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When travelling to certain countries for certain purposes, it may be mandatory that you apply for a visa. This is pretty much a permit to visit that country for your chosen purpose.
Every country has its own visa system. You’ll usually be able to find all the information you need online, as well as being able to apply online. Fees and requirements can vary depending on the country you’re travelling to and the type of visa you’re applying for.
Just what are the main types of visas? While some countries have numerous types of visas, there are four main visa types that you should know about. This post details the differences between each type of visa and what to expect when applying.
If you’re travelling abroad on vacation, you may need to apply for a tourist visa when visiting certain countries. These are the easiest types of visa to obtain. In fact, you may not even need to pay a fee or file an online application in many cases if you’re travelling from the US to another country – 174 countries around the world do not require you to apply for a visa when travelling with a US passport.
Countries that do require you to apply for a visa in advance include the likes of China, India, Russia and Vietnam. You’ll need to visit the country’s website, complete an online form and pay a small fee in each case. This should be done at least a few days in advance to allow time for your visa to be processed.
If you’re travelling abroad to study at a school or university, you’ll likely have to apply for a student visa. This allows you to stay longer than you would with a tourist visa for the purpose of studying.
Some countries have different categories of student visa to choose from, which can get confusing. For example, the US has F and M visas for students, but may require J1 visas in certain circumstances where studies may also be seen as work – a J1 visa lawyer may be worth hiring in such cases.
Work visas may be required if you’re travelling abroad for work purposes. These are often divided into various different categories depending on the type of work.
For example, if you’re going on a short business trip, you will likely need a different visa than if you are working for a foreign employer for several months. Make sure to apply for the right visa. Fees can vary, and you will usually have to apply quite far in advance.
Immigration visas are required if you plan to live in a country for a certain length of time (usually over 90 days). These can be some of the most complicated visas to apply for, and often come with higher fees. Of course, it depends on what country you’re migrating from and which country you’re migrating to.
There are different forms of immigration visa that you can apply for depending on the circumstance. For example, if you have a spouse that lives abroad, you may be able to apply for a spouse visa. Refugees meanwhile have the option to claim asylum.