Newfoundland has long been a tourist hub of activity for people coming to see “Iceberg Alley.” Recently, a hunk of ice of huge proportions appears to be stuck and it’s generating all kinds of interest. Remember the 150-feet that you can see are all that is out of the water, icebergs are generally much larger below the surface of the water. The peak time to view icebergs is from now until June.  This year is predicted to have the largest number of icebergs in years.

RTS12T6Ab

U.S. citizens don’t need  a passport to visit Newfoundland to enjoy Iceberg Alley, however reentry to the United States will require a valid (more than 6-months until expiration) passport.

If you need to renew  or get your very first passport, we can expedite the process for you. We can also obtain passports for every member of the family. Book your flight and talk to us about obtaining your passport. We will make sure you won’t be late to enjoy Iceberg Alley this year.  Call Texas Tower at 713-874-1420 or contact us on Facebook.

 

Passport Questions and Answers

Here at TexasTower.net we process a lot of passport requests. All types of requests like new passports, renewing passports, helping people handle lost or stolen passports, and a lot of other situations that fall in between those reasons. Here are some common questions about passports.

How long does it take for a first time applicant to get a passport?
It depends on the time service you request. Our standard turnaround time for processing a new passport request is 8-12 business days. If you need your passport faster, we can expedite it as fast as 24-hours and even meet you at the airport if necessary.

I’ve heard using a passport service is a scam.
We’ve heard the same. There are some bad eggs in our industry like many other industries. We work hard to make sure every client we process a passport, visa, or certified birth certificate request gets the best service. We exist to take the legwork out of getting your travel documents and have been in business for decades. The service you pay for is getting your passport or visa much faster than going through the U.S. government agency and you don’t have to make an appearance at the embassy or consulate for your travel visa. The good news is, the companies that are set up to merely scam people don’t last too long.

At what age does a baby need a passport to travel internationally?
We’ll answer that question with a question: how soon are you traveling? Even newborns need a passport if you’re traveling outside the United States. If you have a child traveling with you under 15-years of age, you’ll need to apply for a child passport.

A friend told me if my passport has less than six months before the expiration date it’s basically expired. Is that true?
Yep. If you have less than six months left, most countries won’t allow entry. If you need to renew – we can renew your passport as fast as 24-hours.

My dog chewed on my passport but it’s still 100% intact, can I use it for travel?
Probably not. The best thing to do would be send us an image and let us see it. If you need to replace a damaged passport, we can help.

Do I need to renew my passport to reflect my name change after my divorce?
You need to reapply for a passport – contact us and we can walk you through it.

Is it possible to have two passports at the same time?
Short answer: yes. Longer answer: there are some special requirements to meet to have a secondary passport. Having a travel destination between politically sensitive countries is one of the most commonly approved reasons. Second passports have a validity of 2 (two) years and many not be renewed.   Approval of the issue of a second valid passport in determined solely by the U.S. Passport Agency, based the applicant’s requirement for the passport.

If you have a question about passports we didn’t answer here, just ask us at 713-874-1420 or on Twitter  at @txtpassportvisa .

It’s not only Wednesday and on the way to Friday, but April 19th is Humorous Day and we thought it would be a great day to look at some pranks pulled off in airports.

It can be boring on a layover waiting for your next flight. You can only watch streaming Headline News, some talk show, or watch the other travelers streaming by to their own layovers or catching flights for so long.  Here’s a few people who took self amusement to the next level, and filmed it!

Fake Outlet Prank
Have you ever been in a smaller airport with few outlets? Talk about frustrating. This prank puts up a fake outlet.

Crashing Other People’s Calls
Isn’t it annoying when someone else begins chatting loudly next to you? This guy is all of us.

Welcoming Strangers at the Airport

Greeting Mom Prank
These two sisters missed their Mom and her a very special sign.

Hope you got a smile from these pranks and have a great Humorous Day!

Texas Tower Passport and Visa is your one-stop passport and travel visa expediting service. We can get passports for every member of the family and handle travel visas for nearly every destination. Call us at 713-874-1420 or visit TexasTower.net to get started!

 

august 2018
Are you a U.S. citizen planning on working in Venezuela? Working in Venezuela has a few extra requirements for a travel visa.

Necessary Documents for a Venezuelan Work Visa
There are two important documents you will need to include with a work visa along with the application. You will need a copy your police report on yourself and a copy of a certificate of health – both documents need to be translated into Spanish as part of your visa travel documents. After you obtain the documents, we can not only handle obtaining your work visa for Venezuela, we can translate your documents into Spanish for you.

ve-map

How to Get Your Record Check
Simply call your local police department and see if you need to make an appointment or they handle walk-ins for record checks. Most countries require a 5-year history. We can certify the document for you.

You’re going to Need a Health Certificate
Your health certificate should be less than 90 days old and signed by a doctor, again we can help you certify this document.

To see the full checklist of items you need to get a work visa in Venezuela, we put together a handy list for you on our Venezuela visa page here.

We also recommend checking the State Department for the latest travel warnings issued for your destination country. Here is where to find the latest Venezuela travel warnings.

We make getting your visa for Venezuela as convenient as possible. If you have questions, just contact us during business hours at 713-874-1420 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have regarding passports or visas.

Everyone that has gone through the process of getting a U.S. passport knows the basics of how it works and to keep their passport safe. Here are five things you may not know about your U.S. passport.

