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What are differences between passport and visa?

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Passport and visa are one of the required documents if you want to go abroad as well as foreigners who want to enter Vietnam. However, at present, many people are still very confusing about these two documents and often confuse them as one. This article by LSX Law firm will help you clearly distinguish between passport and visa. 

Law on entry, exit, transit and residence of foreigners in Vietnam 2014

Differences between passport and visa

A Passport

A passport is a type of document identifying foreign nationality issued by a foreign competent authority or the United Nations.


In general, Vietnam has three types of passports:

Firstly, ordinary passport: The type of passport common to all Vietnamese citizens. In order to have this passport, individuals submit an application for issuance and receive results at the Immigration Department of the police of the province or city. In special cases, the applicant can summit it at the Immigration Department

Secondly, official passport: Passport issued to government officials when going abroad to perform official duties assigned by the state

Lastly, diplomatic passports: Passports for those holding high-ranking positions in the Party and State’s agency systems such as Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Chairman of provincial People’s Committee or higher; Ministers, Deputy Ministers of Ministries, ministerial-level agencies, agencies attached to the Government

Issuing authority:

Ordinary passport: Individuals apply for issuance and receive results at the Immigration Department of the police of the province or city. In special cases, the applicant can summit it at the Immigration Department

In addition, official and diplomatic passports: The Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Foreign Affairs, in foreign countries are diplomatic missions, consular missions and other agencies authorized to perform consular functions of Vietnam abroad


Documents proving a person’s nationality

Validity period:

The validity of an ordinary passport is 10 years; and the validity of official and diplomatic passports is 5 years

A Visa

A Visa is type of document issued by a competent authority of Vietnam, allowing foreigners to enter Vietnam


Entry Visa;

Moreover, exit visa;

Lastly, transit visa.

Issuing authority:

Visa application procedures for foreigners who want to enter Vietnam: That person must be in the countries exempted from entry visas or have a visa licensed by the Vietnamese Embassy in the country where he/she resides.

Besides, procedures for applying for a visa with Vietnamese people applying for a visa abroad: The procedure depends on the regulations of each country you want to visit.


Is a type of permit that allows a person to enter, exit, and stay in a country or territory that he or she applies for.

Validity period:

The duration of the shortest visa is not more than 30 days, the longest is not more than 5 years.

According to current legal regulations, we can distinguish passports and visas based on the following criteria:

Relationship between passport and visa:

Passport is a pre-existing document, one of the most important documents required to obtain a visa.

In general, visas are usually issued by stamping or affixing to the passport depending on the regulations of different countries. In Vietnam, visas are issued by stamping on the passport or issued separately

  From the above article we can see that passport and visa are two different concepts, the function of each type of document is also different. 

Finally, hope this article is helpful for you!

If you have any questions; please contact Lawyer X for quick and best legal services: 0833102102.

Related questions

What are the uses of visas and passports?

A visa is used as a permit that allows you to enter and exit a certain country. While passport as personal information for identification 

Which agency has the authority to issue visas in Vietnam?

According to the law, foreigners, depending on each case, can apply for a Vietnam visa at one of the following agencies in Vietnam:
Administration of Immigration.
Immigration management office of provincial and city police. 

Conclusion: So the above is What are differences between passport and visa?. Hopefully with this article can help you in life, please always follow and read our good articles on the website:

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