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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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Published:  Mon, 17 Sep 2018 15:09:00 GMT



WaPo Adds Huge Editor's Note to Story Blaming Trump for Denial of Passports to Hispanic U.S. Citizens

A bombshell Washington Post story alleging the Trump administration has increased scrutiny of passport applications from Hispanic citizens near the border is contradicted by official State ...

Published:  Mon, 17 Sep 2018 09:57:00 GMT



Miffed Italy to snub Austria over passports for Italians

Italy says that for now it's snubbing a proposed bilateral meeting in Vienna because of Austria's plan to offer citizenship to mostly German speakers in Italy's South Tyrol region. The Italian ...

Published:  Mon, 17 Sep 2018 11:25:00 GMT



Barbados phases out machine-readable passports for e-passports

Minister of Home Affairs, Edmund Hinkson and Chief Immigration Officer, Wayne Marshall, showing one of the new e-passports. (BARBADOS NATION) Anyone applying for Barbados passports for the first time, ...

Published:  Mon, 17 Sep 2018 20:42:00 GMT



Conte reaffirms Italy's opposition to dual passports for Alto Adige

Populist premier Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday told Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz that Italy remains opposed to granting dual citizenship to the autonomous Alto Adige region's German and Ladin speake...

Published:  Tue, 18 Sep 2018 04:50:00 GMT



Italy's stance clear on passports - Conte tells Kurz

(ANSA) - Rome, September 18 - Premier Giuseppe Conte said Tuesday that he reiterated Italy's opposition to Vienna's plan to give a double passport to Alto Adige's German and Ladin speakers during a me...

Published:  Tue, 18 Sep 2018 04:10:00 GMT



How passports evolved to help governments regulate your movement

The Trump administration is denying passports to US citizens who live in Texas near the US-Mexico border, according to news reports. The administration is accusing applicants of having inadequate docu...

Published:  Sat, 15 Sep 2018 10:30:00 GMT



Eurovision, Henry Cavill, Bob Woodward, Cardinal Dolan, Jon Tester, Michael Moore, Transgender Passports, The Romanoffs, Xtina: HOT LINKS

FAKE RANCHER OF THE DAY. Democratic Senator Jon Tester comes for the cred of his GOP challenger Matt Rosendale. FEAR. Bob Woodward book breaks sales record: "˜Bob Woodward's in-depth and unflattering l...

Published:  Thu, 13 Sep 2018 12:36:00 GMT



Passports, Roaming, Driving Licences If No Deal: Brexit Update

The U.K. issues another batch of papers on its preparations for a no-deal Brexit following a Cabinet meeting, which Bank of England Governor Mark Carney also attended. Firearms (1:38 p.m.) Here is som...

Published:  Thu, 13 Sep 2018 05:09:58 GMT



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