Archive for the ‘Visa Processing’ Category

Where to Apply for a Russian Visa

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Planning to visit Russia in the near future? You’ll need a visa. But where do you get one?

Russian Embassies and Consulates

Getting a Russian visa is an infamously bureaucratic process. If you’re applying by yourself instead of using a visa expeditor, you must apply in person at the appropriate Russian embassy or consulate.

There are five Russian consulate offices in the United States. Each has its own service area, or jurisdiction, based on your home address.  To figure out which office services your area, see the list below:

  • Washington, DC

Address: 2641 Tunlaw Road, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007

Phone number for visa questions: 202-939-8913202-939-8913

Jurisdiction: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, Puerto Rico.

  • New York City

Address: 9 East 91 Street, New York, NY 10128

Phone number for visa questions: (212) 348-0926(212) 348-0926

Jurisdiction: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

  • San Francisco, CA 

Address: 2790 Green Street San Francisco, CA 94123

Phone number for visa questions: (415) 928-6878(415) 928-6878 , (415) 202-9800(415) 202-9800

Jurisdiction: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah.

  • Seattle, Washington

Address: 600 University Street, Suite 2510 Seattle, WA 98101

Phone number for visa questions: (206) 728-1910(206) 728-1910

Jurisdiction: Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

  • Houston, TX

Address: 1333 West Loop South, Ste. 1300  Houston, TX 77027

Phone number for visa questions: (713) 337-3300(713) 337-3300

Jurisdiction: Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas.

Russian Visa by Mail

What if you aren’t lucky enough to live in or near one of the five cities listed above? Can you apply by mail? Unfortunately, not any more. According to the Russian Embassy website,

“In order to expedite and improve visa obtaining process as well as for security concerns the Consular Division is no more processing visa applications by mail, starting from June 1, 2010.”

Russian Visa Online

You can fill out and print the Russian visa application form online here, but you cannot apply online.

If you need a Russian visa and don’t want to travel or to deal with the Russian Embassy on your own, use a visa expediting company. In fact, even if you live near an Embassy, you’ll have an easier time navigating the red tape if you go through an expediter.  A visa expediting company walks you through the application process and deals with the Embassy or consulate on your behalf, helping you avoid common errors that slow processing time.

Also, you can ship your application materials to the expediter (generally using a carrier like FedEx), possibly saving you money on gas, flight, hotels and time off work.

Need a Russian visa? We can help!

Travel Visa Service: 4 Countries Worth The Money

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Applying for a travel visa for one of the countries on this list? You’ll probably want to seek professional help with the application process from an experienced group of experts.

India

Currently, India’s visa system is complex and can be confusing, even if you’re just going as a tourist. In fact, the US Department of State notes that “Indian visa regulations change frequently, often with little advance notice, and changes may be poorly advertised and inconsistently enforced.”

With 16 different types of Indian visas to choose from with varying requirements, and a sometimes nit-picky application process, it helps to have a professional visa expediter to guide you through the process and act as your advocate.

China

With an alphabet soup of different visa types, you need to make sure you apply for the right one and that you have the appropriate supporting documents and invitation letter when necessary.

if you don’t use a third-party visa courier, China requires you to apply for a Chinese visa in person. Unless you live in or near one of the 5 Chinese Consulates General locations, you’ll save travel and work time using an expediting service.

Russia

According to the State Department, “Russian visa requirements are complex, and U.S. citizens must take care they do not unintentionally violate entry and exit regulations.”

Need we say more? Visa experts can help you navigate this maze of red tape!

Brazil

Brazil has what is called a “jurisdictional” visa system, which means you must apply at the correct consulate based on your home address. Their rather long list of required documents, include formal invitations for conferences or family, proof of yellow fever vaccination, requirements for children and more. In addition, each consulate can have its own set of requirements.

For example, if you apply in Houston or you live in Connecticut or Rhode Island, they not only require you to submit a copy of your driver’s license, you also have to get it notarized. If you’re applying in Washington, DC and you need proof of yellow fever vaccination, you’ll need your original vaccine certificate as opposed to a copy.

These are just some examples, wouldn’t you rather be planning your trip to the rainforest or deciding which beaches to sunbathe on? Let us help you get your Brazilian visa, and you’ll have more time to spend planning the perfect trip.

If you’re traveling to one of these countries (or anywhere else that requires a visa), we’re here to help. Contact us today!

