Difference between Visa and Passport

Key Difference: A passport is a document that is issued by the national government that is used as a personal identification when travelling abroad. Visa is an official document that is issued as permission for entering and residing a country.

Visa and passport are two things that are required for International travelling. These two terms are often used when visiting other countries. Though both of these are required while travelling, these two are different from each other and serve different purposes.

A passport is a document that is issued by the national government that is used as a personal identification when travelling abroad. It can also be used for identity proof inside the country as well. The passport lists the nationality, the country of origin, name, birth date, address and various other details about the holder. It is an legitimate document that can help prove the holder’s identity.

There are various different types of passports that are issued with regards to the holder:

  • Ordinary passport: Ordinary passports are also known as tourist passports and are issued to ordinary citizens that are planning to go abroad for either vacation, tourism, studies, etc.
  • Official passport: Official passports are also known as service passports and are issued official government employees or people that are travelling under official government work. These are for government employees that are travelling for work related reasons.
  • Temporary passport: Temporary passports are also known as emergency passports that are issued for a person that loses his/her passport in a foreign country during travelling. The person is requested to go to the embassy and issue a temporary passport by providing all the details. This passport is also provided when a person’s passport expires during a visit. These passports are usually valid for a short time approximately 1 year.
  • Diplomatic passport: Diplomatic passports are issued for diplomats and consuls that are required to go to other countries for work-related reasons. However, diplomatic passports do not mean that the person has diplomatic immunity. Diplomatic passport holders are also required to issue visas during travelling.
  • Family passport: Family passport are passports that are issued to the whole family. This means that all the members of the family share the passport and they do not get individual passports.
  • Fantasy passport: Fantasy passports are passports that not legitimate though they may seem similar in looks to an original passport. These passports are usually issued under names of countries that no longer exist or names of states in a specific country. These have no particular significance while travelling.

Visa is an official document that is issued as permission for entering and residing a country. A person planning to visit a specific country would have to issue a visa for that particular country asking the government for permission for entering and residing in the country for a specific period of time. Almost all countries require a visa for a person to enter into their boundaries; however some countries do not require any visa such as Albania, Austria, Belgium, Kenya, etc. These are distant from the passport and the visa is usually printed as pasted on a page in the passport.

There are different types of visas depending on the reason for entering the country. The name and type of visas differ depending on the country.

  • Tourist visa: This visa is required for a person that wishes to go into a country only for tourism purposes.
  • Transit visa: Transit visa is short-term visa that is issued for passing through the country to get to another destination.
  • Business visa: Business visa is issued for businessmen that wish to travel to a foreign country and conduct business activities.
  • Temporary worker visa: This visa is issued for temporary workers in a foreign country in order to let them work legitimately.
  • Student visa: This visa is issued for students that wish to travel to a foreign country for further studies.
  • Fiancé visa: This visa is issued to a fiancé of a citizen of the country to which the fiancé is planning to visit. For example: a man from US is planning to marry a woman from UK, the woman would require issuing a fiancé visa in order to visit her fiancé in the US.

Both of these are important documents that are required in order to travel to foreign countries. Any misrepresentation on either document can result in a fine, banishment or punishment.

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