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When did tourist visas appear?

Today you can often hear the phrase: “It is necessary to apply for a visa.” It sounds so commonplace that not many people think about where this concept came from and how long ago separate documents were needed to visit other countries.

When did visas appear?
Of course, a visa is a certain moment of control. The state in which you are traveling may refuse to visit you if, for example, your activity is contrary to its standards. In order not to detain you right at the border, you simply may not be given a document authorizing you to travel.And, meanwhile, the history of the visa has its roots in the most biblical times. The book of Nehemiah mentions certain documents that allow you to travel to other countries.

“And I said to the king: if the king was pleased, then he would give me letters to the district governors in the river, so that they would give me a pass until I get to Judea.”

These peculiar documents made it possible to control the number of visitors, which was important, because if you do not know how many “guests” you have, then your house can plunge into chaos and bedlam.

In the Middle Ages, the concept of javaz appeared in Egypt. It was issued to everyone who has the goal of leaving the country. This kind of “exit visa” was issued even to slaves. Egypt was generally famous for its high organization, and it is not surprising that these special documents were there.

In our country, “travel” and “vacation” certificates began to be issued in the 13th century in Veliky Novgorod, and finally the procedure for issuing them was enshrined in the code of judicial laws adopted in 1497. By the way, over time, the issuance algorithm was changed, and it became increasingly difficult for commoners to leave the borders of the principalities.

The boom of visa documents came at the end of World War I. The looted and wounded Europe thus tried to control migration flows. On the one hand, prosperous countries are happy to host their devastated neighbors, yes, only there isn’t enough space for everyone, and jobs too.

In the 20th century, visas became strictly divided into transit, tourist, business and workers, diplomatic, journalistic and so on. Each type of document had its own validity period, and each its holder could use certain rights. If a journalist – here is such a document for you, and if you are going to a construction site – get another one. Of course, before obtaining a visa, checks and, in some cases, interviews are carried out.

Stamp of the Russian consulate on the American identity card in 1917

John F. Kennedy Visa to Brazil in 1941

Russian visa in 1916

With the development of technology, visas as documents began to try to protect as much as possible from fakes. Photos appeared on visas to identify the owner, microprinting and other security features.

By the way, states have not come to a single standard of visas, which creates additional problems for a person who often travels around the world. Although not large, they are still being created. For example, for visas of different states, different photos are needed: somewhere on a white background, somewhere on a gray background, and so on, but they are made by companies such as OQ copycenter.

However, in 146 countries, Russian tourists do not need visas right now or are placed right at the border (data for 2018).

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