Planning your first foreign trip? Here are some basics on visa

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Visa is a word we are all familiar with. In simple terms, visa is an official document that gives the holder the permission to legally enter a foreign country. Visa is issued by the authority of your destination country.

If you are planning to travel abroad in future, you may need to know what type of visa you need. Of course, it depends upon the purpose of your travel or stay in the country.

Travellers wishing to enter another country must apply in advance for a visa. Some countries issue visa-on arrivals for passengers for short visits.

Requirements, fees and processing times vary, depending on the country and type of visa you need. The most common categories are business, work, student and tourist visas.

Work visa

If you received a job offer/confirmation from a foreign country, you can apply for a work visa. There are many types of work visas or permits, depending upon the country, type of job and duration of stay.

Student visa

Student visas are normally long term visa issued for students who intend to purse their studies in any recognized institutes/universities in the destination country. These can be short or long term visas depending upon the duration of your course/programme.

Tourist visa

These are mostly short term visas issued for leisure travellers who intend to explore the place as a tourist. Tourist visa holders are barred from involving in any kind of business activities.

Business visa

Business visas are issued for people for travelling to a foreign country for engaging in commercial activities.

Medical visa
Medical visa is issued to individuals or families for seeking medical treatment at recognized and specialized hospitals and treatment centres for undertaking diagnostics or a course of treatment in the visited country’s hospitals or other medical facilities.

Research Visa

Some countries including India, issue research visa to pursue research in any field. These are often limited-period visas which can be extended on application.

There are several other types of visas like refugee visa, athletic or artistic visa, cultural exchange visa, private visa, working holiday visa, pilgrimage visa etc issued by selected countries.

This is why it is very important to clearly state your purpose of travel to a country while applying for a visa.

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