VISA AND PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS

In order to travel outside of the United States, all travelers must have a valid passport. The passport must be valid at least six months after date of pilgrimage in order to be accepted.

The requirements for a US passport are simple, as long as you are a U.S. citizen or resident. The requirements vary depending on the age of the applicant and which type of passport that is being applied for (passport book vs. passport card). For the passport book and passport card, you are required to show proof of your identity and U.S. citizenship. Acceptable forms of proof showing your citizenship include original birth certificates, old non-damaged passports or an original certificate of naturalization or citizenship.

Step 1: Gathering Required Documents for a New Passport

Here again requirements differ according to age. Minors, under the age of 16 must appear with their guardians or with a special parental consent form.

Complete Passport Application DS-11 but do not sign until in presence of a passport agent

Submit Proof of Citizenship. (this should not be damaged altered or tampered with)

Provide Proof of Identity. You will be require to present the original document and provide a copy of the front and back for submission.

Provide one Passport Photo. One color photo is required and must comply with the regulations governing passport photos.

Passport Fee Photocopy of ID.

Step 2: Visiting a Passport Acceptance Agency

Once your application for a new passport is completed you will have to visit your local passport acceptance agency in your area for a State Department representative to witness your new passport application signature. Once this is completed, and you have paid your execution fee to the local acceptance agency you will then have your passport processed in any of the following methods.

Step 3: Selecting A Passport Processing Option Routine Processing

You can get your new passport by submitting the required passport documents for new passport listed above at your nearest passport offices in your area. There are hundred’s of passport acceptance agencies, court houses and county clerk offices thru-out the Untied States that will be able to process passport applications. This process takes 6-8 weeks. Expediting with a Regional Agency: If you are traveling sooner than 4 weeks you can expedite your processing by going down to your nearest regional passport agency with all your documents along with your travel itinerary showing you will be leaving the country in an emergency within two weeks. While appointments are usually advisable ahead of time, walk-ins are also accepted. Make sure you have all your required documents listed above to avoid any delays.

Expediting with A Registered Passport Courier

Another great option for a U.S. Citizen is getting your new adult passport quickly with the help of a passport expediting company. Through a registered courier you can get your new passport delivered to you in less than 48 hours. Confirm Passport Renewal Eligibility If the following requirements are true you can submit your passport application via mail: Your current passport is not damaged (other than normal wear and tear) The issuance date is not more than 15 years ago You were age 16 or older when it was issued You still have the same name, or can legally document your name change. Your passport has NOT been limited as a result of damage, multiple passport thefts, or non-compliance with regulations. Types of Passport Offices in the United States There are two different types of passport offices in the United States that you’ll need to concern yourself with as you prepare your documents for submission. The first of those is called an Acceptance Agent. Acceptance Agent is a term used to describe a government employee that is authorized to witness the signature that is required on your passport application form DS-11 (or whichever form you have to fill out, depending on the circumstances). Some example of location to find an acceptance agent is the following: post offices, county clerk’s office and court houses. Once that signature has been properly witnessed, the Acceptance Agent would then collect all of your application documents and seal them in an envelope. That envelope is not to be opened until you hand it over to someone at a Passport Agency or you submit it to a Passport Office in your area. Acceptance Agents are normally located at United States Post Offices, in court houses around the country and more.

Passport Agency

The second main type of passport office that you my involve yourself with is called a Passport Agency. These locations allow you to submit your application in person, though an expedited fee is usually required. You will need to pay the expedited fee in addition to the normal passport processing fees that you will pay at the same time. Some (though not all) Passport Agencies will also require that you provide proof that your international trip will be happening within two weeks of your submission. Others may also require you to obtain a foreign visa within four weeks of the date that you apply. Always check to see what documents are required before visiting a Passport Agency in your area. Private Passport Expeditors If you have a trip coming up and find that you cannot wait the normal amount of time to submit your passport application and have it processed, another viable option is to enlist the services of a private passport expeditor service in your area. Under the best of conditions, the normal wait time for a passport to be processed is several weeks – to say nothing of the extended wait times that people can experience during the warm summer months of the year, when people are traveling and vacations abroad are most popular. A private passport expeditor service will collect all of the documents that you’ve prepared and submit them to the nearest passport office on your behalf. They can then have your passport in hand in as little as 24 to 48 hours after your original submission, making sure that you have more than enough time to make your flight without worrying about any types of travel delays due to insufficient documents.

 

VISA Requirements

Many of our pilgrimages do not require USA citizens to obtain a VISA. In the event that you do need one, you will either be notified by us or we will arrange them for you to be picked up at the arrival port of entry.

For travelers who are not USA citizens, please inquire with the appropriate embassy to check for VISA requirements, as the rules will be different for each nationality.