Where to Next-Are you a valid licensed driver in the United States? If so, you can qualify for an international driving permit (IDP). The IDP is recognized by most governments as a valid permit to operate a car, motorcycle, or other type of vehicle.

There are only four things you need to do to obtain your international driver’s license:
1- Fill out the application for your IDP
2. Fill out our order form
3. Two (2) Passport-Type Photos (signed on back) – you can get these at any CVS or Walgreens
4. A clear copy of your valid state-issued driver’s license

Notice no driving test is required? You must be at least 18-years of age.
The list of countries that recognize IDPs as a valid instrument for vehicle operation are many:

AfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngola
AntiguaArgentiaAustraliaAustriaBahamas
BahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelgiumBelize
BeninBhutanBoliviaBotswanaBrunei
BulgariaBurmaCambodiaCanadaCape Verde Islands
Cayman IslandsCentral African Rep.ChadChileColombia
CongoCosta RicaCubaCuracaoCyprus
Czech Rep.DenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominica Rep.
EcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEthiopiaFiji
FinlandFrance (including French Territories)French PolynesiaGabonGambia
Germany
GhanaGibraltarGreeceGrenada
GuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyana
GuyanaHaitiHondurasHong KongHungary
icelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIreland
IsraelItalyIvory CoastJamaicaJapan
JerseyJordanKenyaKuwaitLaos
LebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyaLiechtenstein
LuxembourgMacaoMadagascarMalawiMalaysia
MaliMaltaMauritaniaMauritiusMexico
MonacoMontserratMoroccoNamibiaNepal
NetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNiger
NorwayOmanPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguay
PeruPhilippinesPolandPortugalQatar
RomaniRussiaRwandaSt. ChristopherNevis & Anguilla
St. LuciaSt. Vincent & GrenadinesSan MarinoSao Tome & PrincipeSaudi Arabia
SenegalSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSouth Africa
SpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSwaziland
SwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTaiwan
TanzaniaThailandTogoTrinidad & TobagoTunisia
TurkeyUgandaUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUpper Volta (Burkina Faso)
Vatican CityVenezuelaVietnamVietnamWestern Samo
YemenYugoslaviaZaireZambiaZimbabwe

Ready to get your IDP? Get started here. If you have any questions about obtaining your IDP or feel you may have special circumstances, just ask us!

fingerprint traveler - Google Search.clipular
Are up a traveler between the ages of 14 to 70? You may find yourself providing your fingerprints upon entry to China next time you visit.

In an effort to strengthen national security, China will be asking foreign visitors to provide their fingerprints upon entry. According to a story in the South China Morning Post, the information will be stored for official use. It was not stated if the fingerprints would be shared with other agencies. The new system is designed to be efficient and the Ministry said no unnecessary delays should be experienced by travelers.

The current exceptions are for foreigners traveling on diplomatic passports and visas. At this time those travelers will not be required to provide their fingerprints. China cited the program they are utilizing is already active in other countries. For example, the U.S. has been collecting fingerprints from foreign nationals since 2004.

The first fingerprints will be collected through Beijing’s Shenzhen Airport the last week of February. The process is then scheduled to roll out across the nation to all entry points into China.

India

Individuals planning a trip to India will find along with your passport, you need a travel visa for entry to the country. There are business and tourist class travel visas required, depending on the nature of your trip.  Here are some common questions about getting your visa to India.

Can Texas Tower process visas in all jurisdictions?
Yes! However if you are within the jurisdiction of Houston, we do charge an extra fee. You can read more about that here.

What is the average processing time for an Indian visa?
You will need to allow 10-business-days once the application has been submitted by us.  Some applications can take 3 weeks to process.

Chittorgarh-Fort1Is there a way to get rush service?
Due to the detailed nature of the visa process, there is no rush service available. The standards for acquiring a travel visa from the Embassy are very exacting and something as small as the signature on your passport not matching the signature on your visa application exactly can result in your visa application being denied.

May I get the visa upon arrival in India?
Although many countries let you obtain your visa upon arrival, India currently does not.

