Archive for April, 2010

Chinese Visa Requirements for Shopping in Shanghai

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

In terms of population, China is not only the biggest city in China-with a population of over 20 million people, it’s the largest city in the entire world. As you might expect from its size, Shanghai is an excellent shopping destination. In fact, it is often referred to as the “Shopping Paradise” and “Oriental Paris”.

In Shanghai, you can buy just about anything-the finest tea in China, beautiful pearls and delicate jewelry, brand names and knockoffs, and even fighting crickets!  If you are concerned about navigating the streets of Shanghai on your own, you can go as part of a shopping tour. However, traveling by yourself has its own advantages-you have more freedom to roam around, and you can spend the money you would have given the tour operator on stuff for yourself.

If you are planning in visiting the city and you want to shop independently, Matador Travel has an excellent guide on shopping in Shanghai.  One thing that makes shopping in Shanghai especially interesting is the collection of different markets: pearl markets, fabric markets, fashion markets, a tea market, even an animal and insect market where you can purchase the aforementioned fighting crickets. About.com has an excellent guide to the different Shanghai markets.

Shanghai is a world-class shopping destination, and China welcomes American tourists. However, if you’re going to Shanghai to shop, there’s one accessory you’ll need to purchase ahead of time: a Chinese tourist visa, also known as an “L” visa. China does not issue visas on arrival, so if you show up at the airport without one, you won’t be allowed to board your place.

What does it take to get an “L” visa? You will need the following:

  • One completed Chinese visa application
  • Your US passport
  • One  passport photo

If your plane leaves within the seven days, you can include a copy of your itinerary to expedite your visa. Using a visa expediting company like RushMyTravelVisa makes the process quick and efficient-we’ll help you with your application and deliver your paperwork to the appropriate visa or consulate for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your expedited Chinese visa today!

Cameroon Visa Requirements For Tourists

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Since the 1970′s, Cameroon’s government has been encouraging the development of the country’s tourism industry, which has been growing slowly but steadily.

There’s a lot to love about Cameroon-fascinating people, flawless beaches, and an amazing variety of wildlife. What keeps people away? According to Lonely Planet’s guide to the country, “Cameroon’s tourist industry is a victim of geography. It sits in a tough neighbourhood, bordered by some problematic countries.”

According to the US Department of State, Cameroon also has a high crime rate, so do be careful, especially if you decide to venture out of the well-known tourist industries.

However, these cautions aside, Cameroon does have a lot to offer the careful traveler.  Cameroon encompasses a diverse variety of habitats and cultures, so much so that Cameroon’s government describes the country as ” “Africa in miniature.”

US citizens traveling to Cameroon need a valid passport and a Cameroon visa, plus evidence of yellow fever vaccination and shot records.

Here’s what you’ll need to apply for a Cameroon visa:

  • 2 Cameroon visa application forms
  • 2 passport photos
  • Your yellow fever vaccine certificate
  • A copy of your itinerary
  • A copy of a recent bank statement or someone, either at home or in Cameroon, who is willing to vouch for you and provide financial support if needed.

You must apply for your visa in advance-you can’t just pick one up on your way into the country. RushMyTravelVisa can help you with your Cameroon visa application by connecting you with a trained visa specialist who will walk you through the process, step by step, and provide you with clear, easily comprehensible instructions.

Once we’ve helped you with the necessary paperwork, we’ll deliver your application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Cameroon visa today!

Bangladesh Visa Requirements For Tourists

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Bangladesh is a small country (about the size of Wisconsin), surrounded by India to the north, east and west and the Bay of Bengal to the South.  Although tiny, relatively poor and prone to natural disasters, Bangladesh is nonetheless an intriguing place to visit, with an abundance of natural parks, ancient ruins and unspoiled beaches.

However, US visitors to Bangladesh do need to obtain a Bangladesh visa. In theory, you should be able to get a visa on arrival. However, as the US Department of State notes, “Bangladesh has not widely publicized their policies for visas on arrival.  Travelers may encounter delays in airport visa issuance or refused entry if they do not have visas prior to arrival.”

Also, visas issued on arrival are valid for a maximum of 14 days, while visas issued ahead of time can be valid for longer periods.

So, it’s best to get your Bangladesh visa from an embassy or consulate before you travel.  Here are the documents you will need to apply:

  • Your US passport
  • 1 Bangladesh visa application  form
  • 1 passport photo
  • Roundtrip airline tickets or itinerary. If you are traveling by land, you’ll need a letter explaining when and where you will be entering and leaving the country.

