What is a travel visa? A visa is an official travel permission document issued by the destination country to the traveler.
A visa is usually stamped or glued inside the passport with issue and expiration dates. The dates and the visa document is basically the permission from the foreign governing authority for you to enter their country.
Visa requirements, fees and processing times vary from each country and the type of visa you need. Visa could be requested and issued for:
- medical purposes
- work or business
A Short History of Travel Visa
It’s interesting to note that the history of the visa is actually short. Most visas rules and requirements came after world war 2. Earlier, it was just the passport. The word “visa” comes from the Latin word “charta visa”, which means “paper which has been seen”.
It’s important to note that “charta visa” could very well be the equivalent for ancient passports. A passport is basically your citizenship identity document which tells the destination authority about your origination. This helps in monitoring trade and tourism.
All visas are conditional and they are for a limited time with an expiration date and other terms and conditions (such as showing the ability to cover the cost of the trip, et. al).
These days, due to the rise in the internet and computer technologies, more and more countries are offering eVisa, On Arrival Visa, or Temporary Travel Permits and Transit Visas.
This saves the visa application and processing time and reduces the cost for both the offering authorities and the receiving entity. But not all countries offer electronic or on-arrival-visa, so it is important to check whether you need to apply for a tourist visa in advance or not.
For some countries, such as the U.S., travelers from most Asian countries must apply for a travel visa in advance, sometimes in person at a consular office., by mail or over the internet.
The actual visa may still be an endorsement in the passport or may take the form of a separate document or an electronic record of the authorization, which the applicant can print before leaving home and produce on entry to the host country.
Some countries do not require visas for short visits. Some countries such as Canada and Australia may offer the visa service by postal mail or over the internet for residents of some select countries.
The best of all, some countries do not require visas at all for short visits. For the list of these destinations, check out our Visa related blogs below. No one likes to go through the process of visa. The world would be a more connected and beautiful place without boundaries.
But, these restrictions are put in place for some very good reasons. Anyways, friends, we have to do whatever it is required. We only care about travel. In the end, that’s all that matters. Happy border crossing and happy international travels!