What Are the Most Common Types of Travel Visas Around the World?

Visa Types:

Please make a note this is a broad overview of visa terminology. Each country may have a unique way of referring to a certain type of visa. Also, not all countries offer all types of visas. For example, a tourist visa is not offered to every country. If you are unsure of the type of visa you are applying please contact one of our representatives.

  • Business Visa: To engage in business meetings, negotiations, or attend business related conferences.
  • Tourist Visa: To take on or participate in recreational or leisure activities. This could be part of a cruise, tour group, or an on-site destination.
  • Transit Visa: When one is connecting to a different flight en route to your final destination. Generally it is designated by a short layover, but you will not be leaving the airport terminal. If you are, most likely you will need a tourist visa.
  • Employment Visa: To work in a foreign country and be paid in the foreign country by a company based there.
  • Residence Visa: To take up residence in a foreign country for an indefinite amount of time.
  • Student Visa: One who is engaging in studies abroad and will be returning back to their host country.
  • Commerce Visa: A unique visa used for individuals conducting business transactions, generally falls under business visas, but many of the Middle Eastern countries offer a commerce visa.
  • Family Visa or Private Stay Visit: Visiting a family member.
  • Official/Diplomatic: Conducting business on behalf of an official entity or the US government. These are special circumstances visas which will require the individual to submit either an official or diplomatic passport.
  • Government Visa: Invited by a foreign to conduct business, these have unique circumstances and are generally reserved for Middle Eastern countries.
  • Short Term Visa: To enjoy touristic activities for a maximum of 180 days. This mostly applies to European Union Countries.
  • Long Term Visa: To remain on a tourist visa for up to one year, this classification is reserved primarily for European Union Countries, and a few other unique countries.
  • Retirement Visa: Some people obtain this visa if they want to retire in certain countries. Countries which offer this type of visa are Indonesia, Philippines, Brazil, and few others.
  • Entertainment Visa: If you plan to be performer and entertainer on cruise ship or certain events, you may be asked to apply for this type of visa. Countries that offer this visa are Australia and Brazil to name a few.


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