Difference Between Passport and Visa

When you travel abroad to a different country, you will have to get a Passport and Visa and thus it becomes important to know about both of them.

Passport vs Visa

The main difference between Passport and Visa is that Passport is the identity of a person by which he can travel abroad. Visa is a permission granted by another country to travel and stay for a specified time. Passport is a document issued by the government while a visa is a stamp inside the passport.

Passport vs Visa

Comparison Table Between Passport and Visa

Parameter of ComparisonPassportVisa
Nature of the documentA passport is a small-sized bookletA visa is a stamp placed on your passport
PurposeFunctions as an individual certification document. It reveals personal identities during foreign travelsFunctions as a legal authorization that permits an individual to enter and stay in a foreign country. It confirms your purpose of stay in the new country
Source of issuanceYou obtain a passport from your country of origin. You then receive permission to travel out of your country to a foreign landThe issuing of visa is by the distant country that you intend to visit. You gain legal authorization to enter the new country for stated purposes
FeaturesPassports feature names, citizenship, date of birth, photo and physical addressesVisas feature the reasons for individual authorization to the foreign land, and the duration of stay
Approval statusPrivately approvedPublicly certified

What is Passport?

Whenever an individual travels across borders, a passport verifies their country of origin and other personal details. It also benefits in gaining permission upon returning to the home country.

Some of the essential information found on the passport include name, photo, gender, date of birth, and physical characteristics.

For government officials and diplomats, the passports usually differ from the ones given to ordinary citizens. Often, every country’s governorship must ensure that its citizens do not enter other countries without permission, and with no good reason.

It is the reason why nations put an account for all their citizens traveling abroad by issuing legal passports.


What is Visa?

Visa states the confirmation that you have the legal permission to enter into a foreign land. The common types of visas include transit, work, and study visas.

A visa’s approval can be for either a one-time time visit or multiple visits. It all depends on the rules governing the specific country of visit.

Besides, some visas need an individual’s filing of the application before entering a foreign country. Others require that you file the document as soon as you enter the new state.

Also, most embassies will ask for an interview process and a routine medical checkup before the visa application.

Nations like to put account details for every foreigner entering their lands. They do this for purposes of security, transparency, and to also know the reasons behind most strangers’ visits to those countries.

It explains why visa approval is a prerequisite to accessing a foreign nation.


Main Differences Between a Passport and a Visa

  1. Passport is a private and legal travel document. Visa is a publicly certified document of approval given to a person to inhabit a foreign nation.
  2. Passport indicates to other nations, before entering, that you are a lawful citizen of your particular country of origin. Visa involves the stamping of your passport, by the country of visit. It can be either before the travel or upon arriving at the foreign nation.
  3. Passport features your details such as name, photo, date of birth, citizenship, and physical addresses. It gives you approval out of your territories. Visa indicates the particular reasons why you can enter into the new country; either for work, study, tourism, or for long-term residence. It also shows how long you are accepted to stay in the country.
  4. You receive the passport from your own country as an identification document, when traveling abroad. For visa, you obtain legal authorization from the country that you are visiting. The approval is by stamping your passport either before traveling or before entering a foreign country.
Difference Between Passport and Visa

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Passport and Visa

Do You Need a Visa if You Have a Passport?

Not necessarily! Most requirements for a visa are based on trade and commerce treaties between nations. Other nations issue visas based on historical or diplomatic relations.
Citizens of dependent territories or former colonies may also be exempted from visa requirements.
For example, many countries allow passport holders from the US to enter their countries without a visa because of long-standing diplomatic relations and reciprocal visa waivers.
Before traveling, you should confirm if the country you’re traveling to requires a visa and then prepare yourself.

What is the Most Powerful Passport?

Currently, the most powerful passport is Japan’s. With a passport from Japan, you can currently travel to 190 countries without the need of having a visa.
Being able to travel to many countries visa-free opens up a world of opportunity for jet-setters as they don’t have to go through expensive and long application processes.
The passports are issued to Japanese citizens and last for up to ten years depending on the registration fees and the age of the applicant.
If you’re not a Japanese citizen and you want a powerful passport, you should get residency in the country for at least five years and then start the application process.

What are the Types of Visa?

Visas are granted to permit entry for a very specific purpose. Some common types of visas are transit, student, tourist and work visas. The requirements and classification of these visas vary by country and are defined by the treaty.
Also, depending on your destination, a visa can be used for one or several visits. Other types of visas can be granted for attending a symposium or conference or establishing permanent or temporary residence.

How to Apply for Visa?

Before traveling, Use a search engine of your preference to access the official government website for immigration of the country that you want to visit.
Read all the information regarding the visa application requirements and fill out the application form after you have understood everything.
You may be required to send the form electronically or by mail. If the country of destination permits a visa on arrival, you do not need to apply for the visa beforehand.
Once you get to your destination, there may be a requirement that you pay applicable fees and fill out a form.

What are the Documents Required for Passport?

The documents required when applying for a passport vary from country to country. You can check the country’s government website for all requirements.
You may have to apply online or visit a government office. Some of the common requirements worldwide include passport size photos and proof of identity.


Every nation has a structured accounting system of each person that leaves or enters their countries. It is an excellent way to control who gets out and who comes into the country.

The issuance of a passport is usually by an internationally recognized body within an area like the state department, foreign affairs, or home office.

The above are government agencies assigned to devise, develop, and organize the official documents that their citizens can utilize to identify themselves during visas application. It is the way to authorization when planning to enter foreign nations.

Importantly, you should aim to understand the features and contents of a passport. This way, you can easily spot a fake passport which unauthorized persons may issue in secretive ways.

The visa is not problematic since it only involves an official stamp.

It is easy to familiarize yourself with passports from different sources. Despite their different designs, all passports contain a universal global approval format.

The codes, numbering, and security features are usually tailor-made by all countries; such that they nearly resemble.

Whenever you apply for a passport, you must prove to be a citizen of the particular nation either by birth or by the acquired citizenry.

You should provide documents of proof. The registration of your passport is not only done in your country of origin but also in other international records, shared amongst governments only.

Also remember that, when you obtain visas for work, study, or tourism purposes, you are entitled to equal rights as those of citizens of a foreign country. However, you should stick to the activities stated in your visa.

Key Differences Between Passport and Visa (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between a Passport and a Visa


  1. https://www.albany.edu/~rk289758/documents/Koslowski_ISA_2004_passports.pdf
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8691939/
AskAnyDifference HomeClick here
Search for "Ask Any Difference" on Google. Rate this post!
[Total: 0]
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments