Difference Between a Visa and a Passport: Complete Guide

Written by

Inayat Sharma

Fact check by

Divyansh Chaudhari

Updated on

Jul 25,2024

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Doing an international trip not only broadens one's horizons but it creates cherishing and memorable moments in one's life. Whether it is for relaxation, work, or study, sometimes people also need some kind of document to allow them to enter foreign countries. If the trips are essential, the passports and visas become the most essential travel documents. Even though they are major elements of international travelling, they play different roles. The traveller should, therefore, know what each one does to have a smooth journey. Keep reading further to gain more knowledge about the difference between a visa and a passport.

What is a Passport?

Let us know what is a passport. An official identification document, a passport issued by one particular country and globally used to determine identity, is surely the most basic travel document one can possess. It includes fundamental personal data, namely one's name, date of birth, nationality, and other features that set this individual apart from every other. However, passports are obviously prominently marked with a photograph of the holder and a variety of security measures embedding anti-forgery or unnecessary tampering. This answers the prevalent question of what a passport is.

Comprehend the Meaning Behind Passport

The necessary job of a passport is to determine one to be a citizen as well as to be in a position to cross international borders legally. Apart from being a legal document, a passport generally assists your movement into another nation and immigration. Also, other countries may grant visas, entry stamps, or residency permits to passports as proof of permission to travel or stay in their localities.

Types of Passports in 2024

Visas are issued by different countries, patiently packed with the eligibility of the holder. These include:

1. Regular Passport: They work under these conditions and for the leisure of travelling.

2. Diplomatic Passport: Granted to diplomats and government officials who have their own business or official trips exclusively.

3. Official Passport: Mint's main message to the functionaries or envoys of a government working on official duty.

4. Emergency Passport: These issues are provided to people in such cases when a regular passport is inaccessible.

What is a Visa?

Let us know what is a visa. Although the passport is an icon for identity and nationality, the visa is a direct permission (endorsement or authorization) granted by the foreign country that lets the holder enter, stay, or travel within that certain country and for a determined purpose for a certain period only. Usually, visas are stuck or glue-stamped inside the passport to put certain conditions on the entry, such as the maximum duration of stay, permitted activities, and the later dates of expiration.

Different Types of Visas in 2024

There are different types of visas used for and on different occasions. Visas are issued in different types and suit different reasons for travel and durations. Some common visa categories include: Some common visa categories include:

1. Tourist Visa: Let people move around the country or the world for tourism or pleasure reasons. The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of sports in promoting social inclusion and community development. Sports have long been recognized as an effective tool for building a more united and resilient society. By examining the various ways in which sports can foster social integration and community development, the following paragraphs will provide a comprehensive overview of the topic.

2. Business Visa: Prevents business travels, which may include conferences, meetings, or negotiations.

3. Student Visa: This is specified for learners who intend to complete their education or academic programs in different countries.

4. Work Visa: Implements the spread of occupations or activities across a foreign region.

5. Transit Visa: Helps free movement through a particular country which is on the way to the last destination.

Difference Between a Visa and a Passport





Proves your identity and citizenship for international travel

Grants permission to enter a specific foreign country

Issued by

Your country of citizenship's government

Embassy or consulate of the country you want to visit


Typically 5 or 10 years (needs renewal)

Varies depending on the purpose and type of visa (can be days, weeks, months, or even years)

Requirement for travel

Required in most cases for international travel

It is not always required; it depends on agreements between countries


A small booklet with your photo, biographical information, and nationality

A stamp or sticker placed on your passport


How to Obtain a Visa?

How one gets a visa also changes country by country, where the destination country's immigration policy is a dependent variable, and the purpose of travel is another variable. Generally, the applicants are required to submit an application form and attach supporting documents, and a face-to-face interview may be held at the embassy or consulate. Apart from other necessary documents, the criteria could comprise a deposition of monetary means, accommodation arrangements, travel schedules, and medical certificates.

Comprehensiveness: A passport can be used for multiple purposes, such as international travel, obtaining foreign residence permits, and other official dealings. On the other hand, a visa is limited in scope; it is merely used for entry and (eventually) exit from a country.

While passports and visas are both essential for international travel, they serve distinct purposes and possess different characteristics: While passports and visas are both essential for international travel, they serve distinct purposes and possess different characteristics:

1. Purpose: An identity and a nationality are confirmed with a passport, while a visa is a document basis for entry into, stay, and travel within a foreign country.

2. Issuance: Passport owners use their country passports to travel, but the destination country issues a visa.

3. Validity: Passports are validated for a longer period than the usual validity for visas, frequently ranging between five and ten years on average in comparison to the type of visa and country of destination.

4. Entry Requirements: Passports are always required for all international journeys, while visas are only payment for the people whose governments do not demand visas focusing on the citizenship of the traveller and the purpose of the visit to the country.


Passports and visas are non-negotiable documents of identity that display similar features but are based on distinct regulatory frameworks. The difference between a Visa and a Passport is very fundamental; whilst passports work as a document of confirmation of belonging to a certain country, with visas, one is thus granted permission to enter a foreign country to do specific activities. Being able to differentiate between the two documents ensures that a traveller will efficiently manage the multiple layers of a global movement, which can be complex. 

Besides, if you want to travel just for fun or for precisely studying abroad, or for business, you should make sure that everything is alright with the passport and visa issue so that travel would become as easy as pie. In this blog, we found the answers to what a passport is, what a visa is and their comparison. We understood what is the difference between a visa and a passport. We answered some fundamental questions like - What is a passport and what is a visa. We got to know about the different types of visas.

If you are looking for the difference between a visa and a passport and if you want to get a visa to any country, TerraTern is right for you to help you achieve it.

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