What Is A Work Visa and its Differences with Tourist/Visitor Visa?

comparison of types of visas

The Basic Difference Between Work Visa and Tourist Visa


Tourist Visa

Work Visa


No Legal Job possible

Time-based employment is possible

When to apply

It is granted when your intention to temporarily stay in the foreign country to explore it and return back to the home country on the expiry of the visa has been established.

The work permit is granted when you have a prior employment contract with your employer in a foreign country.

What you can do

Countries have short term You can visit relatives, see the country and spend 90 days to come back

Usually, the countries will have various Tiers for the work visa which is further divided into various categories like “high-value migrants”, “skilled workers”, “low-skilled workers”, “temporary workers”.

What is it called

It is called a ‘C’ visit visa.

The work visa is called a “Green Card” in the USA and a “Blue Card” in Europe.

What is a Work Visa?

A work visa also called as a work permit or a permit to work (PTW) is a visa granted to the people seeking to work or take up a job in a foreign country. It may also be granted to minors allowing them to work legally under the Child Labor Laws.

Normally, the employer will apply for a work visa on the employee’s behalf for which he/she contacts the immigration authority of the particular country and get the visa approved.

comparison between tourist visa and work visa

How Is The Work Visa Obtained?

Different countries have different procedures for the work visa applications and you would have to follow the predetermined procedures according to your destination country.

The usual method is that you can either apply online through the embassy website or offline by downloading and filling the form and then submitting the same at the concerned Embassy.

The time taken to process your application depends on the kind of work that you would be doing in a foreign country.

The documents required for obtaining the work visa will be clearly mentioned in the application.

The steps to be followed are simple and straightforward—

  • Decide whether you will apply online or offline

  • Get all the necessary documents in place

  • Fill the application form in detail

  • Pay the fees to process the application

  • Send the application form to the concerned Embassy

Let us see the eligibility conditions to be met for obtaining a work visa—

  • You need to prove that you will leave the country after obtaining the visa

  • You should not have any record of criminal activities

  • You should not have any medical issues

  • You should have enough money to cover the expenses of your travel and stay

  • You need to prove that you will not take up any other work besides the work allotted to you by your employer.

  • You should not be employed for a profession that is prohibited for foreigners.

Why Is The Work Visa Denied?

You may at times be denied the work permit by the immigration authorities and usually, the reasons for the same are mentioned in the refusal letter. The most common reasons for work visa denial are as follows—

  • The immigration authorities think that you have no intent to return to the home country

  • The skills required for the specific job are not specialized

  • The applicant has a history of violating the immigration norms

  • Certain documents are forged or missing

  • The employer hasn’t met certain conditions demanded by the authorities

What Can You Do With a Work Visa?

Once you have obtained the work visa it is important to keep the following things in mind—

  • An open permit allows you to work for any employer whereas an employer-specific permit is tied to one employer only.

  • You need to carry the work permit with you during the office hours

  • You should apply for extension or renewal if the permit expires before the competition of the work

  • If you lose the permit you need to inform your employer and apply for a fresh one

  • If you resign before the permit expires, you need to return to the home country within 7 days

  • In certain countries, you can convert your work visa to a residence visa after meeting the conditions.

What is a Tourist Visa?

A tourist visa is also known as a travel visa or a visitor visa is one which is issued to the non-citizens of a particular country allowing them to enter the country, stay for a limited period of time, and leave the country without any legal hurdles. Its purpose is to allow the applicant to travel and explore the country for a specified period.

what is work visa

Why is it Needed?

The countries mainly issue this kind of a visa so as to keep a check on criminal activities and at the same time maintain a database of people visiting their country.

Is it Mandatory?

It is mostly mandatory to obtain a tourist visa to visit the destination country, but if you are a citizen of a certain country with whom the said country has good diplomatic relations, you may be exempt from obtaining the visa.

How is it Obtained?

In order to obtain the tourist visas, you can apply to the concerned Embassy/Consulate which has the representatives of the said country. You will need to file an application form and apply for an interview.

Alternatively, you can also apply for a visa on arrival if you as a citizen of a particular country are eligible to do so.

The documents that are required for a tourist visa are as follows—

  • Application form

  • Passport

  • Photograph

  • Travel Itinerary

  • Sufficient Funds to cover the expenses

Why is the Tourist Visa Denied?

The tourist visa may be denied due to certain reasons and the same is mentioned in the refusal letter, but the most common reasons are as follows—

  • The application form filled by you is incomplete

  • The documents submitted are forged or missing

  • The passport is invalid or expired

  • The applicant has a previous history of violating the immigration norms or has a record of criminal history

  • The applicant does not have sufficient funds to cover the expenses of the travel

For further information on visa application and visa refusal check out our website visafy.me

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