A visa is a travel document that allows you to enter a foreign country for a specific period of time. In most cases, you have to apply for a visa before travelling, either at an embassy, consulate, or online. Sometimes you can also obtain a visa on arrival. Visas are usually affixed onto your passport and state how long you can stay.
Most countries impose visa requirements for foreign nationals as a security measure: to keep track of who enters and to stop illegal immigration. Visas are also used as a defensive effort, stopping security risks from entering a country.
Visa Types by Purpose
Some of the common visa types by purpose of travel include:
Tourist visas: Tourist visas are entry permits issued for recreational purposes. Tourist types of visas are short-term, usually valid for three months, and you cannot work while on a tourist visa. There is usually no limit to how many times you can apply for a tourist visa for the same country— as long as the embassy/consulate grants the visa; you can freely travel.
Transit visas: A transit visa allows you to pass through a specific country while traveling to a third destination country. For example, if you have an Indian passport and you are travelling to Canada, but during your trip you have a layover in a Schengen country, you will need a Schengen transit visa. Usually, this type of visa is issued for 24 up to 96 hours, but it can also be issued for ten days up to two weeks—depending on which country you transit through. You have to apply for a transit visa before traveling; transit visas are not issued at the airport.
Medical visa: You can apply for a medical visa to seek medical treatment in a foreign country. Medical visas are short-term issued for the duration of the medical procedure and the patient’s recovery time. To qualify for this type of visa, you need to provide evidence from your doctor regarding your condition and proof that you have found a hospital and a doctor in your destination country who will perform the required procedure.
Working holiday visas: Working holiday visas are short-term permits that can be considered a mix of the tourist and work visas. The purpose of this visa is to allow you to explore a foreign country like on a holiday while working to support your trip financially. Most countries have restrictions on what type of work you can do and how many hours you can work. Generally speaking, working holiday visas are issued for a year or two, and you can only apply for the visa once (except Australia’s working holiday visa). To be eligible for a work and holiday visa, in most cases, you must be between the ages of 18-30.
Student visas: Student visas are issued for educational purposes and are usually valid for the duration of your study program. As a result, your study visa can last between one to four years, or even more, depending on your course. You cannot work in another country with a student visa unless your host country permits you.
Work visas: If you find work in a foreign country, you must apply for a work visa. Work visas are usually issued for long-term purposes from one up to four years, but these changes depending on your work contract. Your working visa serves as a route to a permanent residence permit in most cases.
Family reunification visas: A visa for family reunification is issued when your spouse lives and works in another country. This visa allows you to become a temporary (or permanent) resident in the country where your partner is working. Usually, a family visa is also issued to any minor children you or your spouse have.
Investment visas: An investment visa allows you to become resident in another country if you make a significant financial investment. The required investment varies (in a startup, bonds, a government fund, etc.) but the result must be the same: a positive financial impact and/or employment opportunities. In some countries, you may also acquire a visa if you purchase real estate property.
Official visas: Official visas allow you to do diplomatic work as a representative of your country abroad. Some of the most commonly issued official permits are diplomatic visas, but some countries also provide service and courtesy visas.
Refuge or asylum visas: You can apply for a refugee or an asylum seeker visa if you are being persecuted in your home country due to religious, racial, or political reasons. Every country issues their own visa to accommodate persons who have refugee status.
Digital nomad visas: To qualify for a digital nomad visa, you must meet the definition of a digital nomad. This definition varies depending on the country, but it’s usually someone who can work remotely either for a company or individual clients. To apply for this type of visa, you must find a country with a digital nomad immigration program.
Retirement visas: A retirement visa is issued to foreigners who want to retire outside of their home country. It is issued only to those that have reached their retirement age and is given in form of a residence permit. Usually, authorities require proof of sufficient funds to support yourself.
Pilgrimage visas: Pilgrimage visas are issued to people who want to complete a religious journey in another country. An example of a pilgrimage visa is the Hajj visa issued by Saudi Arabia to Muslims who want to complete the sacred journey of Hajj in Mecca. These types of visas are usually issued for a group of people rather than an individual and are valid only for the time it takes to complete the pilgrimage.
