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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.

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Next time you board an international flight, double - no, triple - check that your passport is with you. Otherwise, you may run the risk of ruining your vacation, just like 27-year-old couple Lewis Mu...

Published:  Sun, 08 Jul 2018 10:39:00 GMT



IRS Begins Revoking Passports of Americans Owing Back Taxes

Not only does the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have the power to seize your property, put liens on your property, and criminally prosecute you for your failure to "consent" to the federal tax on you...

Published:  Mon, 16 Jul 2018 06:34:00 GMT



New centers to accelerate handing electronic passports

KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior announced yesterday that the new electronic passports centers are for handing of the passports while the old service centers are designated for submitting requ...

Published:  Sat, 14 Jul 2018 17:00:00 GMT



Soldiers don't always need passports to deploy overseas, but may run into problems without them

VICENZA, Italy - A Vicenza-based soldier recently taking a bus trip to Croatia was denied entry at the Slovenia border because he didn't have a passport, only a passport card. He had to take a taxi to ...

Published:  Fri, 13 Jul 2018 04:46:00 GMT



Congress Colluded With IRS to Strip Citizens of Passports

In an extremely troubling move three years ago, the Republican-controlled Congress handed the Internal Revenue Service the power to strip individuals of one of the most important and tangible rights p...

Published:  Tue, 10 Jul 2018 21:01:00 GMT



The 25 Most Powerful Passports in the World

You would think that a passport is your key to the world, but did you know that not all passports are alike It's true. Some countries' passports only get you into a few countries, based on relations ...

Published:  Mon, 09 Jul 2018 13:59:00 GMT



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