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Old 7 Nov 2008
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chicago
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Tourist Visa vs Tourist Permit

What is the difference?
As an indian citizen (i.e third world), i am required to get tourist visas upfront before i go anywhere. My question is, when i enquire about getting a tourist visa for say all of the central american countries, i am required to have a standard bunch of paperwork such as: passport, residency status (in USA), 2 photos, driver's license, bank statement and $.

Now i imagine that if i were at the border post of that country, i would require none of these other than passport, bike papers, $, and DL? Why no photos? is that because a permit is issued at the border and not a Visa?

just a bit puzzled...
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Old 8 Nov 2008
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: SoOrange NJ USA
Posts: 297
Hazard a guess...

Standard (bureaucratic) operating procedure: separate photos to verify that you as the visa applicant applying--often by mail, rather than in person--to a consulate office are the same person as the photo that appears on your passsport;
when you're physically presenting yourself at a border crossing requesting a visa, the border authority can immediately verify that you look like/ are the same person that appears in your passport photo.
It's a "visa," regardless (assuming that's what the particular country requires for India nationals to enter that country)
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Old 8 Nov 2008
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Location: bellingham, WA, USA
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You often need photos to get visas at borders. They don't have to be of the same quality or precision required for passports; just get a bunch wherever it's convenient and carry them with you. In the US I use automatic photo booths in malls, but in the developing world there are usually shops who'll do it better and cheaper.

Take a hint from the recent poster who was shocked to find he needed hard currency for his visa, and bring some of that also--US dollars, euros or both. Don't forget insurance for your bike, either. And a yellow fever card.

It's been a while since I've been asked to provide proof of onward intent (airline tickets, carnet) or financial wherewithal (cash, travelers checks, credit and debit cards) at a border, but it still happens. Probably, I look more prosperous and reliable now that I'm old, balding and girthy.

Hope that helps.

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Old 27 Nov 2008
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new law.

I would like to inquire about the details and conditions of a tourist permit, according to the new law. Do all companies have the right to issue this permit? What are the guarantees required for such permits? For how long can a tourist visa holder stay in the UAE? Is the visa renewable?
link building
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Old 27 Nov 2008
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Location: Chiangmai, Thailand
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Tourist permits are issued at the border for residents/passport holders of certain countries (under friendly agreements). As a consequence, Americans, Canadians, and many European passport holders (and others) can show at the border in Central and South America and get a "permit" - a stamp with the time period written in.

Residents of other countries may be required to obtain a Visa in advance (possibly obtainable at the border). South/Central America is much looser on this (providing at the border) than many African and Asian countries.

In cases of Visa's, there's usually a dated visa sticker placed in your passport in advance at the time you applied/received the visa.

You need to check the web sites for the countries you would like to visit, under your visa, and find out where you stand, what's required. Not every country treats all individuals the same, so what someone says regarding their experience may have absolutely no relevance to your passport/situation.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
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