Official Visa – Guidelines and Requirements

Author:Tran Van Chung | 26/02/24

An official visa is an essential permit for those on official duties in a foreign country. This article will explore the principles and requirements needed to apply for a public affairs entry pass. Let’s delve into the details to prepare best for your journey as a representative of your country in the following article.

What is an official visa?

An official visa is a special permit for individuals performing official or diplomatic duties in another country. To be eligible, you must be a government official, a diplomatic staff, or an official representative of your country. This visa opens doors to carry out significant missions, affirming your role and responsibilities, and that of your country on the international stage.

Official visa rules

When you hold a public affairs entry pass for official duties in a foreign country, there are strict rules to follow as follows:

  • You are not allowed to work (except for your official duties).
  • You are not permitted to study with a public affairs entry pass.
  • You cannot apply for citizenship while holding an official visa.

Official visa by country

Currently, many countries provide official visa for those on official or diplomatic missions. Here is a list of some countries and detailed information about the public affairs entry pass they offer:

Australia official visa
Australia official visa
  • United States: The United States provides a different official visa. These include A1 visa. They are for diplomats, consular officers, and ambassadors. There are also G and NATO visa. They serve guests from international bodies. Also, they are for representatives of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
  • Australia: Grants a special purpose visa for members of the Royal family, military officers, official guests of the Australian government, and their family members. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be granted a visa upon entry into Australia.
  • Canada: Issues diplomatic and courtesy visa, depending on your eligibility criteria. The application fee for both types of Canada’s public affairs entry pass is 100 CAD.
  • Japan: Diplomatic visas are issued to those coming to Japan to perform official duties on be +half of their country. The validity period of the visa will be equivalent to the time needed to complete the diplomatic mission.
  • Mexico: Mexico’s diplomatic visa is for those with official business in the country. Depending on nationality, you might be exempt from the diplomatic visa, so be sure to check with the embassy or consulate beforehand!

Types of official visa

In the realm of diplomacy, the official visa is a crucial key. It opens borders for official missions. This is true in international relations. Currently, there are two main types of official visa widely recognized: Diplomatic Visa and Courtesy Visa. Each type of visa is designed to serve specific purposes and audiences, reflecting flexibility and respect in international relations as follows:

  • Diplomatic visa: Issued to individuals performing official visits on behalf of their country to another country. Often, those holding a diplomatic passport also need to have a diplomatic visa to enter another country. This visa represents the commitment and seriousness in the diplomatic relationship between countries.
  • Courtesy visa: Granted to individuals not eligible for a diplomatic visa but are of high status and are special guests of the foreign government, including military personnel, members of the Royal Family… This visa shows the respect and welcome of a country for distinguished guests.

Who can apply for an official visa?

An official visa is not for everyone; it’s specifically designed for individuals with official duties or purposes in a foreign country. Below is a list of those who can apply for a public affairs entry pass that you might want to know more about:

  • Diplomats: Diplomats often need public affairs entry pass to perform diplomatic missions, representing their role and responsibilities in maintaining and developing relations between countries.
  • Ambassadors: As the highest representative of a country in another country, ambassadors need an official visa to carry out official duties and maintain national prestige.
  • Foreign ministers: As the head in establishing and executing foreign policy, foreign ministers need a public affairs entry pass for official visits to foreign countries.
  • Public officials: Individuals holding government or public positions and performing official duties abroad.
  • Military personnel: In some cases, military personnel are invited as official guests of another country and need an official visa for entry.
  • Official guests of the foreign government: Individuals invited as special guests of the foreign government for official events or missions.
  • Family members: Families of the above individuals can also apply for a public affairs entry pass, depending on the purpose and duration of the official trip.

Official visa application process

The process of applying for a public affairs entry pass requires meticulous preparation and strict adherence to the regulations of the country you intend to enter. First, you need to prepare a complete application, ensuring you meet the eligibility criteria. Then, you need to submit the application at the embassy or consulate of that country in your homeland.

However, note that some countries have special regulations that do not allow you to apply for a public affairs entry pass by yourself; for example, Australia’s Special Purpose visa will be granted upon entry into the country.

Official visa requirements

When applying for a public affairs entry pass, there is a series of requirements that need to be fulfilled to ensure that the official purpose of your trip is accepted. Below is a list of the basic requirements you need to prepare for your official visa application:

Diplomatic passport
Diplomatic passport
  • Diplomatic passport: This is the most important document, proving your status and the official purpose of your trip.
  • Passport photo: You must prepare a photo according to the specified size, usually a color photo with passport dimensions.
  • Valid travel health insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive health insurance for the duration of your stay abroad.
  • Bank statement: Prove your financial capability to fund your trip.
  • Official statement from your country: Details about your diplomatic mission abroad.

Note that your application may need to be translated or verified with an apostille seal. Thorough preparation and full compliance with these requirements not only make your visa application process smoother but also demonstrate professionalism and respect for the regulations of the country you are visiting.

Official visa processing time

The processing time for an official visa is usually very quick. In most cases, the public affairs entry pass will be issued on the same day the application is submitted, providing maximum convenience for the applicant. However, depending on the workload and pressure on the embassy or consulate at that time, this process may take up to several days.