New Azerbaijan Visa Requirements for Tourists

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Until just recently, American citizens could visit Azerbaijan without having to apply for a visa in advance. It’s always been a good idea to do so, because getting a visa in the airport meant waiting through a number of long lines, but airport visas were an option if you didn’t have the time to apply at an Azerbaijani embassy before you left.

However, as Gadling notes, the rules have changed and travelers to Azerbaijan need to take note:

“Then, in the middle of October, Azerbaijan suddenly changed its visa regime, requiring visitors to obtain visas at the country’s embassies in advance. This requirement is not particularly annoying for tourists, who usually have time to drop their passports off at embassies prior to travel, but it’s a huge hassle for business travelers who often need to travel at the drop of a hat.”

The US Department of State further clarifies the new rules: “With limited exceptions, (diplomatic or official government travelers, or persons with invitations from high-ranking officials of the Government of Azerbaijan) you cannot get a visa at the airport. Nor can you get a visa at the land borders with Georgia and Russia.”

You can apply for your Azerbaijan visa at an Azerbaijani embassy. If you’re applying as a tourist, you will need the following documents:

  • 1 completed visa application form
  • 2 passport photos
  • A tourist voucher from a hotel in Azerbaijan with a confirmation number.

The default tourist visa for visitors to Azerbaijan is a single-entry visa. If you need multiple entries, you will also need a letter of invitation from someone in the country.

RushMyTravelVisa can help you get an Azerbaijan visa before you travel. We’ll walk you through the paperwork and deliver your application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest processing available.

Apply for your Azerbaijan visa today!

Chris Guillebeau On The Difficulties of Getting a Belarus Visa

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Like Russia, Belarus is one of those countries that seems to absolutely revel in bureaucracy. Consequently, if you decide you want to visit, you should be prepared to jump through more hoops than your average circus animal. Even professional travelers can find Belarus’ visa system frustrating. For example, it took Chris Guillebeau, a writer/digital nomad who is in the process of visiting every single country in the world, 3 tries to get into Belarus, even using a visa service.

From his blog, here’s a list of the problems he had on his last, successful attempt:

1. Can not write “OR” for state – must write “OREGON.”

2. Can not write “Oregon” for state – must write “OREGON.”

3. Can not use “#” for “Number” – must write “NUMBER”

4. Digital signature not accepted on application.

5. Real signature must include each letter of name.

6. Real signature must be in black ink! No other color!

7. Visa card accepted for Canadian applicants; Americans must use only MasterCard.

8. Blue-colored Mastercards are not accepted (“image too dark for bank.”)

9. Signature on alternate MasterCard must match signature on application, even if signature on application is wrong due to requirement #5.

Wow. Even then, he ran into a hassle getting in, as he didn’t have enough acceptable cash to pay the visa fees when he arrived at the airport. Make sure you know how much your visa is supposed to cost, and bring more than you think you need. In brand-new, crisp bills. Seriously.

If you need a Belarus visa, visa services like RushMyTravelVisa.com can help you cut through some of the red tape. We offer assistance with the application, answering any questions you might have and providing a second pair of eyes to catch common mistakes that could keep your visa from being issued in a timely fashion.

Applying for a Belarus visa? Get experienced, professional help today!

Algerian Visa Hassles Leave “Art of Nonconformity” Author Guessing About His Next Destination

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Poor Chris Guillebeau! After 3 tries, he finally managed to get the necessary visa to get into Belarus, but according to his blog, now the Algerian visa system is wreaking havoc with his plan to visit every country in the world:

I have a ticket for Algeria and a hotel reservation in Algiers, both of which were required to apply for a visa in Washington, D.C. two weeks ago. The whole point of this trip is to go to Belarus and Algeria, two countries that are relatively difficult to get to. The problem is, I still have no Algerian visa, and my duplicate passport is still in Washington as I fly off to Europe with my regular passport.

So, what’s next? Depends on whether or not Algeria issues him a visa in a timely fashion. If they do, the visa service he’s working with will overnight it to him and he can continue with his trip as planned. If not, he’ll have to reroute and go visit another country at the last minute.

Of course, Chris Guillebeau isn’t really “poor.” Through a combination of courage and good business sense, he’s making his dream of traveling the world a reality. But his story does illustrate why it’s a good idea to work with a visa service, especially if the country you want to visit has a visa system that’s less than welcoming. Because he’s basically a professional traveler, he’ll probably land on his feet no matter what happens with his Algerian visa. For someone who has the opportunity to travel less frequently, visa snafus are a much bigger deal.

