Tourist Visas

Written by Jared Vincenti
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A visa is a country-specific document that grants the bearer permission to be in that country for a specific time period. There are many kinds of visas, each particular to the visitor's reason to be in the country. The most common type of visas are tourist visas, which are for people who are simply sightseeing and do not plan to work, take a job, or start a family while in the country they are visiting. A tourist visa grants the bearer permission to be in the country, but does not allow much more.

Conditions of a Tourist Visa

While on a tourist visa, you are free to move about the country (although depending on the country, you may not have access to the whole nation). You are free to buy goods and services in the country, but there will be limits on just how much business can be conducted on a tourist visa. If you plan to be in a country for mostly economic reasons, most nations grant a business visa.

Also, a tourist visa technically does not include permission to publish anything you may write or photographs you may take while abroad. This is a difficult item to regulate, and infractions are rarely prosecuted because of the hassle involved. For the happiness of all bureaucrats involved, if you plan to be documenting your travels you should apply for a journalist visa.

While business or journalist visas are similar to the tourist visas and there may be some flexibility involved (and it's unlikely you'll get in any serious trouble), all of these are temporary visas. If you do anything to indicate that you may have more permanent plans (e.g. taking a job, buying a house) while abroad, you will likely be deported and face some heavy fines. Stating your intentions honestly when applying for your visa is the surest way to avoid problems down the line, as a consulate will direct you to the type of visa appropriate to your travels.

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