What is a passport?
Passport is a travel document issued by the government of a traveler's native or
adopted country as proof of citizenship.
What is a visa?
Visas are the permission that are granted by a sovereign nation to a traveler permitting
entry into that country for a specific purpose. Most visas are stamped into the
traveler's passport. The most common types of visas are granted for the specific
purposes of tourism, conducting business or attending a conference or symposium,
establishing temporary or permanent residence, or going to school. A traveler must
follow very distinct guidelines and procedures established by each sovereign nation
in applying for the appropriate visa category.
All government offices (Passport office and all Embassies) are closed on weekends
and in the evenings. If you lost your US passport or need a new passport, follow
our passport instructions and deliver in person or FedEx all the documents to our
nearest Travisa office the next business day. If you need an emergency travel visa,
gather ALL the required documents and deliver (or FedEx) them to a Travisa office
the next business day.
What does Travisa do?
Travisa assists individuals, travel agents, and corporate travel departments, allowing
them to meet travel deadlines without worry. We understand the passport process
can be confusing, time-consuming, and extremely stressful when your trip is on the
line. Travisa is not a government agency - but we work directly with the US Passport
Agency and the Department of State to process passports according to the departure
Why did Travisa place a gold sticker on my passport?
The stickers are very important for identifying Travisa to the Embassy, should the
Consulate require additional information, or should we need to call the embassy
to request special service. Embassies will not look through hundreds of passports
to locate the client by name. Embassies and Consulates generally require visa applications
submitted by a third party to bear an identifiable symbol. More information
about the passport identification stickers
Why do I need a visa if I already have a US passport?
A US passport is proof of citizenship, and permits you to re-enter the United States
after your trip abroad. However, a US passport does not automatically permit entry
into every country without a visa. Many countries allow US passport holders to enter
without a visa because of reciprocal visa waivers and long-standing diplomatic relations;
many countries do not.
How long is my passport valid?
Unless restricted to a specific validity, most US passports issued to adults (over
16 years at the time of issuance) are valid for 10 years. Passports for individuals
under the age of 16 are valid for only 5 years. Non-US passport validity varies
I have run out of blank visa pages on my passport, but it does not expire for another
three years, what do I do?
If you are a US citizen, submit your passport to Travisa for the addition of pages,
which will be affixed in your current passport by the US State Department. Call
Travisa to obtain a list of the required documents and form.
Why must I have a full blank visa page in my passport when I need to get a visa?
Why can't a visa be issued on a blank amendment page at the back of my passport?
Most visas are stamped, or affixed, in your passport on the pages specifically marked
for them, and countries require that visa stamps be placed on those pages that do
not contain any other stamps. Amendment pages at the back of US passports are specifically
designated by the US State Department for changes and endorsements to a passport,
after initial issuance. Countries generally refuse to recognize the usability of
an amendment page for visas.
What do I do if my passport is lost or stolen while I am traveling abroad?
Travisa Protection Plan is the answer. We provide you with specific instructions
as well as important numbers so you can speak directly with someone who can help
you. U.S. Embassies and Consulates are a phone call away, and with the Plan you
are assured free transmission of all the forms and applications you need. This necessity
for any international traveler lasts for the lifetime of your passport so it is
always there when you need it most.
Does a minor need a passport?
It depends on the nationality of the traveler. The US Government requires a separate
passport for each traveler.
The name on my passport does not match the name on my ticket. Will this be a problem?
For many reasons, which include security issues, you may be denied boarding if your
travel documents and tickets have different names.
Why do I need a visa for some countries and not others? How do I find out if I need
a visa for a specific country?
Most visa requirements are based on treaties of trade and commerce between nations.
Still other nations base visa issuance on diplomatic or historical relations. For
example, the exemption of citizens of former colonies or dependent territories from
visa requirements is fairly common. Please contact any Travisa office for nationality-specific
information. Or, US citizens may check our web site at http://www.travisa.com for
the particular country information you require.
