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THIS IS ACCURATE FOR U.S. CITIZENS (Born here). If you are going to leave the US, even to go to Canada or Mexico, you should bring with you proof of citizenship. This is used primarily to return to the US, not as a requirement of the other country. The very best proof is a passport. For about $100 you can have photos taken, get your application processed, wait a couple of weeks (longer in peak seasons), and be set for 10 years. Other methods normally accepted for proof of citizenship include: an original or certified copy of your birth certificate, military discharge, and expired passport, or naturalization papers. Not accepted are: social security card, drivers license, any credit card, voter's registration (because every district is unique-easily faked), a marriage license, or a "green card" which is used by resident aliens to show they legally reside in the US. A visa is permission from a country to enter their borders for purposes of tourism, business, or schooling. They are granted by the foreign consulate or embassy after submission of an application along with any fees, letter, invitations, or travel information they require. The visa is usually a stamp which is placed in the passport and is good for a specific duration. Persons who were not born in the United States may have different qualifications in order to receive a passport or visa. Check with a good travel agent for your special needs.