Difference Between Visa and Work Permit (With Table)

To travel abroad, a person may require a visa or a work permit. However, it may be hard to comprehend the difference between the two. In a real sense, a work permit is a type of visa that employs an individual in the host country. Additionally, there are other distinctions between a visa and a work permit.

Visa vs Work Permit

The difference between a visa and a work permit is that a visa is usually a signed and stamped document that enables an individual to legally enter another country as a student, tourist or immigrant. On the other hand, a work permit or work visa is a documentation that is issued to an individual by his employer to enter their country.

A visa is usually a signed and stamped document that enables an individual to legally enter another country. The visa is usually granted by the immigration authorities of a country. There are varying types of visas and visa categories for different countries. Usually, a visa is either non-immigrant or immigrant. Additionally, a visa may require renewal after a particular period. 

A work permit refers to a documentation by the employer of an individual that permits him to take up work in another country for a specified period. A work visa may be temporary or permanent. Moreover, an individual incurs zero costs when applying for a work visa.

Comparison Table Between Visa and Work Permit

Parameters of ComparisonVisa Work Permit
DefinitionA visa refers to a document passed by the immigration authorities that allows an individual to enter a foreign country . A work permit refers to an official document that enables the holder to conduct business in the foreign country.
Issuing AuthorityThe immigration authorities authorize the person with a visa.A work permit is issued by company that hires the individual. 
Costs IncurredThe cost of the visa is incurred by the individual applying for it.The cost of a work permit is issued by the national or international company employing the person.
Documentation Required 
  • The documentation required to apply for a visa includes an invite letter, a passport photocopy, travel insurance, financial support proof for the trip, visa fees, and a document of the purpose of travel.
  • The documents required to apply for a work visa include a copy of all academic and professional qualifications, work experience certificate from previous employers, employer’s reference letter, and signed client contract if any. 
    Benefits A visa accrues more benefits to an individual than a work permit.A work permit accrues less benefits to a person than a visa. 

    What is Visa?

    By definition, a visa is usually a signed and stamped documentation that permits the individual to enter another country on a legal basis. A visa approval may be for a one-time visit or multiple visits. At most times, the visa is stamped on the passport of the visa-holder. Additionally, there are varying types of visas depending on the purpose of applying. 

    A student visa allows the visa-holder to seek education in the host country by enrolling in one of the educational institutions. A work visa is a type of non-immigrant visa. In contrast, a tourist visa allows the visa holder to enter a host country for leisure and touristic purposes. Another type of visa is the business visa wherein the bearer conduct his business activities in the host country without joining its labour market. 

    In many cases, a person’s home country has a visa policy with other countries. This allows the individual to travel to those countries freely without any visa. For example, individuals of Indian nationality don’t require a visa to travel to Bhutan, Nepal, or Indonesia. 

    With advanced technology, e-visa has come into existence. E-visa is a digital visa that is neither stamped nor glued on the passport of the individual. The documentation required to apply for a visa vary from country to country.  

    What is Work Permit?

    Work Permit is an employment document that allows the holder to engage in work in the host country. Work visas or work permits have different types depending upon their length of stay and the nature of work. Additionally, a work permit is issued by the company that hires the employee. 

    A work permit doesn’t allow an individual to take up any other job except the one he’s called for. In most cases, it is only possible to change the job once the person leaves the country and enters again with a new work permit. An individual incurs zero costs when applying for a work visa. At times, the flight fare and the accommodation are also paid for by the employing company.

    A work permit can be as short as two years and as long as possible. The United States of America usually issues a three-year work visa. Canada issues either Open Work Permits or Employer Specific Work Permits. A work visa may be temporary or permanent. Additionally, it is possible to extend a work visa if the employer wishes to do so. 

    The documents required to apply for a work visa include a copy of all academic and professional qualifications, a work experience certificate from previous employers, a reference letter by the employer, and a signed client contract. You can either apply for a work visa online or offline by sending the visa application form to the concerned embassy.

    Main Differences Between Visa and Work Permit 

    1. A visa refers to a signed and stamped documentation that enables an individual to enter a foreign country. In contrast, a work permit is a documentation that permits the holder to engage in any type of work in another country.
    2. The individual applying for the visa incurs all the costs. On the other hand, the national or international company employing the person pays for the work permit.
    3. A visa accrues more benefits to an individual than a work permit.
    4. The documentation required to apply for a visa includes an invite letter, a passport photocopy, travel insurance, financial support proof for the trip, visa fees, and a document of the purpose of travel. In contrast, the documents required to apply for a work visa include a copy of all academic and professional qualifications, a work experience certificate from previous employers, a reference letter by the employer, and a signed client contract. 
    5. A visa is grated to an individual by the concerned immigration authorities visa. On the other hand, the work visa is granted by the company that hires the individual. 

    Conclusion

    To conclude, a visa and a work permit are different from each other. There are different types of visas depending upon the purpose of applying. On the other hand, work visas have different types depending upon their length of stay and the nature of work. 

    Moreover, the issuing authorities of both visas and work permits are different. Both the expiry and renewal of visa and work permit require serious attention. Additionally, visas and work permits are of varying durations. Thus, visa and work permits differ in their documentation, issuing authority, and types. 

    References

    1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-6265-126-5_5 
    2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s11558-008-9033-6.pdf 
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