A Visa (from the Latin charta visa, meaning “paper that has been seen”), is a conditional authorization granted by a country to a foreigner, allowing them to enter, remain within, or to leave that country. Visas typically include limits on the duration of the foreigner’s stay, territory within the country they may enter, the dates they may enter, the number of permitted visits or an individual’s right to work in the country in question. Visas are associated with the request for permission to enter a country and thus are, in some countries, distinct from actual formal permission for an alien to enter and remain in the country. In each instance, a visa is subject to entry permission by an immigration official at the time of actual entry, and can be revoked at any time. A visa most commonly takes the form of a sticker endorsed in the applicant’s or other travel document.
A passport is a travel document, usually issued by a country’s government. That certifies the identity and nationality of its holder primarily for the purpose of international travel. Standard passports may contain information such as the holder’s name, place and date of birth, photograph, signature and other identifying information. Many countries are moving towards including biometric information in a microchip embedded in the passport, making them machine-readable and difficult to counterfeit. Previously issued passports usually remain valid until each expires.
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