Visa Types by Their Purpose

There are a lot of different types of visas and a lot of visa classifications. When they first appeared, passports and visas served the same purpose and weren’t really different from each other. Just a piece of paper that allowed people to visit other countries. Today, visas are one of the mandatory requirements for travelling, studying, working, residing in other countries.


Most usual ones are tourist and business visas. But they are certainly not the only ones that exist. Here are all the visa types by their purpose of use.


Visitor Visas


Besides already mentioned tourist and business visas, visitor visas include:



-Working holiday;



-Pilgrimage visas.

Private visas are for travellers who are visiting residents of other countries. They are staying at private accommodation or Airbnb. Usually, an invitation from a host is a required document for getting this visa type.

Medical visas are for people who need to go through a medical treatment in a foreign country.

Working holiday visas are usually issued to students who are participating in “work and study” programs.

Athletic/artistic visas are for people participating in sports competitions, organising music tours and similar events.

Refugee visas are issued to people at the times of war or who suffered in natural disasters.

Pilgrimage visas are issued to people who are visiting religious ceremonies. These visas shouldn’t be used for transit or business purposes. Most popular one is the Hajj visa.

Tourist visas are for leisure purposes. It is not allowed to work in a foreign country with this visa.

Business visas are for business purposes, but also for attending conferences, fairs and other similar events. To get this visa, a passenger first needs to acquire a business letter of invitation. You can find more about this invitation in our blog post about a business invitation for China.


Long-Stay Visas


In the long-stay visas include the following visa types:




-Asylum visas.

Each of these visas needs a special documentation depending on the visa type, country and the duration of stay.

Work visas, for example, require a letter of invitation from the employer. For more details, you can check our blog post about work visa for Russia.

Some countries have special visas especially designed for journalists and people travelling for research purposes.


Transit Visas


These visas allow their holders to transit through a country during a certain time frame. This time frame depends on the visa and it differs from country to country. You can transit through a particular country, but you need to go to a third country afterwards. You are not allowed to return to a country you just arrived from.


There are also visa-free transits. For example, there is a visa-free transit in China, which recently changed. The visa-free time frame for China’s capital city and other provinces is now prolonged to 144 hours.


Official Visas


Official visas are issued to people working for governments. Diplomats enjoy lots of perks due to the nature of their work and they can travel with their diplomatic passports usually visa-free.

There are also courtesy visas for people who are also working for governments but don’t hold a diplomatic status.


Immigrant Visas


These visas are issued to people who wish to become permanent residents in the chosen country. These visas include:



-Retirement visas.

Retirement visas can be issued only by some countries and to people who have a foreign source of income and who are not planning to work in the country they wish to reside in.


Getting a visa is a complicated process, no doubt about it. However, Viselio is making changes and by using our online visa application form, you will have less paperwork and stress to deal with. Check out Viselio’s offer and choose between tourist and business visas for destinations like China, India, Russia and Vietnam.