200px-2016_Summer_Olympics_logo.svg2016 is coming soon and with it comes not only the Olympics, but also the Paralympics. Both events will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Summer Olympics will take place from August 5-21 and the Paralympics will take place from September 7-18.

Travelers from the United States will need a passport for entry to Brazil. You can see how easy it is here on our dedicated Brazil visa page. Remember this is the final week to add pages to your passport.  Beginning in 2016, you will no longer be able to add pages to your passport, you will be required to renew your passport no matter how much time is left before the expiration date. If you need pages, talk to us, we can get them for you in as fast as 24 hours.

The Olympic Games will host 10,500 athletes from 206 countries competing in events from swimming, wrestling, golf, sailing and more. A total of 42 sports will be having competitions.
If you’re looking for a sport-by-sport schedule, the official site for the 2016 Olympics has put out a detailed .pdf.

Here is an overview of the proposed design for the Olympic park.

The Paralympics will take place in the same Olympic park.
Check out this overview for the competitions these athletes will be participating in:

If you have any questions your passport or visa for Brazil, just contact our offices today at 713-874-1420. We’re ready to help you enjoy the Rio 2016 Olympics!

 

 

Start planning your travel for 2016.  South America will be a prime destination this coming year, and not just because of the Olympics in Brazil.  Here are the top five destinations you should consider exploring in 2016. United States citizens won’t need a travel visa for entry to all of these countries, but you will need a current passport for all.

columbia_mapColumbia
According to Tyler Dillon of Butterfield & Robinson, the peace deal between the government and left-wing guerrillas will enable the travel industry in Columbia to flourish once again.

united-kingdom-sUnited Kingdom
Because of the El Nino year bringing warmer weather and milder winters in the Northern Hemisphere, travel to England, Ireland, and Scotland should be on your list according to J. Epstein of Celebrated Experiences.

myanmar-cruiseVietnam and Myanmar
Enjoy a leisurely cruise and see the countries from a different viewpoint. Luxury cruises are available on The Belmond Orcaella, Sanctuary Ananda, and Aqua Mekong.

COMM-SoAmMap-12172010Chile and Peru
Post-Olympic travelers should make time to explore these two gorgeous South American countries before heading back.

African Safari with Drones
Hunting by capturing images instead of animals has been common. Drones take it a whole other level. Many preserves are already using drones to minimize poaching, particularly of elephants and rhinos. A few tourism businesses offer drone photos during the safari as another way to capture candid photos of the wildlife.

Those are just five great destinations for 2016, where are you planning to go?

United States citizens traveling to Norway don’t need a travel visa, however, they do need a valid passport.

Speaking of passports, have you seen the updated version of Norway’s passport? The country had a contest for the updated design. Oslo-based design company Neue won the competition with this design. To see what is so special about it, scroll down.
Norway's New Passport Design Is Beautiful - UltraLinx.clipular
Notice around the edges is a minimilist version of the crest in red, white and turquoise, standing for standard, immigrant, or diplomat respectively.

Norway's New Passport Design Is Beautiful - UltraLinx.clipular (1)
When the passport is scanned under a UV light, the landscapes on the passport transform to show the Northern Lights in the nights sky.
Norway's New Passport Design Is Beautiful - UltraLinx.clipular (2)

Neue also designed the new passport photo page.
Norway's New Passport Design Is Beautiful - UltraLinx.clipular (3)
The new passports are due to begin use in 2017. What do you think? Is it time for an upgrade in the style of passports in your country?

Earlier today, the House has approved legislation tightening controls on travel to the U.S. and requiring visas for anyone who’s been in Iraq or Syria in the previous five years.

What does this legislation address?
The legislation takes aim at the “visa waiver” program that allows citizens of 38 countries to travel to the U.S. for stays of 90 days and less without first obtaining a visa from an embassy or consulate.

The bill would include a new visa requirement for citizens of Iraq, Syria and any other country deemed a terrorist hotspot, along with anyone who’s traveled to those countries in the previous five years.

What about military or official government travel?
Exceptions are made for official government visits and military service.

How will this affect the visa waiver program?
Another provision in the bill will require countries in the visa waiver program would also be required to share counter-terror information with the U.S. or face expulsion from the program.

Read more here.

 

 

If traveling to the country of Yemen is in your future and you aren’t looking forward to the visit the consulate here in the states, we can get your travel visa for you and save you a trip.

United States citizens will need a travel visa for both business or tourism purposes. Here are the criteria for each type of visa:Yemen Visa - Texas Tower Fast Passport and Visa Call Now! (713) 874-1420.clipular If your passport is within 6 months of expiring during the time of your Yemen visit, talk to us about renewing your passport at the time we are processing your Yemen travel visa.

Due to the volatile nature of the region,  American citizens are encouraged to check out the State Department’s website for the most current information. Just click here Yemen Travel Warnings.
Please note: The U.S. Embassy in Sana’a suspended operations on February 11, 2015, and therefore, cannot provide protection or routine consular services to U.S. citizens in Yemen. If you previously got your travel visa upon arrival, that is no longer an option at this time.

If you’d like a peek at some of the sites in Yemen, here is a great overview of the top 10 sites to take in.