A visa is an official document which gives you permission to enter a country and stay in that country for a predetermined time.

A visa is a conditional authorisation granted by the country you are going to visit. In this way, that country can exercise control over who enters the country. The further you travel, the bigger the chance you will need a visa to enter that country.

Most visas contain the following conditions:

  • The duration of the visa (standard tourist visas usually provide 90 days)
  • How many times a traveller can enter the country (single entry, double entry and multiple entry visas)
  • Territory within the country they may enter
  • The dates when to enter the country
  • The date when you need to leave the country

A visa can be a stamp or an attachment in your passport. You have to arrange it yourself or through a visa agency at the embassy. There are countries that have an electronic visa that you can order online, for example, Turkey. And there are also countries where you first have to send an invitation letter before you can apply for a visa.

Some countries also use compulsory electronic registration apart from visas. This applies, for example, to the United States (ESTA) and Canada (eTA).