Glossary of Terms Related to Visa

Before applying for a visa to any country, you must be aware of the common terminologies, which are used in the visa process. Some of the common terms related to visa along with their meanings are mentioned below:

  • Adjust Status – It means to change the visa status of a visa holder from non-immigrant to another status. It also refers to the change of status from visa holder to permanent resident.
  • Accompanying – It is a type of visa using which family members can travel with the principal visa applicant.
  • Admission – Entry/Admission in any country by foreigners has to be authorized by its Immigration or security department. The admission is allowed only for a certain period of time, which is mentioned in the visa. Type of entry is also mentioned on the visa. During the visa validity period, people are either allowed to enter only once or multiple times.
  • Adopted Child – According to the immigration rules of some countries, this term refers to an adopted child who is a maximum of 21 years old and is not married and was below 16 years when he/she was adopted. The custody of a child should be with the adopting parents for a minimum of 2 years.
  • Visa Validity – It is the time until which your visa is valid. It does not mean that you can stay in a country for as long as the visa is valid. Visa validity will tell you the period during which you can travel to a particular nation.

Stay Period – It is the number of days you are permitted to stay in a country. It is different from visa validity. Visa can be valid for 180 days, but your stay period can be 15 days or 30 days in a single trip depending on the country you are traveling to.

Embassy/Consulate – It refers to the office representing a country’s government in another country. For example – In India, there are many consulate offices of other countries. The difference between Embassy and Consulate is that an Embassy is a higher representation and a Consulate office is a smaller one.

Entry Controlled Visa – This visa is required to be valid only while entering the country and not during exit. For example – A regular tourist visa of the UAE is issued for a period of 58 years and the stay period is 29 days. A tourist can enter the UAE on the 57th day and still stay for 29 days because it is an Entry Controlled Visa.

Business Days – It refers to working days during a week. When you apply for visa, you will be told that the processing will take a particular number of business days. Sunday, Saturday, special holidays and public holidays are not counted as part of business days.

Stamp Visa – It acts as an entry ticket. Generally, visa is stamped on the passport of the travelers.

eVisa – When people apply for a visa online and receives the approval for the same electronically, then it is called eVisa.

Biometrics – It is a verification process. Fingerprints and Iris scans are done to verify identity of an individual.

Dependent – It is a person who is fully or partly financially reliant on his/her family member.

Domicile – It refers to the home country of an individual. Domicile is the place where an individual lives permanently.

Spouse – It refers to the husband or wife of a visa applicant.

Tourist – A person who visits another country for a short duration for recreations or vacationing purposes.

Applicant – It refers to the person applying for a visa.

Alien – It is a term to describe foreigners/citizens of another country.

Sponsor – It refers to the person who is ready to support a foreigner’s visa application. The sponsor will be held responsible for the applicant when he/she visits his/her country.

Visa Waiver – It allows citizens of one country to visit another country without a visa, provided both the countries participate in a visa waiver program.

Temporary Worker – This term is used to describe employees who visit another country to work there for a specific period of time.

Termination – It refers to cancellation of visa application. It happens when an individual fails to respond to the visa related inquiries.

Refugee – It refers to a foreign citizen who wishes to enter another nation because he/she is scared of being killed in his/her home country.

Extension – It is used to describe the request for increasing the stay period in a country. If for some reasons, individuals wish to stay beyond their valid stay period in another country, they can request for visa extension.

Single Entry – It allows people to enter only once in another country during the visa validity period.

Multiple Entry – It allows people to enter another country multiple times during the visa validity period.

Port of Entry – It refers to the airport or ship port or station through which a person will enter another country.

Non-immigrant visa – It refers to visas that are obtained by foreigners for non-permanent stay reasons such as study, tourism, etc.

Naturalization – It is a process through which a foreigner becomes a citizen of a country in which he/she was not born.


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