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Types of VISA’S

For passing through the country of issue to a destination outside that country. Validity of transit visas are usually limited by short terms such as several hours to 10 days depending on the size of the country and/or the circumstances of a particular transit itinerary.1

  • Airside transit visa, required by some countries for passing through their airports even without going through passport control.
  • Crew member, steward or driver visa, issued to persons employed or trained on aircraft, vessels, trains, trucks, buses and any other means of international transportation, or ships fishing in international waters.

Vantage Immigration process transit visas to Australia, Germany, UK, Hong Kong, Canada, USA, Qubec etc.

For short visits to the visited country. Many countries differentiate between different reasons for these visits, such as:

  • Private visa, for private visits by invitation from residents of the visited country.
  • Tourist visa, for a limited period of leisure travel, no business activities allowed.1
  • Visa for medical reasons, for undertaking diagnostics or a course of treatment in the visited country’s hospitals.
  • Business visa, for engaging in commerce in the country. These visas generally precludepermanent employment, for which a work visa would be required.
  • Working holiday visa, for individuals traveling between nations offering a working holiday program, allowing young people to undertake temporary work while traveling.
  • Athletic or artistic visa, issued to athletes and performing artists (and their supporting staff) performing at competitions, concerts, shows and other events.
    • Cultural exchange visa, usually issued to athletes and performing artists participating in a cultural exchange program.
  • Refugee visa, issued to persons fleeing the dangers of persecution, a war or a natural disaster.

Vantage Immigration process short stay/visitor visas to Australia, Germany, UK, Hong Kong, Canada, USA, Qubec etc.

Visas valid for longer but still finite stays:

Student visa, which allows its holder to study at an institution of higher learning in the issuing country.

Temporary worker visa, for approved employment in the host country. These are generally more difficult to obtain but valid for longer periods of time than a business visa.

Journalist visa, which some countries require of people in that occupation when traveling for their respective news organizations. Countries which insist on this include Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, the United States (I-visa) and Zimbabwe.1

Residence visa, granted to people obtaining long-term residence in the host country. In some countries, such as New Zealand, Hong Kong, Germany long-term residence is a necessary step to obtain the status of a permanent resident.

Asylum visa, issued to people who have suffered or reasonably fear persecution in their own country due to their political activities or opinion, or features, or association with a social group; or were exiled from their own country.

Vantage Immigration process Long-stay visas to Australia, Germany, UK, Hong Kong, Canada, USA, Qubec etc.

Granted for those intending to immigrate to the issuing country (obtain the status of a permanent resident with a prospect of possible naturalization in the future):

  • Spouse visaor partner visa, granted to the spouse, civil partner or de facto partner of a resident or citizen of a given country to enable the couple to settle in that country.1
  • Marriage visa, granted for a limited period before intended marriage or civil partnership based on a proven relationship with a citizen of the destination country.
  • Pensioner visa(also known as retiree visa or retirement visa), issued by a limited number of countries to those who can demonstrate a foreign source of income and who do not intend to work in the issuing country. Age limits apply in some cases.

Vantage Immigration process Immigrant visas to Australia, Germany, UK, Hong Kong, Canada, USA, Qubec etc.

Are granted to officials doing jobs for their governments or otherwise representing their countries in the host country, such as the personnel of diplomatic missions.

  • Diplomatic visasare normally only available to bearers of diplomatic passports.1
  • Courtesy visasare issued to representatives of foreign governments or international organizations who do not qualify for diplomatic status but do merit expedited, courteous treatment – an example of this is Australia’s Special purpose visa.

Normally visa applications are made at and collected from a consulate, embassy or other diplomatic mission.

Vantage Immigration process Official visas to Australia, Germany, UK, Hong Kong, Canada, USA, Qubec etc.

(Also known as Visa On Arrival, VOA), granted at a port of entry. This is distinct from not requiring a visa at all, as the visitor must still obtain the visa before they can even try to pass through immigration.

Almost all countries will consider issuing a visa (or another document to the same effect) on arrival to a visitor arriving in unforeseen exceptional circumstances, for example:

Certain international airports in Russia have consul’s on-duty, who have the power to issue visas on the spot.1

Some countries issue visas on arrival to special categories of travelers, such as seafarers or air crew.

Some countries issue them to regular visitors; however, there often are restrictions, for example:

Vantage Immigration process Official visas to Australia, Germany, UK, Hong Kong, Canada, USA, Qubec etc.

An electronic visa (e-Visa or eVisa) is stored in a computer and is linked to the passport number; no label, sticker or stamp is placed in the passport before travel. The application is done over the internet.1

Australia pioneered electronic visa issuance with the Electronic Travel Authority for tourists, and is also issuing the eVisitor for European tourists and businessmen. Recent changes in immigration law mean that almost all visas (including those for permanent residency) are issued electronically by default unless a label is required (for example to board an aircraft).

  • New Zealandis now also issuing some visas electronically.
  • TheUnited States has a similar internet system called Electronic System for Travel Authorization (or ESTA), but this is a security pre-screening only and does not technically qualify as a visa under US immigration law.
  • Turkeyissues electronic visas as of April 2013 (certain African countries are eligible only if using Turkish Airlines) through the Republic of Turkey Electronic Visa Application System.
  • Cambodiaissues electronic visas to most visitors through their eVisa
  • São Tomé and Príncipeissues electronic visas to all passengers through the eVisa
  • Rwandaissues electronic visas.
  • Myanmarissues electronic visas.
  • Sri Lankais issuing electronic visas through the Electronic Travel Authorization system to certain eligible countries.
  • Armeniais issuing electronic visas to certain eligible countries
  • Singaporeis issuing electronic visas to certain eligible countries.
  • Bahrainissues electronic visas to nationals of certain eligible countries.
  • Indiaissues electronic visas to nationals of certain eligible countries.

These lists are not exhaustive. Some countries may have more detailed classifications of some of these categories reflecting the nuances of their respective geographies, social conditions, economies, international treaties, etc. Others, on the contrary, may combine some types into broader categories.