What is the difference between a passport and a visa?

Isabelle Paris/ July 9, 2021/ Long stay visa, Short stay visa, Visa France App news/ 0 comments

What is the difference between a passport and a visa?


Obtaining a visa to come to France is an obligation for many foreigners. However, for some of them, a simple passport is enough to enter the country. But why is a passport not enough to travel around the world? And what is the real purpose of a visa for France? Visa France application tells you everything you need to know about the differences between a passport and a visa for France.

What is a visa ?

A visa is an official authorization given to a foreigner to come to a country other than his own. A visa is issued by an immigration officer in the country where the foreigner wishes to travel. A visa can be accepted or refused under certain conditions (see our article on this subject).

A visa contains several pieces of information about the person who holds it or his trip. There are various indications such as name, first name, date of validity of the stay, authorized places of entry, number of exits granted…

What is a passport?

A passport is an official document issued by the country of origin of its holder. It is required for travel abroad. There are different types of passports such as the classic passport or the diplomatic passport for state representatives. Today, more and more passports are biometric (they contain certain information such as your fingerprints on a chip). Thanks to this technology, passports are more reliable because they are less easy to falsify.

A passport contains your personal information such as: name, first name, age, nationality, signature, photo, physical description, validity and expiration date. A passport has a lifespan of 10 years and is renewable indefinitely.

What is the difference between a visa and a passport

Both documents are necessary for a person to travel to a foreign country. However, they do not have the same role and purpose. A passport is a kind of identity card that justifies your identity anywhere in the world. On the contrary, a visa for France or for any other country gives you the official authorization to travel to the chosen country.

Why do Europeans not need a visa to come to France?

Citizens of the European Union do not need a visa to travel to France. This is due to the Schengen area which allows citizens to move freely within the territory. Please note that the Scehengent area does not include all EU member states, but 22 of the 27 of them. Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus are not included. There are also four non-EU countries that are part of the Schengen area: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.


Visa France application helps you get your visa for France

Now that you know the difference between a passport and a visa, we can help you in your efforts to obtain your visa for France. To do so, go to our website to download the application.


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