What is the difference between a tourist visa and a business visa?
Visas are issued to permit entry into a country for a specific purpose - to allow
travel for leisure, or to conduct business activities. The various classifications
and requirements for these, and other, visa categories are usually defined by treaty,
and vary by country. In general, "tourist" visas are issued specifically for the
purpose of travel for pleasure, while a "business" visa generally permits a traveler
to engage in normal business-related activities.
TRAVEL FOR TOURISM
Some countries do not require a visa for US citizens traveling as a tourist for
short periods of time. In these cases, it may be sufficient for the traveler to
present upon arrival in a non-visa destination, a US passport, valid for a specific
period of time, as well as a round-trip ticket.
Many countries not requiring a tourist visa for US citizens do, however, require
the completion of a tourist card or arrival/departure card for presentation to the
admitting customs officer upon arrival in that country. These arrival/departure
cards are available through airlines. A limited period of stay is usually authorized
upon arrival for the specific purpose of tourism.
TRAVEL FOR BUSINESS
Business visas, depending upon the country, are most often required for a traveler
who has a business agenda in the destination country. Each country defines what
activities are allowed under their "business visa" category. Contact Travisa on
the specifics for the country you will be visiting. Generally, business activities
can include the following: attending meetings and discussions, visiting customers,
providing non-technical sales support, gathering market information, conducting
short-term research, attending a business seminar, making a presentation, discussing
regulatory changes, negotiating and signing contracts, participating in a conference
or symposium, or meeting with government officials.
If a visa is required, do I need to send Travisa my actual passport?
Yes, a passport needs to be submitted so the visa may be stamped on one of the blank
What is the difference between "single-entry" and "multiple-entry" visas?
Depending on the reciprocal treaties governing visa issuance for each nationality,
a visa may allow one entry before its expiration, or it may permit the traveler
to enter at various times.
A single-entry visa may only be used for one entry for the specific purpose for
which it was granted.
In general, the number of times that a multiple-entry visa may be used depends upon
restrictions of time (expiration date of the visa), the nationality of the traveler,
or restrictions placed on the total number of days permitted in country during any
Why can't the picture in my passport be used for the visa application?
When photos are required to obtain visas, the photographs must be attached to the
visa application forms and submitted to the country issuing the visa. Thus, the
photograph in a passport cannot be used for visa applications. Most countries will
accept either black and white, or color, passport-type photos taken within the past
3 months; digital photos are not usually accepted. Photographs are sometimes, as
in the case of Russian visas, affixed to the actual visa.
Why can't I fax my passport or visa application to you for processing?
For a visa or passport request, most countries require the submission of not only
the actual passport, but also original photographs and completed application forms
bearing the applicant's original signature, as well as various supporting documents.
These requirements, which vary by country, are imposed by sovereign nations in consideration
of granting a visa to a particular individual for a specific purpose. Thus, faxed
documents are not usually accepted.
Does the traveler actually have to sign passport and visa applications?
Yes. The applicant, through signature, is acknowledging that all the information
appearing on the application is true and correct, and formally petitioning a sovereign
nation for the right to enter that country.
What is the difference between the "Consular Fee" and the "Travisa Service Fee"?
"Consular Fees" are fees paid to an embassy or consulate in order to fulfill visa
issuance requirements, or document authentication /legalization charges. Most consular
fees are reciprocally charged, according to the current treaties of trade and commerce
between nations. It is not unusual for consular fees to change, without advance
notice, as trade negotiations take place and treaties are amended. If a country
arbitrarily changes consular fees, reciprocal action generally will be taken.
The "Travisa Service Fee" is charged for actions performed by Travisa in facilitating
the issuance of visas, or other documents and services to successfully fulfill each
order. Travisa's fees are separate from the fees charged by the consular offices.
The 30-year special working relationships developed by Travisa through daily interaction
with foreign governments, allow you to have your own, personal diplomatic representative
for a modest charge.