Visa Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Visa, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Visa?

A passport stamp or document that authorizes the passport-holder to enter a country for specific purposes for a particular time period.

History and Meaning of Visa

The term "visa" originated from the Latin word "charta visa," which means "paper that has been seen." Originally, visas were just endorsements made on a passport or other travel documents. However, in the modern era, visas have become much more complex and varied depending on the requirements of different countries.

In general, a visa is a form of permission granted by a country's government that allows someone to enter that country for a particular purpose and for a specific period of time. There are many different types of visas, ranging from tourist visas that allow someone to visit a country for a short time to work visas that allow someone to come and work in another country for an extended period.

Examples of Visa

  1. A US citizen traveling to Brazil for tourism would need to obtain a visa before departure.
  2. A German national moving to the UK to start a new job would need to obtain a work visa before they could be employed.
  3. An Indian student who has been accepted to a university in Canada would need to obtain a study permit before they could enroll.

Legal Terms Similar to Visa

  1. Passport: a travel document issued by a government that verifies the identity and nationality of the holder and permits them to travel abroad.
  2. Work Permit: a document granting permission to a foreign national to work in a specific country.
  3. Residence Permit: a document that allows a foreign national to reside in a specific country for a certain period of time.