What is a visitor visa

Traveling with the visitor visa

Visitor visa - what is it?

The terms private visa and Visitor visa are often used synonymously. If you plan to enter a country that requires a visa for personal reasons, you will need a nonimmigrant visa for visiting purposes instead of a tourist visa. With such a permit in your pocket, you not only have the opportunity to visit relatives and friends abroad and go on tourist trips. You are also allowed to complete private formalities and, for example, have documents certified on site. In addition, business activities may be permitted, but not taking up work.


Requirements for visas for visiting purposes

An official invitation from the destination country is required for both tourist visas and visiting permits for private travel purposes. While you as a tourist usually receive the invitation letter, also known as an invitation letter or voucher, from the accommodation, as a visitor you need an invitation from your host. Your family members must apply for the official invitation letter at the local migration authority responsible. The letter includes the contact details of the inviting party and the applicant's personal data. In addition, a time period for the visit must be specified.
The immigration authorities do not accept incorrect invitation letters. If you are not sure whether your invitation is formally correct, you can ask our checking service to check it.

In addition to the invitation, the consulates in Germany usually have to submit the documents listed below or provide information when applying for a visitor visa. Deviations are possible depending on the country of travel.


  • Visa application for private travel purposes
  • valid passport
  • Passport photo
  • when entering the country by car: make of car and license plate number

  • Proof of willingness to return, proof of health insurance and evidence of sufficient financial resources may be required. Depending on the country of travel and the people invited, a declaration of commitment from the host may be required. Usually, however, this cannot be assumed.


    How long is the visa valid?

    The period of validity of the visa is usually based on the invitation. In addition, each country sets a maximum total length of stay. In China, Azerbaijan, Russia and Kazakhstan this is 90 days. If you plan to stay abroad longer, there is an option to extend the travel authorization under certain conditions. In China, for example, there are family visas as a sub-category of the private visa. Anyone applying for a visa for relatives is obliged to prove that they are closely related to the inviting person. If this proof is provided, visits of up to or more than 180 days are possible.


    Differentiation from other visas

    As each state has its own visa regulations, it is difficult to clearly define the visa for visiting purposes. Some countries differentiate between stays for purely private and business purposes. There are also other subdivisions such as B. the above-mentioned family visa. When we speak of a visa for visits, we mean a visa for private affairs, the meeting with friends or relatives abroad. Compared to the tourist visa, the travel permit for visitors has the advantage of a longer period of validity. Unlike with a work visa, however, you are not allowed to work in the destination country. If you do not know whether the visitor visa or private visa makes sense for your travel plans, please contact our visa service.