Archive for August, 2010

Friendly Reminder From the US State Department: Don’t Try to Enter North Korea Without a Visa!

August 30th, 2010

As former president Jimmy Carter returned from North Korea with a freed American prisoner, the US Department of State issued a new travel warning for the country, reminding Americans not to attempt to visit it without a North Korean visa. Although North Korea announced earlier this year that they would allow US tourists into the country year-round, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy for US citizens to visit the country.

The travel warning notes that:

“The Government of North Korea imposes heavy fines and long prison sentences with hard labor on persons who enter the country without a valid passport and a North Korean visa…Travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea is not routine, and U.S. citizens crossing into North Korea without proper documentation, even accidentally, have been subject to arrest and long-term detention.

How hard is it to get a North Korea visa? Well, it’s no walk in the park, especially since the US and North Korea don’t have consular relations with each other. US citizens can apply at the North Korean embassy in Beijing and have a visa within a day, but that’s IF you’re approved for one. There’s no way to know whether or not you’ll be approved without trying, but you can contact the Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the United Nations beforehand to see if your application is likely to be accepted. Here’s his contact information:

The Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the United Nations
820 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212) 972-3105
Fax: (212) 972-3154

Americans are allowed to visit only as part of organized, supervised tour groups, and the State Department’s travel warning further notes that “Security personnel may also view any unauthorized attempt you make to talk to a North Korean citizen as espionage. North Korean authorities may fine or arrest you for unauthorized currency transactions or for shopping at stores not designated for foreigners.”

Sounds like a lot of fun. Bear in mind that if you’re entering North Korea from China, you’ll also need a multiple entry Chinese tourist visa. See Chinese Visa Requirements for Tourists for details, and consider planning an alternate Chinese itinerary in case your North Korea visa application is rejected.

Since North Korea doesn’t have diplomatic relations with the US, visa services like RushMyTravelVisa can’t help you get a North Korea visa. However, we can help you get a Chinese visa, as well as visas for any other stops you plan to make on your journey.

For travel visa help, contact us today!

Paraguay Visa Requirements for Tourists

August 27th, 2010

When you imagine taking a vacation in South America, odds are that you aren’t imagining yourself in Paraguay. The landlocked country doesn’t have any tropical beaches to beckon tourists, and its tourist facilities are not as well-developed as those of its neighbors.

Still, for backpackers and other travelers who’d like to get off the beaten path, Paraguay is worth a visit. Attractions include remote national parks where you can truly leave civilization behind (just make sure that you have a guide and the proper gear), charming Mennonite enclaves, bustling cities and the dry plains and scrub of the Chaco.

Paraguay is best avoided during the summer months, when the entire country turns into an oven and temperatures soar to as high as 109 degrees Fahrenheit.  Note: Since Paraguay is in the southern hemisphere, their summer runs from December through February. Winter in Paraguay is much more temperate, with highs in the 70s.

To visit Paraguay, American citizens are required to carry both a valid passport and a Paraguay visa. Paraguay doesn’t do visas on arrival, so you will need to apply for your visa before you leave the US. Once you have obtained your passport, here are the documents required to apply for a Paraguay visa:

  • 2  visa application forms
  • 2 passport photos
  • 2 copies of the pages of your passport that contain your photos and identifying information.
  • 2 copies of your round-trip airline tickets or itinerary.

RushMyTravelVisa can help you apply for your visa to visit Paraguay, as well as any other visas you might need for your trip. We’ll take a look at your itinerary and research the visa requirements, ensuring that you have the appropriate documents in hand before you leave the country. Then, we’ll help you with the paperwork and submit your application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest possible service.

Apply for your Paraguay visa today!

Venezuelan Visa Requirements to Visit Canaima National Park

August 26th, 2010

This week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is tucked away in the southeastern corner of Venezuela, near the borders with Brazil and Guyana. Canaima National Park is vast expanse of rugged wilderness so remote and unusual that it inspired the setting of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Lost World.

Here’s how UNESCO describes the park:

Canaima National Park is spread over 3 million ha in south-eastern Venezuela along the border between Guyana and Brazil. Roughly 65% of the park is covered by table mountain (tepui) formations. The tepuis constitute a unique biogeological entity and are of great geological interest. The sheer cliffs and waterfalls, including the world’s highest (1,000 m), form a spectacular landscape.

The unusual and unique tepuis really make Canaima National Park stand out. You can climb to the top of some of the tepuis, including Auyantepu, the formation from which Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, plunges 3,212 feet. That’s almost a mile!

If you’d like to see Angel Falls, it’s best to visit Canaima National Park from June to December, when the water is deep enough to allow travel by boat. More likely than not, your guide will be a member of the native Pemon tribe who inhabit the park.

