12 March 2008

Keeping Your Passport Current & Paying Attention To Visas

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12/03/08 - Keeping Your Passport Current & Paying Attention To Visas

Recently I have received quite a few questions regarding passports. One e-mail this morning regarding a Canadian needing to expedite the renewal of their British passport to travel to the United States really got me thinking about this subject.

Most people I speak to pay no attention to their passport or when it expires (mine expires 13 Feb 2013) until it is to late. Many people do not realize most countries will not admit you if your passport expires in less than 90 days.

This is IMPORTANT INFORMATION for any traveler. If you have flown half-way around the world and your passport expires in less than 90 days you may be denied entry and flown back home on the next available flight.

If you are less than two weeks from your date of international travel, many countries will allow you to visit the passport office in person, with proof of travel, to renew your passport on site. I have done this in Boston , having had my passport office appointment for 1:00PM, picked up my passport at 4:00pm and boarded a 7:00pm flight to London.

For those of you unsure about Visa requirements always check them out before departing for a trip! Someone countries issue a visa upon arrival (such as Bahrain) some do not issue them at all upon arrival (such as China) and some issue an "e-Visa" (such as Australia). I have been amazed at the e-mails I have received from travelers, some seasoned travelers who tell me they have had troubles trying to enter a country without a visa.

Visas are not a formality. Visas are not a suggestion. Visa's are required or you will be denied entry!

I know this may seem basic and mundane, but you need to keep this information handy.

Now go put your computer down and check out your passport expiration date!

Happy Flying

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