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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.

Six Ghana missions abroad issuing passports

Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has said that Ghanaians in the diaspora have not been left out in the extension of passport services. She said six ...

Published:  Thu, 23 May 2019 10:30:00 GMT



Taiwan consultancy caught forging Philippine passports

(MENAFN - Asia Times) A well-known immigration consultancy in Taipei City in Taiwan was in trouble on Monday for allegedly forging Philippine passports to help more than 10 Taiwanese pupils get ...

Published:  Wed, 22 May 2019 22:00:00 GMT



Africa Cup of Nations: South Africa wait on passports for players

Stuart Baxter is in his second stint as South Africa coach South Africa coach Stuart Baxter has named a provisional squad of 30 players to prepare for next month's Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. He ...

Published:  Tue, 21 May 2019 05:18:00 GMT



Punk band loses gear, passports after van stolen during Montreal festival

Montreal police are investigating after a punk/rock band in town to perform at a music festival had their van stolen. The Penske File, a band from Burlington, Ont., was playing at Pouzza Fest, a ...

Published:  Mon, 20 May 2019 13:51:00 GMT



Should passports require male or female gender? Intersex Coloradan, states argue no

Nine state attorneys general asked a federal appeals court on Wednesday to allow an intersex Colorado resident to get a passport listing the person's gender as nonbinary instead of male or female. The ...

Published:  Thu, 16 May 2019 06:10:00 GMT



Android electronic ID support targeting driver's licenses first, passports later

Smartphones already store tons of privileged information from credit cards and boarding passes, but they may soon replace our driver's licenses, our passports, and maybe even our keyfobs, too. We got ...

Published:  Mon, 13 May 2019 11:19:00 GMT



Fight For Nonbinary Passports Now Involves 8 States & Colorado

Eight states have joined Colorado's Attorney General, Phil Weiser, in an ongoing case of a Coloradan fighting to get a passport. ...

Published:  Wed, 15 May 2019 18:05:01 GMT



Golden Arches to the Rescue! McDonald's Can Help Americans Who Lose Their Passports in This Country

McDonald's will help Americans who lose their passports or need any travel assistance with a hotline to the U.S. Embassy. Buzz60's Sean Dowling has more. ...

Published:  Wed, 22 May 2019 08:50:00 GMT



Do Babies Need Passports?

Planning an international trip with the newest addition to your family? Here's what you'll need to have (and do) well in advance of take off and landing. As if you weren't already juggling enough as a ...

Published:  Mon, 20 May 2019 15:20:00 GMT



Thieves steal passports, computers from UH Women's Water Polo team at NCAA championship

Wednesday night, thieves broke into two of the team's vans in Palo Alto, California and stole passports, computers, cameras, and equipment. PALO ALTO, Calif. - The University of Hawaii Women's Water ...

Published:  Fri, 10 May 2019 15:33:00 GMT



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