One question that often strikes people and confuses them is, what is the difference between a visa and a passport? 

For someone who wishes to travel abroad, both a passport and a valid visa are required. In some cases, a passport serves as proof of nationality, while sometimes it becomes your key to entering a country. 

A simple misconception can cost you a lot when on a trip abroad. Therefore, it’s very important to evaluate the key differences between a visa and a passport. 

In this blog, we have covered all the information about visas and passports. At the same time, we aim to bust a few misconceptions about the two.

What is a Passport?

A passport is a document that certifies the holder’s identity. It entitles them to travel to and from various foreign destinations. 

A passport is a mandatory requirement to travel to a foreign country. It is issued by the authorities of one’s own country. Now, let us look at what a visa is to understand visa and passport differences better.

What is a Visa?

VISA stands for Visitors International Stay Admission. It is a mark, made in the passport, that permits a passport holder to enter, travel, and reside in a particular country. 

The time duration is also fixed, that is, one cannot exceed the maximum number of days. Visas are of different types, depending upon the purpose of the visit. 

The next question is, who issues a visa? Visas are issued by the immigration authorities of the foreign country you are traveling to. 

Passport vs Visa: Key Differences

Let’s look at some of the key visa and passport differences!

The key difference is that a passport is your country's official ID that allows you to travel to international destinations. A visa is a stamp issued by another country's embassy that lets you enter for a particular purpose and specified time.

Another difference between a passport and a visa is that the visa is an endorsement placed within a passport. Whereas, a passport is a booklet with your details that occupy one to two pages, and thereafter, a lot of blank pages are left where visa stamps can be placed.

The third essential point is that a passport acts as the primary identification and travel document when traveling abroad. A visa is a secondary requirement. You must have a passport to have a visa.

They are required when traveling to a foreign country, depending on the destination and your nationality.

Fourthly, a passport is valid for a set number of years, that is  5 or 10, and it calls for being renewed after it expires. 

When it comes to a visa, it is valid for a certain purpose, say tourism or business, and is valid for a few days, say 30 days, or 90 days, depending upon the country and type of visa. Valid for the period and purpose of travel specified on the visa.

Fifth, a passport must be renewed once it is expired, and the process to renew a passport ends by applying for a new passport. However, in the case of a visa, it can be extended within the host country. 

Are there any Similarities?

Both visa and passport function as important requirements when you travel abroad. Both visa and passport aid in rendering a hassle-free foreign tour, be it for tourism purposes, educational purposes, or business purposes.

6 Major Misconceptions Around Passports and Visas

When it comes to international travel, passports and visas are pretty common. But sometimes, some misunderstandings can cause problems. Let's go over some of the most common ones to help clear things up.

A passport is an ID issued by your government whereas A visa is a stamp or sticker in your passport from another country’s government.

There are various things people need to be aware of regarding a visa and passport.

Let’s know a few of them and clarify the confusion!

1. A passport replaces the need for a visa

There are two types of countries. One, which needs a visa, and one, which does not need a visa. Whenever you are going to a country, you should check the visa requirements.  However, on the other hand, a  passport is mandatory when traveling abroad.

2. Visas are universal for all countries 

Visas are not universal, a point that should be carefully noted. Each country has its visa policies based on several factors. Therefore, it is essential to check the exact visa requirements of the country you are traveling to.

3. Passports and visas never expire

One should remember that a passport and visa,  both are valid for a specified period. You cannot use them for an indefinite period. A passport needs to be renewed. So, it is important to be well aware of the period.

4. Assuming visa-free entry for all purposes 

Some countries allow a Visa-free entry. However, this does not allow any other engagement. For instance, if you visit a visa-free country, without a visa for tourism purposes, then you may not be allowed to engage in business during your stay. This is because your travel was for tourism purposes in the first place.

5. Ignoring visa processing times 

Always apply for a visa well in advance. If you wait until the last minute, you might end up feeling stressed out.

It can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to process a visa, depending on where you're going and what kind of visa you need. So, to avoid any complications, it's best to apply well in advance.

6. Transit visa requirements are not strict

Transit visas are visas that you require when stopping over at a country during your trip. At times, one may take this visa less seriously.

However, not having a transit visa could create a problem. Therefore, one should know that some countries require transit visas, even if you don't leave the airport. 


We hope that these points help you make the right difference between a visa and a passport.

Timely applying for a visa would help you plan your trip better and achieve the most through that experience. 

After understanding what a visa is, you can plan your trips. Still thinking about how to apply? Do not worry, Visa2Fly is right here to assist you with everything.

We believe in offering our customers the whole travel package; complete with blogs about the countries they would like to visit.

Apart from assisting with online visa services, we also offer other travel services like travel insurance, SIM cards, and hotels. It makes traveling convenient for you as you can access everything you need right here!

We provide you visa assistance with three simple steps, that is filling out the visa application forms, collecting the right set of documents, followed by doorstep delivery of your visa.