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What is a VISA?
A visa is a stamp or endorsement which is placed by officials of a foreign country directly on a passport that allows the bearer of the passport to visit that country. (Note: Except Russia, whose visa is a separate document). Visas are obtained from the appropriate embassy or local consulates of the country to be visited. “Visit” is further defined as a reason for entry, usually business, tourist or transitory. There are over 270 countries that offer visas and literally thousands of different types of visas available based upon country, type of visit and length of visit.
What is the Difference Between a Passport and a Visa?
A passport is an official Government document that certifies one’s identity and citizenship. The passport serves two purposes: to regain entry to the country of citizenship (i.e., the United States) and is a requirement by many countries to gain entry to the country abroad you are visiting. A visa is an official government document that temporarily authorizes an individual to be in the country abroad to be visited. Many countries require a visa to gain entry. The visa usually is in the form of a stamp placed IN the passport and is obtained from the country one is visiting. (Russia is the exception and issues a separate document.)
When do I need a Visa?
Answer to this question is subject to change on a daily basis since the requirements of each country abroad could change at any time.
- If you are a U.S. Citizen, please visit the individual country’s Web Site (in Section 3.2.1) to view entry requirements for each country.
- If you are NOT a U.S. Citizen, Caring Hands can help you obtain a Visa. Please call (202) 554-2277 for further information.
The items that Caring Hands would need in order to help one with this process are as follows:
- Country abroad to visit.
- Reason for visit.
- Length of visit.
- Country which issued your Passport.
- Status of residency in U.S. (i.e., Are you a U.S. Citizen? If not, which visa do you have?)
What is required to Obtain a Visa?
At a minimum, the applicant will need a valid passport to obtain a visa. When the visa is issued, the passport will be stamped indicating the visa was issued and expiration date of the visa. Many countries require there be in excess of6 months of validity on the passport before granting its use.
How many photographs do I need to attach to my Visa application?
The number of photographs required varies by each individual consulate/embassy but is usually between one and four photographs. Please refer to individual consulate/embassy web site for clarification.
How many forms do I need to complete?
The number of forms required varies by embassy/consulate, but the number is usually between one and four.
Can I fax you my completed Visa application?
No. Embassies require an original signature on the completed Visa form along with your passport before they can issue a Visa.
Do I need to send you my ACTUAL Passport?
Yes, Consulates and Embassies require your actual passport to use visas in all instances.
Do I need to include an itinerary as part of my application?
No. It depends on which country your traveling to and is dependent on the Embassy/Consulate whether or not you need to include a international flight itinerary with your application.
What is the difference between ‘Single-Entry’ and ‘Multiple-Entry’ Visas?
Depending on the reciprocal treaties governing visa issuance for each nationality, a visa may allow one entry before its expiration, or it may permit the traveler to enter at various times. A Single-Entry visa may only be used for one entry for the specific purpose for which it is granted. In general, the number of times that a Multiple-Entry visa may be used depends upon the expiration date of the visa, the nationality of the traveler, or restrictions placed on the total number of days permitted in a particular country during any year. You must be very clear as to whether you require a Single-Entry or Multiple-Entry visa on your application.
Why do I need to obtain the services of Caring Hands?
If your VISA application is mailed to the Embassy or Consulate directly, it can take up to SIX WEEKS to process your VISA. Caring Hands can reduce this time frame tremendously, usually within ONE WEEK. Also note that some Embassies (ex: China) do not accept Visa applications by mail.