Difference Between Passport and Visa - Unravelling the Key Significance

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Difference Between Passport and Visa - Unravelling the Key Significance

Travelling across the world is not rocket science. You can plan an international trip if you have your travel documents ready! In simpler words, if you have a passport and a visa in place, you can plan a trip across the world with just a few clicks and taps on your screen.

As previously said, the main task while planning a journey is obtaining a Visa and Passport. But what is a Visa and a Passport exactly?

Well, a Passport is the proof of identity issued by your country, whereas a visa is a stamp issued by a foreign country authorising you to stay in the country. However, defining the passport and visa difference within just a few lines may not be enough. Thus, this blog will elaborate on the key difference between a passport and a visa.

First, let us explain the definitions and types of Passports and visas.

What is a Passport?

A passport is a document issued by your home country's government. This tiny booklet serves as proof of your nationality and identity. A passport has information such as your name, date of birth, unique identification number, and nationality. When visiting a foreign country, you can use your passport as proof of nationality.

The Indian government issues various types of passports. Based on the type, the colours of the Indian passport vary between blue, white, maroon and orange.

  • Blue Passport: The blue passport is also known as a P-type passport, which is issued to the general public of India. On this passport, the general Indian citizens can travel worldwide for leisure or business purposes.
  • White Passport: A white passport in India is issued to government officials. With this passport, officials can travel overseas for official purposes.
  • Maroon Passport: Also known as a diplomatic passport, the maroon passport is for diplomats travelling abroad for work. A diplomatic passport allows diplomats to travel to any country without applying for a visa. You can also avail of a faster immigration procedure with a verified maroon passport.
  • Orange Passport: The passport authority issues an orange passport to less-educated individuals. An orange passport ensures the safety of individuals who haven’t studied beyond the 10th standard or equivalent.

What is a Visa?

To visit a foreign land, you may have to obtain permission from the country's government. Here, a visa authorises a stay for a specific purpose and duration issued by the country's government. A visa ensures that you enter a foreign land, adhere to your purpose of visit and return to your home country as your trip ends.

Based on your purpose of visit and the country you are travelling to, visas can be of multiple types, such as

  • Tourist Visa: The destination country shall issue a tourist visa in your name if your purpose to visit the country is tourism.
  • Business Visa: If you travel to a foreign country for business purposes, thecountry's government shall issue a business visa for you.
  • Student Visa: If you travel to a foreign land for higher studies, a student visa is one that you should apply for.
  • Transit Visa: If you pass through a country with long hours of layover, you may have to obtain a transit visa for the country en route.
  • Family Reunion Visa: If you plan to visit your relative in a foreign land. You may have to apply for a family reunion visa.
  • Diplomatic Visa: A diplomatic visa is for government officials visiting a country for work.
  • Medical Visa: If your purpose of visiting a foreign country is to seek medical treatment or consultation, then you should apply for a medical visa.

Apart from these major types of visas, various countries, including India, offer visas for journalists and cultural exchange visas. You have to pre-determine your purpose of visit to be able to apply for the appropriate visa.

Now that you understand the definition and types of passports and visas, let us explain the key difference between passport and visa.

What are the Key Differences Between a Visa and a Passport?

A passport and visa are two crucial documents during your international travel. However, new-age travellers usually assume passports and visas as similar documents. Thus, below, we have tabulated the key difference between passport and visa.

Aspect Passport Visa
Definition A passport is a travel document approved by the government of your home country that proves your nationality when you travel internationally. A visa is a document issued by the country you intend to visit. An entry permit authorises you to enter the country’s mainland and stay for a specific period and purpose.
Use A passport is generally used as identification proof while you travel abroad. A visa is the authorisation of your stay in a specific country.
What does it include? A passport is a tiny booklet with your name, DOB, nationality, photograph, etc. A visa specifies your purpose of visit and the duration of your stay. It is generally stamped inside your passport.
Issued by A Passport is issued by your home country. A visa is issued by the destination country you intend to visit.
Validity A Passport comes with a validity of 5-10 years. The validity of a visa can vary between 3 months to 10 years!
Importance A Passport is mandatory when you travel to a foreign country. A visa may or may not be required to visit every foreign country.

5 Myths Around Passport and Visa

  1. A Passport and a Visa are Similar. Although both documents are crucial, it would be wrong to say that a Passport and a Visa are similar documents.
  2. You Need a Visa for Every Country. Every country you visit may not require a mandatory visa application. There is a list of country that allows you to enter visa-free in their boundaries.
  3. You can Visit Every Country on a Single Visa. Although a single valid passport works internationally, it won’t be true for a visa. You have to apply a separate visa for every country that you visit.
  4. Visa and Passport Applications Can Be Applied in the Same Centres. You can not apply for a passport or visa at the same centres. To apply for a passport, you must visit Passport Seva Kendra or the official website of the passport office. To apply for a visa, you must visit the official website or consulate office of the country you intend to visit.
  5. You Can Apply for a Visa without a Passport. Although you can apply for a passport without a visa, you will need a valid passport at the time of visa application.

We hope the above information successfully created an image of the difference between a passport and a visa. Although these documents hold different significance, it is important to keep them secure while on an international trip. But how? Read on

Buy Travel Insurance to Safeguard Your Travel Documents

The best way to safeguard your travel documents during an international trip is to keep them in safe places and have their additional copies and soft copies for the times of need. You should also buy travel insurance to secure your finance when you lose your documents in a foreign land.

Travel insurance for International trips shall ensure that your finances are not derailed in retrieving your passport and visa. The best travel insurance will also come to your rescue during medical and trip-related unforeseen emergencies.

Wait no more! Ensure safe travel by purchasing the best travel insurance plan!

Disclaimer: All plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.

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