I was born in India, can you process my travel visa require for India?
Unfortunately, we may not be able to help you. You will most likely need to apply at the Embassy in person if you born in India, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka.

What will I need for a travel visa to India for business?
Here is everything you will need, including links to forms.
India Visa Fast Call Now! (713) 874-1420 - Texas Tower 24 Hour Passport and Visa.clipular

What documents do I need to get a tourist travel visa for India?
Just like the business visa for India, we have put together a handy list for everything you need to make application for your visa a breeze.
India Visa Fast Call Now! (713) 874-1420 - Texas Tower 24 Hour Passport and Visa.clipular (1)
If you have a question about getting your passport or visa to India, call our office at 713-874-1420 or  just send your question to @txtpassportvisa on Twitter or Texas Tower on Facebook.

Budget-Friendly Destinations for Spring Break 2017Spring Break is fast approaching, have you made your plans? If you’re still searching for the best deal on where to go – here are some ideas inside and outside the U.S. that are kind to your bank account and perfect for the student on a tight budget.

1. Daytona, Florida

With average temps hovering in the low-80’s during Spring Break, Daytona has great weather and cheap hotels in abundance. There is a Big Red Party Bus that travels up and down the beach and is easy to catch either way. The boardwalk, beach, or local clubs are filled with activity and it’s a definite non-stop party scene.

2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Both North and South Myrtle Beach in South Carolina have white sandy beaches and very affordable hotels. There’s a ton of live music and clubs. Hotels here tend to be even more budget-friendly than in Florida, so it’s worth checking out.

3. South Padre Island, Texas

Looking for a Spring Break experience that is anything but tame? This is your destination. South Padre is small but mighty. The island is filled with tons of bars within walking distance and the hotels are very affordable. Most of the accommodations aren’t exactly 4-star but chances are good you won’t be in your room too much anyway.

4. Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

None of the above destinations require a passport, this one will. Costa Rica is completely gorgeous and if you love beach time, this is your nirvana. You can swim, whitewater raft, and enjoy zip lining. There’s still time to book a trip and keep the cost down on a roundtrip ticket.

5. Ocho Rios, Jamaica

This is a great destination. Ocho Rios in Jamaica is a very busy port that numerous cruise lines use and it’s not hard to see why this is so. The water is clear, there are jungle mountain ranges and the beaches are pristine. Margaritaville is where the Spring Breakers head to. You can party hard or rent an ATV, horseback ride, or experience their whitewater rivers on a raft canoe or kayak. You will need a passport for entry.

6. St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Since this is a U.S. territory, you won’t need to worry about breaking out your passport. If you book your flight far enough in advance, you can usually score some great deals on travel to this destination where you will be able to enjoy affordable hotels, pristine beaches, and a jumping night life.

7. Cancun, Mexico

It wouldn’t be a list of Spring Break places without the original Mexican paradise destination, Cancun. There are nearly constant parties, bars, live music fests, and very affordable rooms. Shop around for roundtrip flights and you can probably snap up a great deal. Just pack your bathing suit, sunscreen and your passport and you’re set!

How to Determine Which Type of Travel Visa You NeedDepending the purpose of your travel to Venezuela, you will be able to choose from three different types of travel visas to fit each need. Texas Tower makes the process even faster by making the trip to the embassy for you.

Here’s what you need to know for each type of travel visa.
Venezuela Visa Fast Call Now! (713) 874-1420 - Texas Tower Fast Passport and Visa Call Now! (713) 874-1420.clipular (4)

Special information for travelers under 18-years of age.
Individuals under the age of eighteen do not have to make an appearance at the consulate in person. The parent or legal guardian of the child will be responsible for making the appearance at the consulate with the following documentation:

  • child or adolescent’s original passport, with a minimum of six (6) months of validity remaining as of the expected travel date and at least two blank pages.
  • A copy of the child or adolescent’s birth certificate.
  • One (1) recent front-facing photograph with a white background, size 2×2 inches (without glasses or hats).
  • The mother or father that is not presenting the documents in person must provide notarized written authorization in Spanish for the other parent.
  • In case one of the parents is deceased, the surviving parent must present the original or certified copy of the death certificate.
  • If one of the parents is divested of parental authority by the final sentence of a court, the parent with parental authority must present a copy of the sentence.