Whether you’re traveling to Algeria, Belarus or somewhere else, a visa service like RushMyTravelVisa can help smooth out the process of applying for a travel visa. We can’t make the Algerian Embassy issue a visa if they decide to drag their heels (like they’re doing to Chris Guillebeau), but we can walk you through the application process, making sure that all the forms are filled out correctly and reducing the chance that your visa application will be delayed or that you’ll have to submit additional information. We’ll also deliver it to the Embassy for you for the fastest possible processing.

Traveling to Algeria? Let us help you with your Algerian visa application today!

North Korea Visa Update: North Korea To Allow US Tourists Year-Round

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

The relationship between North Korea and the US may not be particularly cordial, but the cash-strapped country is thirsty for American tourist dollars, especially since South Korea’s Hyundai group stopped running cross-border tours in 2008.

According to Reuters, to encourage US tourists to come visit North Korea, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has agreed to let Americans in year-round. Previously, tourists from the US were only allowed in from August to October for the Arirang Mass Games.

However, just because American citizens are being allowed to cross the border, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to move around freely. Americans are restricted to staying in hotels reserved for foreigners , and cannot stay more than 4 nights. Expect to spend your trip being escorted around by official “guides,” and don’t expect any conversations that you have while you are there to be private. Big Brother is watching…you will be spied upon!

US tourists are allowed in North Korea only as part of organized tour groups. Koryo Tours, located in China,  is one of the main companies that arranges such tours.

To travel to to North Korea, US citizens must have valid passports and a North Korean visa.

Here’s what you will need to get a North Korean visa:

  • 1 passport photo with a white background
  • A  copy of the 1st page of your passport
  • 1 North Korean visa  application  form. On the form,  make sure to give  “tourism” as your reason for traveling.

Us citizens may apply for North Korean visas at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing, China.  It usually only takes a day to get your visa issued, but you should probably contact the Permanent Representative of the Democratic
People’s Republic of Korea to the United Nations first to see if your visa application is likely to be accepted. Here is 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

The company that you arrange your tour with may also be able to help you with your visa, and may request that you forward your details several weeks in advance of your trip.

If you are entering North Korea via China, you also need a multiple-entry Chinese tourist visa. See Chinese Tourist Visa Requirements for details.

Due to the fact that the US has no North Korean Embassy, we can’t expedite a North Korean visa application for you. However, we can help expedite your visa to China, as well as helping you apply for other visas you may need for your trip.

Contact us about your travel visa needs today!

Indian Visa Requirements

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

American citizens traveling to India are required to have both a valid passport and an Indian visa.  India won’t issue a visa for you at the airport, so it is crucial to gather all of the necessary documents and submit your visa application well before you plan to depart.

Indian visa requirements vary depending on what type of visa you are applying for (for more information, see Types of Indian Visas). Here are the requirements for the two most common types of visas, tourist visas and business visas.

Indian Visa Requirements for Tourists.

If you are going to India as a tourist, you will need the following documents:

  • Your valid US passport
  • 2 recent passport-sized photos
  • A completed Indian visa application form. To ensure that your visa application is approved, make sure that you write neatly and that you do not make any mistakes on the application.  Make sure that you enter in “tourism” in the section that asks you to state why you are traveling to India.
  • A photocopy of your plane tickets or your itinerary.
  • A legible copy of your driver’s license.

Indian Visa Requirements for Business Trips

If you are traveling to India on a business trip, you also need the following:

  • 2 business letters of responsibility. One must be from your employer, and the other must be from the Indian company you will be meeting with. The letter should describe the nature of your business and the length of your trip, as well as how long your visa needs to be valid for.
  • A conference invitation letter, if you are going for a conference.

India has what’s called a jurisdictional visa system, so you have to sent your application into the appropriate consulate. Jurisdictions are based on your home address, which is why you must send in a copy of your driver’s license or a utility bill.

RushMyTravelVisa makes it quick and easy to apply for an Indian visa by assisting you with the application and then forwarding it to the appropriate embassy or consulate based on your jurisdiction. Our expedited visa service provides you with the shortest possible processing times.

Apply for your Indian visa today!

Can You Still Use A Visa After Your Passport Has Expired?

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Many countries issue visas that are good for a number of years.  That means that it’s entirely possible to end up with a visa that expires after your passport. What happens if your passport is expired but your visa is still valid?