Also, while some countries will allow you to travel with a valid visa in an expired passport, in Bangladesh your visa is only valid if it is inside a valid US passport. If your passport has expired, you need both a new passport and a Bangladesh visa.

RushMyTravelVisa makes it easy to obtain a Bangladesh visa, as well as any other visa documents you might need for your journey. We review your itinerary and research the visa requirements for every country you plan to stop in, ensuring that you don’t run into any unpleasant surprises along the way.

Then, we provide you with personal attention and simple instructions to make filling your visa application as easy and painless as possible.  This also reduces your chance of making common mistakes that could delay your application.

Apply for your Bangladesh visa today!

Brazilian Visa Requirements For Eco-Tourism

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

In Brazil, eco-tourism is fast becoming big business.  According to Planeta.com, about 1 million eco-tourists visited the country each year as of 2000. During 2000, ecotourism  also grew faster than tourism as a whole-up 15% compared to 3%.

Ecotourism in Brazil helps more than the environment. It also helps local communities, providing employment and providing an incentive to protect rainforests and other natural resources from development.

Although Brazil welcomes tourists, a visa is required for American citizens to enter the country.  To visit an ecolodge in Brazil, you must apply for a Brazilian visa with the following documents:

  • A valid passport. To apply for a Brazilian visa, your passport must have at least 6 months left before it expires. Also, you will need at least 2 blank pages in the back for the visa.
  • One Brazilian visa application
  • 2 passport-sized photos
  • A copy of your itinerary showing the dates you plan to enter and leave Brazil.
  • A  photocopy of your driver’s license or state-issued ID card. The copy must be legible.
  • If you will be visiting friends or relatives, you also need a letter from your hosts.

To enter Brazil, you may also need a yellow fever vaccination. Vaccines are required of travelers who have been to any of the following countries in the past 3 months (90 days): Angola, Bolivia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana, Gambia, Republic of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Peru, Sierra Leone, Sudan or Venezuela.

Brazil has what is known as  a “jurisdictional” visa system. That means that you must submit your application  at the Brazilian embassy or consulate that serves your area.

The Brazilian visa system has a bit of a reputation for being complex and hard to navigate. A professional visa expediter like RushMyTravelVisa.com makes it easier to get the documents you need to travel. We help you complete your Brazilian visa application by offering expert, personal assistance and easy to follow instructions. Then, we submit your paperwork for you at the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest processing available.

Apply for your Brazilian visa today!

Uzbekistan Visa Requirements To Visit Samarkand

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

This week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage Site was founded in the 7th century BC.  Many people today have never heard of the ancient city of Samarkand, but it was once one of the most important cities in Asia.

Samarkand is located in modern-day Uzbekistan, and was once an important stop on the Silk Road, the great trade route that connected China with Europe.

It was also the location of the first paper mill in the Islamic world, and for a long time it was an important center of Islamic study. In the 14th century, the Mongol warlord Tamerlane made Samarkand his capital, bringing in artists and artisans from all over his empire.

The traces of this long, distinguished history linger in Samarkand today, making it a beautiful and interesting place to visit. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2001.

To get to Samarkand, you need a valid passport and an Uzbekistan visa. You cannot get an Uzbekistan visa at the airport when you arrive-you must apply well in advance.  Here’s what you will need:

  • Your US passport
  • One Uzbekistan visa application form
  • 1 passport photo
  • 1 copy of your flight tickets and your itinerary.

To get an Uzbekistan tourist visa, you need a tourist voucher, which is like a permission slip. If you’re traveling with an organized group, they should provide one. If not, RushMyTravelVisa.com can get one for you if you apply through us.

If you are visiting friends or family, your host needs to get an invitation letter for you.

Also, bear in mind that additional visas may also be required if your itinerary has you stopping in another country on your way to Uzbekistan-even if it’s only to change planes!

RushMyTravelVisa can help you get the documents you need for a trip to Uzbekistan.  We’ll look at your itinerary and check visa requirements to ensure that nothing is overlooked. Then, we’ll provide you with clear, easy-to-understand instructions that make it easy to fill out the required paperwork. Finally, we deliver your application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest processing possible.

Apply for your Uzbekistan visa with us today!

