Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life

By , on June 24, 2012

Legal Views


Below are some of the common variations in requirements imposed by nations in allowing foreigners into their country.

A treaty based unfettered right: This exists in the European Union. Once you are admitted by one nation, you may simply travel to any of the nations participating in the treaty.

A very informal entry procedure: This is what I experienced a lot as a child in crossing the U.S./Canada border. No passport was required until 2009. The questions by customs or immigration officers might be an inquiry as to your name, the purpose of your visit, whether you were bringing in new purchases and the like.

A passport is required: This requirement respects the procedures of the visitor’s nation in having a secure passport issuance system. The nation to which you are applying for admission can be confident that if your name appears on their data bases, it is indeed you. They can deny your application for entry if their records indicate doing so is lawful and prudent under their laws, regulations and policies.

A passport and a visa are required: This is a robust system, where the passport is issued by the citizen’s home country and the nation being visited issues a visa. The visa often includes a photographic image, signature, the passport number, and the rights of the visitor such as the duration and allowed purpose of the visit. The U.S. requires the visa holder to inform the U.S. of their location within the U.S. a few days after they are admitted. The visitor is essentially registered with our federal government.


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