Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Visa Definition:

A permit issued by a state allowing for the temporary visit by a citizen of another, for a period of time and a specific purpose.

Before travelling to another state, a citizen of a foreign country must generally obtain a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.

The type of visa needed is based on the purpose of travel.

In some cases, especially short-term tourism between citizens of friendly states, visas may not be required.

Conversely, where the purpose of the travel is to earn a living, a visa is almost always required, regardless as to the friendly relations between states.

A visa usually accompanies a passport or is endorsed thereon, certifying that the citizen of the foreign state is authorized to enter the receiving state for the stated purpose and duration.

In US v Vargas, Justice Neaher adopted these words:

"... a visa was traditionally affixed to a passport itself.

"It continues to be defined as an endorsement made on a passport by the proper authorities (as of the country the bearer wishes to enter) denoting that it has been examined and that the bearer is permitted to proceed."


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