A tourist visa is the standard entry permit for the majority of countries. When you receive a tourist visa, you can enter a specific country, stay and explore the country while your visa is valid. However, some countries will also issue an entry visa. While people tend to think an entry visa and a tourist visa are the same, there are significant differences between the two.
Entry Visa VS Tourist Visa
The main difference between an entry visa and a tourist visa is that an entry permit is not an actual visa; instead, it’s permission to allow you to enter a specific country, while a tourist visa allows you to enter and visit your destination country for up to six months.
An entry permit is usually issued on top of a tourist visa, and you have to apply for the permit one or two days before you enter the country, while you need a tourist visa months before you travel.
Here is an extensive list of the differences between an entry visa and a tourist visa:
|Tourist Visa||Entry Visa|
|Valid for up to 180 days.||Valid only until you enter your destination.|
|It’s issued in the form of a sticker attached to your passport.||It’s either an electronic permit or a paper document.|
|The application fee ranges from $20 to $300.||The application fee may be free of charge.|
|You need one for every country that doesn’t have a visa liberalization agreement with your home country.||You need one only for a few specific countries.|
|Takes a few months to process.||Takes a few hours up to several days to finish processing.|
Please note that the requirements for a tourist and entry visa are different based on your nationality and destination country.
Entry Visa Types VS Tourist Visa Types
Entry visas can be issued for different purposes depending on the country:
- Entry visas for pre-approval purposes. This type of entry visa is issued only as a means of a pre-approval travel authorization. For example, you already have applied for your tourist visa, and your application has been approved; some countries require you get an entry visa just to show you have permission to enter your destination country.
- Entry visa for specific purposes. This type of visa is issued for persons who have a unique situation. For example, India issues entry visas for Persons of Indian Origin and family members of Employment Visa holders in India.
In comparison, tourist visas can be issued in different entry levels:
- Single entry visa. This type of tourist visa allows you only to enter a country once. After you use your visa, it’s no longer valid; this means that even if you leave the country before your visa expires, you can no longer re-enter with the same permit.
- Multiple entry visa. A multiple entry visa allows you to enter a specific country more than once while the visa is valid. However, once your visa expires, you must apply for another permit.
Entry Visa Validity VS Tourist Visa Validity
An entry visa is valid only until you enter your destination country. A tourist visa can be valid anywhere from 15 days to 180 days, depending on the country and whether it’s a single or multiple entry.
Here is the validation period of tourist visas for famous tourist destinations:
|US tourist visa||Valid for 30- 180 days per entry (issued for ten years)|
|UK tourist visa||Six months|
|Australia tourist visa||Up to 12 months|
|Schengen visa for tourist purposes||90 days|
|Canada tourist visa||Six months per entry|
Entry Visa Fee VS Tourist Visa Fees
The fee for an entry visa is usually $20, but it can also be free of charge. Tourist visa fees change depending on your destination country and visa type (single or multiple entries).
Here’s how tourist visa fees vary from country to country:
|The United States||USD 160|
|The UK||GBP 89|
|Schengen Visa||EUR 80|
When Do I Need an Entry Visa VS Tourist Visa?
You need a tourist visa for every international visit when a visa agreement between your country of residence and destination is not in place. However, you only need an entry visa if your destination country specifically requires you to apply for one.
Note: You have to apply for an entry visa a few days before entering your travel destination, e.g., Singapore requires you to apply for entry authorization three days before your visit to the country.
Which Countries Issue Entry Visas?
Not many countries require you to have an entry visa, provided you already have a valid tourist visa. Still, the following countries may require you to get an entry authorization:
- Vietnam (in specific cases)
- Thailand (in specific cases)
- Macau (for specific countries)
Is an Entry Visa the Same as an Exit Visa?
No, an entry visa, as the name suggests, permits you to enter a specific country. On the other hand, an exit visa allows you to leave a specific country and go to your home country.
Usually, the countries that require an entry visa may also ask you to apply for an exit permit. Still, exit visas have been viewed as a violation of freedom of movement in recent years, so not many countries require you to have one.