undergo scrutiny by an immigration officer and may be dismissed at the port on
landing or any time during the tour. The traveller may also be obliged to go
through physical wellness and safety tests upon entry.
critical to safeguard the citizens and secure the borders of countries. Though
visa is universal, the requirements differ by country. It is necessary to
consider the home country, citizenship status and country of destination. Citizens
of some countries are fortunately visa exempted and may travel coolly to other
countries for a limited duration of time. While others may face adversity or
get refusal from obtaining visa to visit specific countries. For examples,
South Korean tourists are not allowed to enter the North while citizens of
Israel are banned and other foreign visitors with Israeli visa or stamp may be
refused entry to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
are the major types of visa around the world?
nation has several types of visa, which sometimes bear different names. The two
major types of visa according to the duration of stay nonimmigrant and
Nonimmmigrant visa is granted to
individuals who will stay momentarily in a foreign country. It can be divided
into 4 types based on the purpose of travel, such as visitor visa, official
visa, transit visa and long-stay visa.
Short-stay or visitor visa can be further subdivided
according to reason. Tourist visa is
issued for pleasure and leisure travel with time constrain. Business visa allows holder to conduct,
manage or own an investment activity and engage in commerce without having to
do actual work. Working holiday visa
is issued to travellers who want to work briefly in the country. Medical
visa is granted to individuals seeking medical consultation and procedure
in specialized hospitals or other leading medical facilities of the destination
country. Private visa is granted for
private visits usually with invitation from citizens of the destination
country. Athletic or artistic visa is
intended for athletes and artists including supporting staff, who will engage
in events like concerts, shows and competitions. Cultural exchange visa is granted to individuals partaking in global
cultural exchange program. Pilgrimage
visa is issued to foreign pilgrims who wish to visit sacred places and take
part in spiritual activities. However, holders of this type of visa may only be
allowed to travel in congregation. Examples are Holy Land Pilgrimage visa and
Saudia Hajj visa. Refugee visa is for
stateless people who flee from threats of persecution with human rights violations
in their own country and seek asylum in another land.
Official visa is intended for
government officials or representatives travelling abroad for diplomatic
missions and official duties. Diplomatic
visa is solely given to politicians or diplomats holding a diplomatic
passport. Courtesy visa is granted to
global organizations or foreign government personnel who are not eligible under
the diplomatic status. A good example is Australia’s Special purpose visa.
A transit visa is issued temporarily at
specific airport counter during intermediate international stopover. Some
countries grant transit visa only if the visitor’s stopover is 24 hours or
more. However Singapore can issue transit visa even for 4 hours stopover in the
country and provides free tour. Countries such as United Kingdom, Britain and
England requires a Direct Airside Transit
Visa (DATV) from countries outside the European Economic Area and
Switzerland, who will be traveling through their airports and changing flights
but will not pass through the immigration control. Crew member, steward or driver visa on the other hand is issued to individuals
working in international transportation.
Long-stay visa is valid for an
extended and fixed stay. Student visa
or study abroad visa is obtained to experience education in another country.
This may apply to exchange students for just few weeks or to students seeking
higher education such as masters or PhD and may stay for two to three years.
Training and research visa allows holders to participate in work-related
trainings or development programs for skills enhancement. Temporary worker visa or work permits allows a foreign national to
legally secure employment in the country. Some countries issue this visa only
to approved employment before arrival to the country. While in other countries
holder of this visa may be eligible to apply for a permanent residency or
naturalization. Journalist visa is
required from media crew and production team for broadcast or media production
purposes. Residence visa may be in
the form of document or card, issued to non-citizens to live, work and study in
the country for indefinite or fixed time duration. This may either be temporary
residency or permanent residency. Asylum
visa is issued to protect people who were exiled and suffered or reasonably
fear persecution in home country for political reasons.
Immigrant visa is issued to a
foreign individual who intends to immigrate permanently in the country. Spouse or partner visa is granted to
legally wedded wife or husband, de facto partner or civil partner of a resident
or citizen so that the couple can live together in the country. Marriage visa allows the foreign fiancé
or fiancée to enter the country prior the proposed date of marriage or civil partnership
with the citizen petitioner. Pensioner
visa, also popularly regarded as retiree or retirement visa, is issued by
several countries to foreigners who wish to retire in the country with pension,
irrevocable annuity or retirement fund. This may or may not be limited by age,
depending on the conditions of the issuing country.
is a fulfilling and pleasurable experience. Although people are free to travel
around the world, travellers still need to ask permission to enter and visit
other nations by obtaining the required and specific travel visa. Visa
application can be tricky but there are available business services that can
help expedite the process.