What Is A Visa?

Answers to What Is It?
When Do You Need One?
and
How Do You Get One?

If you haven't traveled to exotic locations, you may well ask, what is a visa?

The more adventurous you get with your travels, the more you need to know about documentation.

You're getting ready for some adventure.

You've got your passport....

Then someone tells you you might need a visa....

OH NO!


Relax...  It's just one more little piece of the travel puzzle...

Getting a visa for travel nothing to worry about.

So... What Is A Visa?

A visa or travel visa is a document giving permission from the country you are going to visit for you to enter their country. 

Visas stamped in a passport

The country you're going to visit collects information about you.

They want to make sure you're one of the good guys.

If you are, then they'll issue a visa to visit for a limited amount of time, or sometimes for the duration of your passport. 

Visas come in different forms.

There are tourist visas,

     --student visas,

     --business visas,

     --work visas and

     --immigrations visas among others.

We'll deal just with tourist visas here. Even tourist visas may be single or multiple entry.

Where Does A Visa Go?

Visas in all their different forms generally go in those blank pages in your passport.

In some instances they may be issued separately, and you will have to carry these documents with you.  (This doesn't happen very often.)

Some counties require you to obtain a visa in you passport before your departure. It may be just an official stamp or it may be a specially glued in page in your passport.

Where Do You Get A Visa?

You may get one at the airport on your arrival in the country...

Or you may need to visit an Embassy or Consulate near you before you leave home...

Or, if you don't live near one, you may need to mail your passport with your application to an Embassy or Consulate.

Some countries issue them electronically.

Where To Check To See If A Visa Is Necessary

Check the website for the Embassy of the country you're going to visit.  They will have information on if a visa is necessary for you.  

You can get information on how much they cost, the rules for application, and probably download an application form.

Do You Always Need A Visa?

No, Not Always

Many countries do not require a visa for entry if you are only going to visit... on vacation.... for less than 30 or 90 days depending on your nationality.

You Don't Need It Ahead, But Upon Entry

As we said above, some counties require a visa, but it can be obtained upon entry.

This requires you to fill out paperwork on arrival in the country.

It may require passport size photos and a fee payable right there on the spot.... and it may need to be in cash.

Check ahead to see if you will need local currency or US dollars or Euros or the local currency.

It may surprise you. When we visited Cambodia, everyone had to pay for their visas in US Dollars.

If You're Honest and Law Abiding, You'll Get A Visa

A visa does not absolutely guarantee you will get into a country. It is always subject to the permission of an immigration official when you enter, and visas can be revoked at anytime if you do something illegal or offensive. 

If you're an honest traveler, you shouldn't have to worry about getting a visa or getting into the country you'd like to visit.

Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it! Judy and Mark

Curious about what else we've written about?  Search our site for a destination or travel tip.

But... We'd love to have you share this page or comment on it…
Thanks, Judy and Mark

Return from What Is A Visa to International Travel Tips l Europe Travel Tips
Hotel and B&B Tips l Packing Lists
Go from What Is A Visa to MouseToursTravels Home Page

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Did it help with your travel planning and preparation? Eager to leave on that next vacation? Please leave your tips or comments in the box below.

Timely Tips

Spring is here in the Northern Hemisphere...
or soon will be.
The almonds and mustard are blooming
The grapes will soon bud out

California Spring - Grapes, Almonds and mustard

It's Fall in the Southern Hemisphere
Great time for an
Australian Wine Tasting Drive.

It's a great time to travel almost anywhere in the world!

Are you planning your travels?
The weather can be changeable, so be sure to pack layers and some rain gear...

See all of our Packing Lists and Tips.

We're busy planning our travels
We're just back from Ethiopia. We're planning on Vietnam and Cambodia later.  Still throwing darts at a map for something in between. How about YOU?

Where Do You Want To Go?
Things to See in Europe
Travel In America
Does Africa Call?

Don't just dream about it...
Start making plans!

Custom Tour Planning List
International Travel Planning Tips
Foreign Is Fun - Not Scary!

Check Your Passport
Do you have yours? Is it up to date?
Get Your Passports and Visas

Search

Search MouseToursTravels
Travel questions or destination info?
Find our answers faster..
.

Translate

We want you to feel comfortable out in the world and on our pages - so surf away in your own language...

Updated Tips & New Travel Stories

  1. Brian McEwan born 1947 Birmingham England UK .

    Brian where is your brother Derek last I heard he was in Thailand

    Read More

  2. Pincher Creek, Alberta, Peter James Mac/McEwan married Mary Gladstone

    We are related to MacEwans from Bollingbrook, Ontario, Canada. Looking to find out how Peter James McEwan is related to Abraham McEwen, both born in Lanark

    Read More

  3. Ethiopia: Oldest Independent Country In Africa

    Go to Ethiopia to see the rock hewn churches, or the endemic wildlife, or the tribal areas. Whatever calls you just go, it’s worth the effort.

    Read More

Two Ways To Like Us!

Like Our Site Top Left
Like Our Fanpage Below
Thank You!

Navigate Our Site

Document Information
Passports and Visas


Passports
What Is A Passport
Passports - How To Get One

What Do Passports Cost?
Acceptable Identification Document
Collecting Passport Stamps

Visas
What Is A Visa?
All About Visas
Getting A Visa
Visa Requirements

Other Documents
U. S. Passport Card

U. S. Travel Authorization

Ready For A New Adventure?

We escape by traveling…
But there are more ways to escape. 
Work on something you LOVE…
With A Website
SBI Teaches You Everything

First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life