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Types of visas: Which one should you apply for?

Una persona en el aeropuerto entregando documentación para viajar

Traveling and exploring other countries is the plan of many Latin Americans. The reasons can be varied, which is why governments issue different types of visas to maintain control over entry into their territories.

A visa is an authorization requested by governments worldwide from foreigners who wish to enter their nation and engage in specific activities. Below, we will discuss the different types of visas and the requirements to apply for them.

What are the types of visas?

The first thing you need to keep in mind is the difference between a visa and a passport. A passport is a travel document that identifies a person when traveling abroad, similar to a national identity document. In fact, to apply for a visa, you must have a passport issued by your country of origin.

Now let's review which visas exist

Work visa

This category is designed for individuals seeking permission to work legally in another country. It may be renewable and is one of the most commonly issued types of visas.

To obtain a work visa, you must apply through the online form found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country you are traveling to. Each country has its own requirements, which are typically listed on their website.

Student visa

This authorization allows you to pursue various levels of academic education in the destination country. To be eligible for a student visa, you must be enrolled in a university, college, or institute in the foreign country.

For this process, you have different options. You can apply directly to the academic institution or through international student platforms.

Pasaporte y sello de visa para work&study

Tourist visa

This visa is not mandatory in all countries for engaging in tourism activities. For example, Argentinians, Colombians, and Paraguayans can enter the Schengen Area of the European Union with just their passports, while they do require a visa for tourism in the United States.

In this case, immigration authorities may request proof of round-trip tickets and reservations for accommodation. Similarly, the visa application process must be completed through the official website, where you will be required to submit documents and schedule an appointment with government officials of the destination country.

Types of visas:

Diplomatic visa This authorization is exclusive to individuals with diplomatic positions who travel as representatives of their home country. It is a unique document that is requested through government entities, as it is part of national security.

Each country has its own visa system. Some countries, like the United States or Colombia, have different categories within the same visa class. As a special category request, the government of your home country is responsible for making this application.

What documents do you need to apply for a visa?

The documents that may be requested vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for. However, there are some documents that are mandatory for all categories:

  • National identification document

  • Online application form

  • Passport with a minimum validity of 6 months

  • At least 2 passport-sized photographs with a blue or white background

In the case of a work visa, the process may be more complex due to document legalization. Authorities often request employer bank statements, registration as a legal entity, and proof of minimum income.

At Holistic, we specialize in the labor relocation of individuals to different countries in Latin America, so we can assist you with visa applications and other immigration procedures.


¿Qué tipos de visas hay para viajar a diferentes destinos? (s. f.). Recuperado 3 de abril de 2023, de

ETIAS Visa. (2023, 27 marzo). ¿Qué países no necesitan visa para viajar a Europa? Legalteam. Recuperado 4 de abril de 2023, de

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