If you have any questions regarding your passport or travel to Venezuela, just ask us. Call our office at 713-874-1420 or email info@texastower.net. We’re ready to help you.

#TravelTuesday

It’s #TravelTuesday!
We process passport and travel documents for individuals and corporations all over the United States. We also process travel visas for U.S. citizens to use for entry to their country or countries of destination. Here’s a collection of some of the most common questions we get about visas.

1. Do I need a visa to visit every country in the world?
Nope! Here’s a handy map that will give you a fast overview of where you need a visa for entry and where you don’t.
(click to enlarge this map)

By Camoka4 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22514926
By Camoka4 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22514926

2. Is it true U.S. visitors entering Afghanistan are photographed on entry?
No,  but visitors entering the country are fingerprinted.

3. I was told that Azerbaijan does not issue visas to people of Armenian ancestry. 
That is among the guidelines from the Azerbaijan government. They also will only issue a 30-day visa if arriving in Azerbaijan on Azerbaijan Airlines from a departure in the State of New York.

4. I read about a temporary visa waiver by Brazil, when does that take place? 
Temporary visa waiver, for a stay up to 90 days, will be in place in 2016 between June 1 and September 18, just before and after the Summer 2016 Olympics and ParaOlympics.

5. What is required for traveling to Ghana?
One of the main things you need to have is an International Certificate of Vaccination required. To see the full list of what is required to travel to Ghana, visit our dedicated Ghana Visa page.

6. Is there a URL at the Department of State I can look up information about various countries?
Yes. You’re welcome to contact our office or you can look up information at the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs.

7. I was told that I don’t need a visa to visit Russia now, is that accurate?
Not entirely. The 72-hour visa-free entry for international cruise ship/ferry passengers only. The requirements are very specific. You must be travelling with an organized tour and accompanied at all times by a tour operator.
American citizens may receive multiple entry visas valid for three years.

And there you have it. If you have a visa or passport related question, just send it to @txtpassportvisa on Twitter or Texas Tower on Facebook.

Tips for Getting a Burma Myanmar Visa
Once known as Burma, the country of Myanmar requires a visa for United States citizens wishing to enter the country. It also has a few special requirements you do not normally have to meet to obtain a visa.

The maximum stay for either a tourist or business visa is 30-days, Myanmar Tourism Showcase (3 minutes 40 seconds) -- myanmar branding video - YouTube.clipularand this is a visa you cannot obtain upon arrival in the country.  To get your travel visa, just fill out the required paperwork and we can make the visit to the consulate for you.

United States travelers living in New York, Connecticut, or New Jersey addresses will need to apply for their visa directly at the Myanmar consulate located in New York City. Texas Tower can do the legwork for you if you live in those cities, but there is an additional $40 service fee.

Requirements for Travel Visas to Myanmar

Myanmar Visa - Texas Tower Fast Passport and Visa Call Now! (713) 874-1420.clipular
Myanmar Tourism Showcase (3 minutes 40 seconds) -- myanmar branding video - YouTube.clipular (1)
Myanmar has had travel warnings issued in the recent past. Especially around elections. Check with the Department of State to get the latest travel warnings at their Myanmar/Burma page.

If you’re curious to get a glimpse of Myanmar before you go, check out this travel video from Myanmar Travel Information:

If you have any questions regarding the acquisition of your Myanmar travel visa, call our office at 713-874-1420, we have someone ready to help you.

We’ll give you a hint. It’s exotic, has beautiful beaches and is a mere 90 miles away from the coast of the United States.

If you guessed, Cuba, you’re right!

Cuba According to data put together from the travel insurance company, Allianz, Cuba was a major destination for Valentine’s Day 2017.

