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Differences Between a Visa and a Residence Permit

Visa vs Residence Permit

More and more people are enticed to travel abroad since there are several opportunities there. The reasons may be work, school, trips, or even a strong desire to live in another country. Going abroad is not as easy as riding a bicycle or a Jeepney. A currency exchange and a means of transportation are not enough to get you outside of your country. Going abroad is also not as easy as eating a piece of cake or peanuts. Cake and peanuts alone won’t be enough to help you survive in an alien country. To make your traveling legal, you need to arrange your documents. Here are the explanations regarding the differences between the visa and residence permit.

“Visa” is the general term for travel documents. If you ever see people with a visa in hand, you may probably notice that visas come in different types which can be evidently seen in their colors, shapes, and size. Some visa pages are marked with small ink stamps. The pages are stamped with black, red, blue, green, or purple ink that usually take the form of a rectangle, square, or triangle. Today, visas have gone to the form of adhesive stamps printed on a special type of paper. On the visa, you have your personal information which includes your full name, birth date, and sex. You can also find data about your visa which includes the type, permitted number of entries, issuance date, validity, and expiration.

There are two types of visas: immigrant and non-immigrant. An immigrant visa is otherwise known as a residence permit. This type of visa is for people who have the intention of having a permanent residence in another country. You may have heard the term “green card.” This is also the residence permit. But before you are able to acquire a permanent residence, you need to comply with its strict rules and requirements. The processing of this immigrant visa is often long and expensive.

A non-immigrant visa, or simply visa permit, is granted according to the purpose of your travel. It can either be a visit, study, or work. A tourist visa is needed for those people who have the plan of visiting another country. If you are an exchange student, you need a student visa. But this visa is not only limited for exchange students, it can also be used for different exchange programs which involve counselors, professors, scholars, and physicians. And if you plan to work temporarily abroad, you need to get a work visa. Nurses, athletes, artists, businessmen, teachers, missionaries, and trainees are the people who often acquire work visas.

To be able to get a visa, you need to go to the embassy of the country you are planning to visit. The fee you are going to pay will depend on the country you are planning to visit and the type of visa you wish to acquire. The processing of the visa may take a few days or months. But for emergency situations, you can have your visa within just a day. To make your visa application process smoothly, you must have all fees, your passport, and other requirements fulfilled which the embassy instructed you.


  1. People travel abroad for several reasons: visit, work, study, and residence.

  2. Visas are travel documents which allow you to enter a particular country.

  3. There are two types of visa: immigrant and non-immigrant.

  4. An immigrant visa is known as a residence permit or a green card. It is used for having a permanent residence in the U.S.

  5. A non-immigrant visa or simply a visa permit is divided into three categories: visit, work, and study.

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1 Comment

  1. Good afternoon mam and sir. I am olive sordilla, 26 years old, married and one child, There is a business man came from Germany he came in our province in La Union last February 27, who owned a company, who wants to invest in our province, and he needs a business a person a very trustee person who knows the language to arrange appointments and handle different kind of business issues in the Philippines and his employees wants me to train by going in there county. Now I have a work in resort but I think its not related in his business because he wants to invest many company, what I’m going to do mam? I have a small business and I have a business license which is barangay business clearance and he wants also to invest so that its become big, but I have a no income tax return, Please help me mam on what we are going to do and also my sponsor who will provide everything when I go in there county.

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