Senin, 16 Juni 2008


Visa, formal endorsement placed by government authorities on a passport, indicating that the passport has been examined and found valid by the nation to be visited, and that the bearer may legally go to his or her destination.

An entry visa signifies that the bearer has received official permission to enter a country as a visitor; it does not, however, guarantee admission. Entry visas serve the general purpose of enabling a government to limit and control the entry of aliens into a country. These visas are of two general types: the passport entry visa, which is issued to persons who wish to enter a country for a visit of stated duration, and the immigration entry visa, which is issued to persons who want to enter and settle permanently in the country.
In the U.S., the requirement of entry visas became an integral part of the immigration system in 1917. Prior to that year aliens were permitted to enter the United States without a visa but were subject to exclusion on various grounds. The immigration laws were strengthened by Congress during World War I, when strict control over the entry of aliens was deemed essential to curtailing enemy espionage and sabotage. Several enactments passed since 1918 have fully defined the visa requirements for both immigrants and nonimmigrants and have rendered them increasingly stringent. Racial restrictions on the immigration and naturalization of aliens were removed and provision was made for the immigration of defectors from Communist countries by the terms of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. American consular officers may refuse entry visas to aliens only on specific grounds set forth in the immigration laws, including mental defects, affliction with a dangerous contagious disease, conviction for crimes involving moral turpitude or illicit narcotics traffic, fraud or willful misrepresentation in procuring a visa, membership in certain proscribed organizations, and prospective activities in the U.S. believed prejudicial to the public interest or dangerous to the welfare, safety, or security of the nation.
Aliens applying to U.S. consular officials abroad for immigration entry visas are normally required to present documentary evidence of their status as responsible and law-abiding citizens of their own country. They must submit to a mental and physical examination and establish their eligibility to receive an immigrant visa. Numerical limitations have been levied on the number of aliens who may immigrate to the United States each year. Certain classes of aliens, including the spouses and children of U.S. citizens, are exempt from numerical limitations. See Immigration; Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Some nations require that their own citizens obtain exit visas—that is, government authorization to leave the country—before traveling or settling abroad. Exit visas are frequently required by countries in which unfavorable political, social, or economic conditions have resulted in a marked rise in emigration. By restricting exit visas, such countries can check or even halt the flow of emigrants. Notable among the governments that instituted the use of exit visas were the Fascist regime in Italy, from 1922 to 1943, and the National Socialist regime in Germany, from 1933 to 1945. China and a number of other countries have continued this practice to the present time.
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