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Understanding Passports and Visas and Their Importance

For many first-time international travellers, the introduction to the necessary documentation needed for travelling can be disorienting. Special documents, called passports and visas are needed to gain access to the various countries around the world, no matter how long you plan to stay. If you are planning a trip outside your home country, you need to be sure you are in possession of these important documents, they have not been tampered with, and they are up-to-date. Without them, you will not be able to able to travel abroad or even purchase travel insurance.

Schengen Visa Travel Insurance

A Guide to Passports

Passports are documents that identify a person and are issued by your home country. They will describe your age, name, gender, citizenship, and permanent residence. While you may think that individuals who live in a particular country are citizens of that country, but this is not always the case. For this reason, passports differentiate between the location of your residence and the location of your citizenship.

Although you need a passport to enter another country, this document does NOT guarantee that you can enter any country besides the one that issued the passport. If, however, the country you wish to enter has diplomatic ties with your home country, you will most likely be able to enter it.

Applying for a passport generally involves filling out an application and presenting documents that verify your name, age, gender, and citizenship. You may also need to pay a small fee for the cost of creating the passport. Passports do expire after 5 years, so they must be renewed. You can apply for a passport, as well as renew an expired passport

A Guide to Visas

Many individuals find the difference between passports and visas confusing, but in reality, these two documents serve different purposes. Visas are travel documents that are issued by some countries to allow certain individuals to enter the country.

There are several different types of visas, and each are generally required for individuals who stay for thirty days or more. Student visas are the most common kinds of visas and are given by host countries, with the assistance of the college the student will be attending, to fulfill the requirements for enrollment at the college. Business visas and temporary work visas are also common visas obtained by those who wish to work in a foreign country.

Tourist visas are less common types of visas. These visas can be given to individuals who wish to stay in another country for a short time. Instead of providing these types of visas, though, most countries simply require visitors to have a passport.

Passport, Visas, and Travel Insurance

So what is the significant link between passports, visas, and travel insurance? To answer this question, consider this: if you must have a passport to enter a new country or even board a plane or cruise ship, how can you be covered by this type of insurance if you don’t have one?

When you apply for travel insurance, these important documents must be presented and must be up-to-date. For long term travel, you will also need to make sure your passport or visa is recent enough that it will not expire while you are outside your home country.

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