Visa or Passport???
Not to seem stupid, but what is the difference between a Visa and a Passport? We are just beginning our adoption process and will probably adopt from China. However, we are also somewhat interested in Kahzakstan, Vietnam, and Guatemala. We'd like to make sure we get our travel documents taken care of right away so we don't have to worry about it later. Will we need Visas or Passports or both?
Thank you.
A passport is a US-issued document permitting you to travel abroad-this certifies your identity and citizenship. For the countries you listed, you need a passport.

A visa is an entry permit, an endorsement of the country you are entering that the proper officials there have examined the document(passport). I do not know if that is required for the countries that you have listed. Visa is separate from passport and is a separate cost. If needed, there are usually different types, many times people will travel on a "tourist visa" for adoption versus "business visa" or "student visa" etc.Many agencies will help you obtain the visa, if needed.
thank you
Thank you for clearing that up for me.
Americans need a visa for China, Kazakhstan and Vietnam. I don't think you need one for Guatemala. The visa goes inside the passport, so you'll need the passport first.
Bless you Lucy for asking. I

never gave it a thought. I adopted my son from Bulgaria. A co-worker adopted from Russia about 6 months before I did. He mentioned obtaining a Visa for my travel to Bulgaria and I started to panic. I was like, HUH? But one isn't required for Bulgaria.
Also, the passport can be done way ahead of country specific info. is required. Passports are valid for years. The visa is a "last minute" item. Details of your trip are needed, like when you plan to travel. Visas have a small window of time for which they are valid. Hope this helps.
Don't sweat the visa stuff - there are services out there that can process your visa application with no problem given the short notice most of us get for adoption travel (we used Of course, the quicker turn around you need, the more it costs......

Your agency should be able to help with visa requirements and expediting services for the country you'll be travelling to.
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