To visit Canaima National Park, you need a US passport valid for at least 6 months after you plan to enter Venezuela, as well as a Venezuelan visa or tourist card. You can get a tourist card on the plane if you are arriving by air and plan to stay for less than 90 days. However, backpackers and others entering Venezuela by land do need to arrange for a Venezuelan visa in advance.

For more information on getting a Venezuelan visa, see Venezuelan Visa Requirements for Tourists.

RushMyTravelVisa can help you apply for the necessary visas for your next trip. We’ll research requirements for your itinerary, help you with the paperwork and submit your application for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Venezuelan visa today!

Tanzanian Visa Requirements for the Winner of the Kilimanjaro Ultimate Adventure Sweepstakes

August 25th, 2010

Is “climbing Mount Kilimanjaro” on your list of things you absolutely must do before you die? Then check out the latest sweepstakes from Polarmax, Backpacker Magazine, Cotton Incorporated and Zara Tours: the Kilimanjaro Ultimate Adventure Sweepstakes (h/t Gadling).

Whoever wins the sweepstakes gets the opportunity to take a guest to Tanzania to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with guide Macon Dunnagan. Dunnagan is an experienced climber who literally wrote the book on climbing Kilimanjaro. Well, a book, at least-his novel Sons of Kilimanjaro is about 4 men climbing the 19,340 foot mountain, and he’s made the climb at least 16 times himself.

The winner will also be protected from the elements with Polarmax clothing and gear, obviously, and will get to star in a climbing video for the Polarmax site. Airfare and 4 nights in a nearby hotel is included as well.

Sure, it’s a long shot, but entering is a cinch-all you have to do is go to the Sweepstakes website and enter your contact information in the online entry form.

Whether you win or not, successfully climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro requires training and preparation. For more helpful hints about how to prepare for the climb, see A Tanzanian Visa: Your First Step To Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Whether you’re going as a contest winner or you are paying for the trip on your own, you’ll need both a valid passport and a Tanzanian visa. You can apply for a Tanzanian visa in the airport when you arrive, but you’ll be able to leave the airport and get to your hotel more quickly if you get yours in advance.

Here’s what Tanzania requires you to have in order to apply for a tourist visa:

  • 1 completed visa application form
  • 2 passport photos
  • A copy of a recent bank statement
  • A yellow fever vaccination certificate
  • A travel itinerary or a bank statement showing a minimum balance of $2,000.
  • If you’re going on an organized tour, you will need a letter from the tour operator showing you are paid in full.

RushMyTravelVisa can help you get a Tanzanian visa, as well as any other visas you might need for your journey. We make the application process easy by providing you with personal guidance and helpful checklists. Then, we deliver your paperwork directly to the embassy for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Tanzanian visa today!

5 Reasons to Get a Cambodian Visa

August 24th, 2010

Each year, more and more international tourists discover Cambodia for the first time. Here are 5 great reasons to get a Cambodian visa and explore this magical country yourself:

1. Angkor Wat

The national symbol of Cambodia, Angkor Wat is a massive Hindu temple/Buddhist shrine. Built in the early 12th century, it towers over the surrounding jungle, richly decorated with reliefs, sculptures and statues.

2. Phnom Penh

Cambodia’s capital is another must-see. Bustling and vibrant, Phnom Penh is a great place to shop, eat, or just contemplate Cambodian history, whether in a gilded Buddhist temple or at a somber memorial to the people who died in Cambodia’s killing fields.

3. Siem Reap

Siem Reap is a great base for visiting the temples at Angkor Wat, but it’s also an interesting city in its own right. Located on the banks of the Siem Reap river, the town center is full of picture-perfect French colonial architecture. Traffic to the temples of Angkor Wat has a sparked a tourism boom, with lots of excellent places to stay and world-class restaurants.

4. Preah Vihear

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temple of Preah Vihear is located along Cambodia’s border with Thailand. It dates back to the 9th century, and like Angkor Wat, it was originally built as a Hindu temple and later converted to Buddhism.

5. Ratanakiri Province

Remote Ratanakiri Province is an excellent destination for adventure tourism. Here’s how the Lonely Planet’s guide to Cambodia describes it:

Adrenaline activities are plentiful. Swim in clear volcanic lakes, shower under waterfalls, glimpse an elephant or trek in the vast Virachay National Park – it’s all here.

To visit Cambodia, Americans need a Cambodian visa. If you’re flying in, you can apply on arrival at the Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports. However, you can also get your visa before you leave the US, and this will allow you to escape the airport more quickly.

To learn more about getting a Cambodian tourist visa, see Cambodian Visa Requirements for Tourists.

Remember, can make the visa application process easier by offering assistance with the application, helping you avoid common mistakes, and getting the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Cambodian visa today!