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Washington Passport and Visa Services prides itself on being leaders and experts in travel documentation. We have the ability to answer almost any question related to travel and have listed a few common inquiries. Please feel free to contact a knowledgeable WPVS staff member with any additional questions or concerns....

What is a visa?

A visa is an endorsement, usually a rubber stamp, placed on a passport by officials of a foreign country. This endorsement permits the traveler to enter a foreign country as a guest for a specified purpose and a limited time

Why are visas required?

Visas are a means of governing visitors to foreign lands. The visa allows foreign governments to regulate who may visit, what they can or cannot do while a guest of the country, and length of stay.

Where do you get a visa?

A visa may be obtained directly from the appropriate embassy, consulate or through a visa service such as WPVS.

What countries require visas?

To date almost 100 nations require US citizens to have visas for lengths of stays extending from one day to six months. Please see the appropriate country for their requirements.

Are there different kinds of visas?

Yes, there are two kinds: tourist and non-tourist. Tourist visas are issued to travelers visiting a foreign land for pleasure or sight-seeing. Non-tourist, business or commercial visas are needed for travelers conducting business in a foreign country and travelers engaged in activities such as study, research, religious missions and teaching.

How long does it take to get a visa?

Many visas are issued overnight, some in two to five days, others may take weeks. Please call a WVPS professional staff member to discuss your particular situation.

How long is a visa valid?

A visa's validity varies greatly. Some are valid from the date of issue, others from the date of entry.

Who is responsible for getting visas?

According to the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, ""It is the responsibility of the traveler to obtain visas where required, from the appropriate embassy or consular office. However, the State Department lists travel agents as a primary source of where to find visa requirements.

What happens if you don't get a visa?

Without proper documentation, a traveler may not even get onto a flight. They could be refused entry and/or detained at the airport.

Do children need visas?

Yes. All travelers, regardless of age, must have visas where required.

What documents do you need to secure a visa?

Visa requirements vary by country and case. A valid and signed passport is required in all cases. Please contact a professional WPVS staff member for additional information.

Where can you get visa applications?

You can download a visa application directly from this website or a WPVS representative will gladly send you all the necessary applications, forms and instructions.

How much do visas cost?

Embassy and consular fees vary, as do service fees. WPVS standard service fee for securing visas is $45.00 plus consular fees and return shipping costs.

Who needs a passport?

A passport is necessary for everyone, regardless of age, traveling to any foreign nations.

What documents do you need to get a passport?

First time passports: proof of citizenship, two photographs, proof of identity, application form and authorization note.

Passport Renewals: expired passport, application form, two photographs and authorization note.

What are the different types of passports?

Regular – issued to tourist and non-tourist travelers (blue cover)

Official – issued to government employees traveling on government business (maroon cover)

Diplomatic – issued to diplomats for official travel (black cover)

Restricted – issued in cases where politic considerations are an overriding factor.

How long are passports valid?

10 years for adults over 18 or over and 5 years for travelers under 18.

How long does it take to get a passport?

Normally, WPVS can secure passports in 3 to 5 business days. Special exceptions can be made in proven emergencies.