Saturday, April 30, 2011

What You Need to Know About Passports & Visas

Passports & Visas: What You Need To Know

A passport is the internationally recognized identification document you need to enter and leave foreign countries. A visa is your specific permission to enter certain countries requiring them. (Please note: Not all foreign countries require visas; check the country's embassy website to learn more.)
Passports are issued by the country in which you are a citizen. Only the U.S. State Department can issue passports to U.S. citizens. If you are a U.S. citizen, here's what you need to know:

•Traveling to and from U.S. Territories: No passport is required if you're entering or leaving American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Swains Island, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
•International Air Travel: Passports are required for all U.S. citizens traveling by air to any international destination other than U.S. Territories.
•Land and Sea Travel: Passports are required for all U.S. citizens traveling abroad by land, sea, or air.

Detailed Information
Passport, visa, and health requirements for international travel can vary based on your mode of travel. According to the U.S. State Department, processing time for routine passport service can run up to six weeks. However, it's possible to get your passport in three weeks or less if necessary. Click on the links below for the latest U.S. passport-related information:

For general passport and visa information:
How to apply:
To find the nearest location to apply:
To find current processing time for routine service:
To learn about expedited passport processing:
To check the status of your passport application:
To renew an existing passport:

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