Dhruva Jaishankar

The Dying Art Of The Visa: A Personal History

Visas were traditionally meant to serve several purposes. They had to easily communicate necessary information to authorities, such as validity and the terms of stay. They were often designed to prevent easy forgery. And they were occasionally used to convey aspects of a country's national character through visual symbolism and imagery. For all these reasons, the visa, in its brief heyday, was a little-appreciated masterpiece of modern design.