Gabon Visa Requirements For Tourists

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

While tourism in Gabon is still an underdeveloped industry, it is definitely on the rise as more and more travelers discover the country’s mix of exotic wildlife and breathtaking vistas.

According to Wikipedia, roughly 85 percent of Gabon is covered in tropical rainforests, creating habitats for everything from gorillas to elephants to many different types of birds. Starting in 2000, the Gabonese government began promoting ecotourism and luxury tourism to further develop this sector of the economy. Approximately 155,000 tourists came to Gabon that year, a tremendous increase from the previous year.

However, the US Department of State notes the the availability of tourist facilities is spotty outside of Libreville, the capital city. Where available, accommodations outside of Libreville can also be quite expensive.

Both a valid passport and a visa is required for American citizens visiting Gabon.  Gabon visas are not available on arrival, so you need to apply for your visa in time to have it in hand before you leave for Gabon.

If you’re traveling as a tourist, here’s what you need to get a Gabon visa:

  • 2 Gabon visa application forms
  • 2 passport photos
  • A copy of your plane tickets or itinerary
  • Your US passport (must have at least 6 months left before it expires-otherwise, you will have to renew.)

In addition, you also need to bring proof that you have been vaccinated for yellow fever. This is required for you to enter the country.

RushMyTravelVisa.com specializes in helping people get the documents they need to travel.  Our visa specialists assist you by researching your itinerary to make sure you know exactly what documents you need before you go.  Then, we provide detailed, easy-to-understand instructions that make it super-simple to apply for the visas you need and reduce the chance of common mistakes that can keep your visa from being issued in a timely manner.

Finally, we submit your application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Gabon visa today!

China Visa Requirements To See the Terracotta Army of the 1st Qin Emperor

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

This week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor of China. Qin Shi Huang took the title of emperor in 221 BC, and fought to subjugate and unify most of what today is modern-day China.

The Qin Dynasty did not last long after Qin Shi Huang’s death-the next 2 rulers were inept and the dynasty was replaced by what would become the Han Dynasty in 206 BC.

However, before the dynasty collapsed, the kingdom spared no expense to send its first emperor into the next life in style.  Qin Shi Huang was buried in an elaborate tomb accompanied by what is estimated to be over 8,000 larger-than-life terracotta soldiers, acrobats and musicians, along with assorted calvary horses and horse-drawn chariots.

Other than the Terracotta Army’s size and scope, the most amazing thing about it is the attention to detail.  No two soldiers are alike-they all have individual features and facial expressions.

The mausoleum is located 30-35 kilometers east of Xian City. Although much of the mausoleum has yet to be excavated, there are still interesting exhibits open to the public.

However, you do need a  China visa to visit.  If you are visiting China as a tourist, you need an “L” visa.  What does it take to get an “L” visa? You will need the following:

  • One completed Chinese visa application
  • Your US passport
  • One  passport photo

If your plane leaves in the seven days, you should also include a copy of your travel itinerary to expedite your visa.

China visa regulations require you to get your visa before you leave the US-it is simply not possible to get a tourist visa on arrival.  RushMyTravelVisa can help guide you through the process of getting a China visa, as well as any other visas you may need for your trip.

We’ll take a look at your itinerary and research visa regulations for each country to ensure you don’t get caught by surprise. Then, we’ll walk you through the application process,  helping you avoid common mistakes that could hold up your visa application.

Finally, we submit your application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your China visa today!

Bolivian Visa Requirements For Business Travelers

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Bolivia has a slowly growing economy primarily based around energy, mining and forestry. The US is Bolivia’s main trading partner, although new trade agreements have increased trade with neighboring countries as well.

Business travelers to Bolivia should follow local business etiquette. According to WorldTravelGuide.net, that means dressing formally, in either a suit or at least a shirt and tie.  Also, appointments with your business contacts in Bolivia should be made in advance.

American citizens traveling to Bolivia need to obtain a Bolivian business visa before leaving the US. Here’s what you need to get one:

  • 1 Bolivian visa application
  • 1 passport-sized photo of yourself
  • A copy of your itinerary
  • A copy of your certificate  of vaccination for yellow fever
  • A business letter of responsibility from your employer. The letter must state the purpose of your trip and the name of the business contacts you will be visiting in Bolivia. The letter must also state that your company will assume financial responsibility for you while you are in Bolivia and pay for your return transportation.

Bolivian visas for business travelers are good for a single entry into Bolivia and valid for 30 days.