Common Reasons for Visa Rejection
These are some of the most common reasons why your visa application may be rejected:
Passport validity: Most countries will require you to have a valid passport with at least three or six months validity period. However, whether this period begins when you enter or depart the country depends on your travel destination.
Passport blank pages: The number of required blank pages on your passport differs from country to country, but it is usually two to four pages. Blank pages are required so there is enough space to stamp your passport and visa.
Vaccination requirements: Several countries in Africa ask you to have an international vaccination certificate; otherwise, you won’t be granted a visa.
Criminal record: It’s almost impossible to obtain a visa with a criminal record; only a few select countries, i.e., the US, and Canada, will grant a waiver for your criminal record when you need a visa.
Travel ban: All governments have the power to declare a person “persona non grata.” As a result, diplomats and non-diplomats will not be allowed to enter a specific country.
Inadequate health insurance coverage: In many countries it is obligatory for all visitors to have travel health insurance coverage.
Visa Duration and Validity
Visas can be issued for the following durations and validities:
Short-stay: A short-stay visa can be issued for anywhere between a few days to several months. This type of visa is usually issued for tourists, business people, or other short-term purposes, like seeking medical attention or visiting family.
Long-stay: A long-stay visa can be issued for months or years. Sometimes, residence permits are also referred to as long-stay visas.
Single-entry: As the name suggests, a single-entry visa only allows you to enter that specific country or area once. After you leave, you cannot return, even if you have remaining days.
Multiple-entry: With a multiple-entry visa, you can enter a country or area multiple times, as long as the visa is valid.
Documents Required to Obtain a Visa
The documents required for a specific visa type may differ from country to country. However, the documents needed for each country are as follows:
• Certificate of residence
• Full Certificate of Identity Registration Example
• Family Passport (valid for married candidates who wish to apply)
• Professional Status Certificate
• Bank account statement
• Biometric Photo
How to Get a Visa?
To obtain a visa, one must apply with consulates or relevant foreign representatives. In addition, it is possible to apply for a visa through intermediary institutions and tolls at the airport or border gates. Before going to these institutions, it is necessary to prepare the required documents and then fill out the petition given during the application. Nowadays, with the development of technology, visa applications can also be made online. For this, ‘E-Visa’ is an alternative to the visa process at the door. However, this application is not yet used by every country. Online application requests can only be made for Bahrain, New Zealand, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Moldova, Kuwait, India, Singapore, Malaysia and America.
Different Visa Formats
Visas come in different forms depending on the country of issue and the method of obtaining them.
Examples of different visa formats include:
Electronic visas (eVisas) are obtained by applying online. In many cases, it is not necessary to print a physical document. Instead, the visa is electronically linked to the traveler’s passport. When the passport is scanned, the visa is read by the country’s immigration system.
However, some destinations require passengers to print and bring a paper copy of the eVisa document.
Traditionally, visas took the form of stamps in the traveler’s passport. Many countries still use this approach. Alternatively, some countries now put stickers in the passport instead.
Some countries issue visas as a separate document, often with a photo of the traveler. This must be presented along with the passport.
Unlike the aforementioned visas, there are also visas such as UK Visa, Canada Visa, Dubai Visa and China Visa. The common point of these visas, which are called with different names according to regions or countries, is that they are classified according to their purposes. In summary, visas other than Schengen Visa are tourist visas, transit visas, student visas, visas at the border gate and work visas.
How 360 Overseas Can Help You?
Planning travel to other countries and want help getting your Visa hassle-free? 360 Overseas makes the online Indian visa application smooth with our specialized assistance. Here is how we can help:
• We advise if you are eligible for an e-Visa or need a regular sticker visa based on your nationality and travel plans.
• Our experts fillyour e-Visa forms accurately to avoid reject ions and ensure easy approval.
• We check allyour documents thoroughly and edit any letters needed to match e-Visa specificat ions.
• We submit the complete visa application online secure ly on the e-Visa website on your behalf.
• We closely track the status and provide regular updates until e-Visa approval comes through.
• Once approved, we get your e-Visa delivered to your email so you get it promptly for travel.
• Our support is available throughout the process to guide you on a ny e-Visa question and ensure a smooth application experience.
360 Overseas has the knowledge, experience and robust processes to help you navigate complex visa procedures and file your visa application with greater confidence.
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