In its broadest sense, a travel visa is what allows a person to travel in and out of a country. A travel visa appears as a stamp or a sticker that is officially placed on the inside of the traveler’s passport, along with their other passport information.
Travel visas generally need to be obtained for each country that the traveler intends to enter. When granted, it allows the person to enter that country and stay there for specified period of time. After the visa time period expires, the person needs to leave the country, usually to return to their country of origin.
Is a Travel Visa the Same as a Tourist Visa?
The terms travel visa and tourist visa are often used interchangeably. However, they can mean very different things. Technically speaking, every visa allows a person to travel in or out of a particular country. However, a tourist visa is a very specific category of visas under immigration law.
Tourist visas are temporary visas that allow a person to enter the country for recreational or other purposes. Also, popular usage of the term “tourist visa” refers to immigrants who are traveling to the U.S. for a short stay. In comparison, “travel visa” usually refers to the stamp that a U.S. citizen gets when traveling out of the country to visit another place.
Tourist visas are also called visitor visas, and can include many types of visas, including visas for tourism, medical treatment, or recreation.
Is a Travel Visa Always Needed?
For persons entering the U.S. from another country, a visa is required for entrance, or for re-entry into the U.S. after leaving for a while. Again, the requirements for entry visas will depend on many factors, including the country of origin and the person’s purpose for entering the U.S.
Failure to have a valid visa when entering the U.S. can lead to serious legal consequences, including deportation or other such consequences.
For persons traveling to other countries, the requirements for travel visas will ultimately depend on which country the person is traveling to. Some countries do not actually require an entrance visa, while other countries issue a “visa on arrival” document at their borders. If you are unsure, you may wish to speak with a lawyer for advice on visa requirements, since these can change depending on the nature of your trip.
What Are the Requirements for a Travel Visa?
It is essential to research a specific country's entry requirements before beginning your trip. Common travel visa requirements:
- Some countries require that the passport of the traveler does not expire within 6 months of the date you leave the country. It is highly recommended that if your visa is going to expire within 6 months of the date that you are planning on returning to the US, to renew your passport before departure.
- Have at least three blank pages in your current passport when traveling to other countries.
- Proof of citizenship: All foreign countries require the traveler to show proof of US citizenship upon entry of the country. This requires the person flying abroad to have a valid passport upon entry of the country and upon re-entry of the US.
- Immunization: Some countries may want travelers to be vaccinated against yellow fever, malaria, and other infectious diseases.
- Flu shots are also a possible requirements in most countries.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Travel Visa Issues?
Travel visas are an important requirement for anyone traveling to or from a different country. In order to avoid being subject to an immigration violation, it’s in your best interests to contact an immigration lawyer if you need help with a travel visa. Your attorney can advise you on how to file for one, or how to file for one on behalf of a loved one. Also, if you are being summoned to appear before an immigration court, your attorney can provide you with the necessary legal representation.