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Differences Between a Visa and a Passport

Passport Questions

There are a number of similarities between a passport and a visa, but there are also substantial differences between the two. A passport is needed for travel to any international destination, no matter what route a resident of the United States of America selects for their travel plans. A visa is only needed for travel to certain countries. American travelers do not need to obtain a visa if they are traveling through Europe, although depending on the county, a visa may be needed for visits lasting thirty to one hundred and eighty days in a single country.

A passport is issued by the country from which the traveller departs. A visa is issued by the country to which to traveler arrives.

Although any international travel will require a passport, a travel agent or a person who works in a country's embassy or consulate can be an invaluable resource for individuals who want to find out if they will need to obtain a visa to visit a country.

There are fourteen common visa categories, although not every kind of visa is offered by each country. The common visa types are a transit visa, a tourist visa, a business visa, a temporary worker visa, an on-arrival visa, a spousal or partner visa, a working holiday visa, a diplomatic or official visa, a courtesy visa, a marriage visa, and an immigrant visa, as well as a pensioner, retiree or retirement visa.

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