The company looked at data from some 18,000 trips purchased for two people the weekend before Valentine’s Day, or departing between February 10-12 and returning February 13.

Cancun continues to rank as the top destination, but for the first time Cuba has entered the list and exceptions are it will continue to climb in popularity. The reason is flights are affordable, accommodations are budget-friendly, and the travel visas are easy to acquire. Visitors still have to meet one of the 12 pre-approved reasons to set forth by the Department of the Treasury. A few of the reasons are doing charity work, visiting family members, or performing religious functions.

U.S. travelers require a passport and visa to enter the country, talk to us and we can expedite both!

Newborn Passport and Traveling TipsThe short answer to that question is : yes.

All children, no matter what their age under 15-years-old need a child’s passport. We have made the process for getting kid’s passports streamlined.

Steps to Getting a Child’s Passport
Forms and Documentation You Will Need
Go to the State Department and fill out the DS-11 form online – do not sign.  Print two copies of the DS-11.
One is for Texas Tower and one is for the envelope the passport deputy is going to execute and seal for you.

Get two passport quality photos taken. If you have a local Walgreens, Kinko’s, or CVS – all of these facilities are familiar with taking passport photos.

You will need an original, certified birth certificate for the child.

A check payable to the Department of State for $140.

Next, you will need to provide a clear copy of the mother’s and father’s state-issued identification. If either parent cannot be present at the time of execution of the documents,  then a notarized Form DS-3053 is needed.

Now you need to provide proof of departure for the child. This is easiest to do in this format:

A. Copy of airline tickets
B. Company letter of expedite. (Sample Below)
C. Travel itinerary Sample Letter

Then you need to print two copies of the Texas Tower Authorization form. This gives us permission to expedite the passport process for you. One copy will go in the envelope to be sealed by the passport deputy. The other will go on the outside with the DS-11 copy you made for Texas Tower.

These are all the documents you should need to obtain your child’s passport.You will need to make an appointment with your local post office to have a passport deputy witness your signing of the DS-11 form, and seal your envelope with your documents for the passport office. If you are unsure where the nearest office is to your location, just go to You can find a complete list of local agencies at http://iafdb.travel.state.gov and you can find the most current list. The passport deputy will charge a fee of $25 for the execution of your documents.

Once the envelope is sealed by the passport deputy, do not open it again.
Ask for the envelope back and attach the copies of the forms you made for Texas Tower along with the authorization form to the outside of the envelope.  To see the current list of fees, please go here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Then simply mail or overnight to Texas Tower and your passport for your child will be expedited.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Ever wondered what the top 10 most romantic cities to visit with your favorite person might be? Here’s our list.

paris

1. Paris, France
Yes, of course Paris. Does any city evoke more feelings of romance? Walking along the Seine, hand in hand in a museum, and of course a kiss at the Eiffle Tower.

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2.  Florence, Italy
Another city that oozes romance. Charming cobblestone streets, the food, and the history are enough to make any lovers want to share a romantic moment.

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3. Prague, the Czech Republic
This is a beautiful place to visit with a rich history. The nights are especially beautiful. Great places for lovers to visit are the Vtlava River, see the Charles Bridge, or ride the cable car to Petrin Gardens and explore the mirror maze together.

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4. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Go to where the romantic dance the Tango was born. Buenos Aires offers up history, gorgeous architecture and gardens and tree-lined boulevards to enjoy hand-in-hand.

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5. Kyoto, Japan
Love castles, history, and cherry blossoms? Kyoto is the destination city for you and your lover. This beautiful area will give experiences like sleeping in a traditional ryokan and take in a quiet and contemplative Philosopher’s Stroll.

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6. Bruges, Belgium
Love the romance of the canals but dislike the crowds of Venice? Check out Bruges. You get all the romance of a canal ride without all the tourists. Another destination that is a must-see for lovers, Minnewater Water, where the swans glide on the aptly named, Lake of Love.

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7. Bath, England
Looking for somewhere to propose and make it official? Bath, England actually has their city listed as a place to propose on their website!