The answer depends on the type of visa in question and the country that issued it.  However, in most cases, you can use a valid visa even if your passport is expired.  You do need to renew your passport, though.

When you renew your passport, you can usually do one of two things. The first option is to carry the old passport with your visa in it along with your new passport. However, when you travel, you’ll have to be very careful to keep track of both passports. If you lose your new passport, you’ll be stuck trying to get a new one in a foreign country. If you lose your old passport, you will have to get a new visa.

However, some countries offer an additional option, allowing you to apply to have your visa transferred to the new passport. The advantage of going this route is that you only have to keep track of one passport on your trip. The disadvantage is that you’ll have to send in both the old passport and the new passport to get the visa transferred, and you need to make sure to send them in well before your trip.

Each country is different-before you try to travel, make sure to double-check what the requirements are in your specific situation.  RushMyTravelVisa can help-we’ll research the requirements of the country that issued your visa, and we can help you get it transferred.  Or, if you need to apply for a new visa, we can help you with that.

Apply for your visa with us today!

Obtaining a Russian Business Visa

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Over the past few years, Russia’s economy has grown by leaps and bounds. In 2008, according to the CIA World Factbook, Russia’s GDP was $2.266 trillion, the 7th  highest in the world. As Russia’s economy grows, business travel to Russia is increasing. This article from BCD Travel notes that in 2006, “Russian business travel volume grew to USD $13 billon — a 17 percent increase over 2005 numbers.”

Unfortunately, just because business travel to Russia is becoming increasingly common, that doesn’t make it easy to get a Russian business visa. Business travelers and tourists alike are caught up in a visa system that the US Department of State has called “restrictive and complicated.”

If you have a business trip to Russia, here’s what you need to get a Russian visa:

    • A valid US passport.
    • A completed Russian visa application form.
    • One passport  photo
    • A copy of your official invitaton letter from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The company you will be doing business with in Russia should procure this letter for you, sending the original to the embassy and a copy to you to be submitted with your visa application.
    • A letter from your own company signed by your boss.

    Note:  While some countries provide visas that are effective for 30 days, 60 days or longer, Russia’s visas are issued only for the time you plan to spend in Russia. That means that your letter of invitation must have the exact dates that you plan to spend in Russia on business, and those dates should also match the dates you put on your visa application.

    If your visa expires before you leave, a number of very bad things could happen. You could be fined, and in all likelihood you will be detained while the Russian government issues you a new visa-a process which could take up to 20 days. Not fun!

    RushMyTravelVisa.com can help you navigate the Russian visa system. We’ll research your travel needs, assist you with the paperwork and help you avoid common errors that could ruin your trip.

    Save yourself a headache-let us help you with your Russian visa application!

    Getting a Ghanaian Visa For An Ecotourism Adventure

    Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

    Ghana may not seem like an obvious vacation choice, but tourism in the country is gradually increasing thanks to the efforts of the government and local conservation groups.

    According to the National Conservation Research Centre, tourism makes up 4.5% of Ghana’s Gross National Product. The government of Ghana wants to attract more tourists, enough to make tourism Ghana’s principal source of foreign exchange income.

    Most tourists come to Ghana for the wildlife-Ghana has successfully created a variety of local ecotourism models to encourage both tourism and conservation. Eco-tourism works because it rewards local communities for conservation with a source of income.

    In Ghana, prime ecotourism attractions include the Boabeng-Fierna monkey sanctuary, where black and white colobus monkeys and mona monkeys, considered sacred by local tribes, roam undisturbed. Another popular place is Kakum National Park and Assin Attadanso Resource Reserve, which is filled with wildlife including butterflies, parrots, elephants, primates and red riverhog.

    If you decide to go on an ecotourism adventure in Ghana, you will need a Ghanaian tourist visa.  To get a visa for Ghana, here’s what you’ll need:

    • 4 completed copies of a visa application form. Each form must have your original signature on it, so if you decide to save time by photocopying the completed application, make sure you do so before you sign it. Then, sign each copy individually.
    • International yellow fever vaccine certificate (you don’t have to send the original, you can send a copy).
    • A copy of your round-trip plane tickets or your itinerary.

    A private visa expediting company like RushMyTravelVisa.com can make getting a Ghanaian visa easier and faster. With RushMyTravelVisa.com, you’ll get personal attention from a trained visa specialist and help understanding and completing the paperwork.  Then, we’ll submit your visa to the appropriate consulate for you for the fastest possible processing.

    Apply for your Ghanaian visa today!