RushMyTravelVisa.com can make getting a Bolivian visa for your next business trip must quicker and easier. We help you with the application, making sure you have all the necessary documents and reducing the chance of common mistakes that could cause your application to be delayed or rejected.

Apply for your Bolivian visa today!

An Indian Visa: Your First Step To Climbing in the Himalayas

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

The Indian government just announced that they will be opening more than 100 peaks in the Himalayas to the public (h/t Nileguidance.)  The peaks are located in Kashmir, a region which often referred to as “heaven on earth.”

Foreign tourism has long been an important part of the Kashmiri economy. According to the Independent, in 1989 there were 100,000 foreign visitors. However,  a violent insurgency and India’s military response to it made the area increasingly unattractive to tourists starting in the 1990′s, and in 2008 only 25,000 were intrepid enough to venture into the region.

Even so, according to this press release, approximately 60% of Kashmir’s revenue comes from tourism.  In 2004, India and Pakistan began working toward peace in the region, and the amount of violence has plummeted. Opening the peaks is seen as a way to bring back foreign visitors now that the area has become safer.

Nawang Rigzin Jora, Kashmir’s tourism minister, described the details of the plan to Reuters:

“This summer 104 peaks in Ladakh region will open for trekking and expeditions which would pave the way for adventure tourism and attract foreign tourists in a big way. The situation is fast improving in the state and tourism is picking up, we hope a very good (tourist) season ahead.”

Should you go? Well, it depends on how much risk you feel comfortable assuming.  The situation may have improved, but peace in the area remains elusive. The Reuters article ends with a cautionary quote from  a local tour guide: “Kashmir is unpredictable, violence can break out any time.”

Getting an Indian Visa

If you do decide to go explore one of the newly opened peaks, you will need to apply for an Indian visa before your trip. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to apply for one:

  • Your US passport
  • 2 recent passport-sized photos, taken within the past 6 months. You may not wear glasses for the photos.
  • A completed Indian visa application form. Write legibly and proofread the application to catch mistakes before you submit it.  Make sure that you enter in “tourism” in the section that asks you to state why you are traveling to India.
  • A copy of your plane tickets or your itinerary.
  • A legible copy of your driver’s license or  a utility bill showing your name and address.
  • A copy of your birth certificate

India has a jurisdictional visa system, which means that each embassy handles applications for a different part of the US, and you must submit your Indian visa application to the embassy or consulate that serves your home address.

RushMyTravelVisa makes getting an Indian visa faster and less stressful. When you apply through us, you get personal assistance from a visa specialist and easy-to-follow instructions. Then, we submit your application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Indian visa today!

Indian Visa Requirements For Medical Tourism

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

It’s no secret that medical care in the United States can be quite expensive if you aren’t covered by insurance. One solution that is gaining popularity is medical tourism, which involves  going overseas for treatment.

Since the cost of advanced medical care is often much lower in other countries,  medical tourism can offer tremendous savings for certain procedures, even when you factor in the cost of airfare and lodging .

India is one of the fastest-growing centers of medical tourism. Wikipedia outlines the advantages:

Most estimates claim treatment costs in India start at around a tenth of the price of comparable treatment in America or Britain.[7][76] The most popular treatments sought in India by medical tourists are alternative medicine, bone-marrow transplant, cardiac bypass surgery, eye surgery and orthopedic surgery. India is known in particular for heart surgery, hip resurfacing and other areas of advanced medicine.

Due to these advantages, the medical tourism market in India is projected to grow at a rate of approximately 30% per year.

What are the cons of medical tourism?  First of all, international flights are long and international travel can be stressful, which may be detrimental to patients who have certain conditions. Also, patients traveling to other countries may be afflicted with illnesses, particularly intestinal illnesses, that the have no immunity to.

Finally, quality of care can vary.  India has some excellent doctors and hospitals, but it’s important to research the facility and the doctors before you go. Also, understand what your options are if something goes wrong with the treatment-patients traveling overseas for care tend to have fewer legal remedies at their disposal if something goes awry.

One way to help decrease the chances of problems is to look for a facility that has been certified by one of the following organizations:

  • Accreditation Canada
  • Joint Commission International (JCI)
  • Trent International Accreditation Scheme

If you are planning to travel to India specifically for the purpose of getting medical care, you need a medical visa.  Indian visa requirements for patients seeking care are different than the standard Indian visa requirements for tourists.  Here’s what you will need: (more…)