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Passports vs Travel Visas

Thinking of traveling abroad? Certain documentation will be needed to not only enter a foreign country, but to also return to your own upon completion of your travels.

One such document that may be required is a passport. A passport is a document which is issued by a national government as a means of identification for the person who holds it. It certifies the identity and nationality of the person listed on the document, which is important when traveling internationally.

In the United States, passports are issued through one of the State Department's 14 passport issuing centers. They also can be issued through clerks at federal and state courts, designated post offices and U.S. consular authorities in foreign countries for citizens who are living abroad. Persons applying for a passport must provide proof of citizenship and residency at the time of the application, as well as a passport-specific photo.

Passports expire every 10 years for citizens over the age of 18 and every five years for those under 18. Upon expiration, passports must be replaced if the holder wishes to continue having one. Because people change in appearance with age, passports cannot simply be renewed, but must be completely replaced, including with an updated photo of the passport holder.

However, there are some instances when a passport may not be needed, or is not the only requirement for visiting a foreign country. There are times when a travel visa may be required.

What is a travel visa and how is it different from a passport?

A travel visa is a stamp or sticker that is placed on a traveler's passport by officials of a foreign country. The travel visa grants permission for that person to visit or spend an extended period of time in that foreign country. Over 270 countries offer travel visas. The kind of visa required depends on the reason for the visit. Many countries require travel visas in order to enter and spend time within their borders. Even with a passport, there are countries which restrict travel to those who do not also possess a travel visa.

In order to obtain a travel visa, a valid passport is required. Many countries which require travel visas also require that a person possess a valid passport for at least six months prior to using it to apply for a travel visa. The U.S. Department of State offers tips and tools for applying for visas for foreign travel.. Because requirements for visas change frequently, it is best to check with the state department prior to planning any trip abroad.

Travel visas aren't just used by Americans wishing to visit other countries. They also are required for foreign citizens who wish to enter the United States. There are two types of visas issued by the U.S. government: nonimmigrant visas and immigrant visas.

Nonimmigrant visas are required for foreign guests who wish to spend an extended period of time in the United States, whether for tourism, business or personal reasons, but who intend to return to their home country.

Immigrant visas are for citizens of foreign countries who wish to relocate permanently to the United States, often for work purposes. Obtaining an immigrant visa is the first step toward applying for permanent residency.

The 21 most powerful passports in the world

These stark differences are revealed in the Passport Index, which ranks countries based on the number of nations where residents can enter without a visa or obtain a visa on arrival. The citizenship planning firm Henley & Partners compiled government data ...

Published:  Wed, 23 May 2018 10:22:00 GMT



Brits accused of setting fire to Magaluf hotel have passports confiscated unless they hand over £26,000 bail each

Four Brits arrested over a massive fire at a Magaluf hotel have been released on bail after appearing in court - but banned from leaving the island until they stump up £26,300 between them. They have been told they will be given their passports back only ...

Published:  Wed, 23 May 2018 13:36:00 GMT



Romanian Parliament passes bill increasing validity of passports

The Chamber of Deputies passed on Wednesday, May 23, the bill that extends the validity of simple electronic passports to ten years for people aged 18 and over. The project was adopted with 276 votes in favor, local Hotnews.ro reported. Thus, the simple ...

Published:  Wed, 23 May 2018 04:50:00 GMT



Exclusive - Jumping ship: Brexit-hit EU staff ditch UK passports

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - About one in 10 British civil servants at the European Commission has taken another EU nationality since the Brexit vote, but are nonetheless resigned to scant prospects of future promotion. Figures from European Union data provided to ...

Published:  Mon, 14 May 2018 06:22:00 GMT



The Passport Index: a beautiful guide to the passports of the world

Josh from Fight for the Future writes, "The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is threatening to rollback its net neutrality protections, which help make the Internet a place of equal opportunity and international innovation." The workday is ...

Published:  Wed, 16 May 2018 09:43:00 GMT



Germany knocked off top spot as world's most powerful passports revealed

Japan has knocked Germany off top spot on the list of the world's most powerful passport, according to new research, while the UK has fallen from third to fourth. The ranking by Henley & Partners, a citizenship and planning firm, takes into account how ...

Published:  Tue, 22 May 2018 06:00:18 GMT



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