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What's a travel visa, and how do I know if I need one for the country I'm visiting?
A visa is issued by a country's government to foreign travelers, allowing them to enter and travel within the country. Usually, "visa" refers to the stamp on your passport that marks the date you arrived in a country, and how long you can stay. Some countries, however, require that you apply for a visa before arriving. Contact your travel agent, or the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting, to find out if a visa is required for travel. Don't rely on guidebooks or hearsay.

Be sure to look carefully at the dates for which the visa is valid. Many countries use the day/month/year format. The U.S. is a notable exception, and uses the month/day/year format. If you show up in the wrong month, you may not be allowed to enter the country.

In addition to asking whether you need a visa, find out if there are any other restrictions on your travel, such as the length of time you can stay in the country, or whether you need to show evidence of sufficient travel funds or onward travel plans.


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