  1.  The U.S. Passport is no longer the most powerful
    The power of a passport is calculated by how many countries the passport holder can visit without obtaining a travel visa. Up until the present the U.S. and U.K. were tied for first place. This year, Germany scooped them both as the most powerful passport according to the Global Passport Index.
  2.  The majority of Americans don’t have passports
    According to the latest figures from the State Department, only 38% of Americans hold current passports.
  3.  Your expiration date isn’t your expiration date
    Even though your passport reads it expires in 10 years, most countries won’t let you enter if you have less than 6 months left on your passport. So you technically have to renew after 9 years to stay current.
  4. Counterfeit passports tend to get caught
    The newest incarnation of the U.S. passport possesses over 30 security features and is very difficult to duplicate. Fraudulent passports are normally caught very quickly.
  5. The chip in your passport is high-tech
    Although passports have had chips since around 2005, the chip has evolved from then to now as much more secure. The chip is protected with a polycarbonate coating and only countries with the same technology can read and verify the chip.

If you don’t have a current passport, or you have questions about how to renew or obtain a passport, just ask us! Call us at 713-874-1420 or email info@texastower.net .

ime Add headingIf someone asked you right now if your passport was expired, do you know for sure? Remember if it’s got six months or less to go before the expiration date, just call it expired. The huge majority of countries require at least six months of time left after the completion date of your departure from the country. So, time to renew that passport.

When you want to renew your passport, you have two main choices. You can go through the Passport Agency which can take four to seven weeks on the average or you can outsource the task to a passport and visa company. There is a small service fee attached, but doing the legwork to get a passport renewal won’t be on you.

The following is an overview of how to renew your passport.
First make sure you meet the minimum requirements to renew your passport.

passport renewal
Make sure you meet the minimum requirements for passport renewal!

Then you will need to get some paperwork together. We have a handy checklist to help you with that task. Click to view.
Renew Your Passport - Texas Tower 24 Hour Passport and Visa.clipular

We offer real-time tracking and above all, you’ll always talk to a human when you go through Texas Tower Passport and Visa. We don’t rely on automated systems to handle our clients. We will work with you from start to finish to make sure your passport renewal goes fast and easy.

Things to Know Before Your First Visit to Ghana

1. Never been to Ghana before? Check any preconceived notions you have about Africans at the door. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

2. Don’t photograph people unless you ask politely. It’s considered rude to point and click at locals going about their daily lives without permission. Most Ghanians will happily pose for photos if approached politely.

3. Did you know the average Ghanian speaks 3 languages including English by age 8? Rest assured you shouldn’t have any issues being understood.

4. Learn some useful Twi phrases so you can speak to locals. It’s considered respectful for travelers to at least try. Here are several to get you started.
english phrase         Twi phrase                [pronunciation] 1.How are you?      Wo ho te sɛn?         [woe HOE teh SANG] 2.I am doing well   Me ho yɛ.                  [mih HOE yeh] 3.What’s up?            Ɛte sɛn?                     [eh-teh SANG] 4.I’m fine.                   Ɛyɛ.                              [eh-yeh] 5.Yes.                           Aane.                           [aah-NIH]/[ayn] 6.No.                           Dabi.                             [deh-BEE] 7.Good morning. Maakye.                      [mah CHEE] 8.Good afternoon. Maaha.                     [mah HÃ] 9.Good evening   Maadwo.                    [mah JWO]

5. You probably already have a list going of places you want to visit in Accra. Talk to the locals and find particular places of interest. Yes, there are tourist venues, but see Ghana as the people who live there see it to really experience it.

Texas Tower is your one-stop passport and travel visa venue. You can skip the trip to the embassy for your travel visa and we can expedite your passport. Call us with any questions 713-874-1420.

Need Your Passport Fast for a Business Conference in Taiwan-Taiwan is a hot destination for
business conferences, particularly in the oil and gas and IT industries. It’s not an unusual situation to realize at the last minute you need to renew your passport. Remember, if there’s less than six months left until the expiration, you need to renew.

All you need to do is fill out the passport paperwork and we do the rest.
American citizens do not require a travel visa for business or personal travel to the country of Taiwan.

However your nationality may require a travel visa. Fortunately, we can help you.

Our visa services include making an appointment for the consulate or embassy so you don’t have to. We will also get any necessary travel documents certified and translated as needed.

Taiwan FlagCall us at (713) 874-1420, a staff member can help you see if you need a travel visa to enjoy Taiwan.

Common TravelLike any other industry, you have to be aware of scams. Here is an overview of some of the most common travel scams and how to avoid being scammed.

Scam Offer: Travel Deal that is deeply discounted to pennies on the dollar
Many deals are legit, however this particular scam won’t give you time to think about it and will expire in say 10-12 hours, so you better act fast. Read the fine print and make sure the travel restrictions to take advantage of the deal aren’t ridiculous like limited travel times, limited destinations or hidden fees.

Scam Offer: You sit through a sales pitch, real estate offer for “free” travel
This one isn’t as common, but still occurs. You get a postcard or email to take advantage of a no-strings tour or presentation and at the end of this pitch, you will get some free travel vouchers. Generally the travel vouchers won’t be free travel but mere discounts on already insanely priced travel packages. The vouchers are usually non-transferable.

Scam Offer: You rent a vacation home from someone who isn’t an owner
With the ability to post ads online, use AirBnB or Craigslist, this scam is out in full force. Basically it works like this. You run across the perfect deal on a vacation rental, you pay a down payment or other arrangement and the person doesn’t even actually own the property. When you try to get the keys or paperwork, it’s not unusual to find the scammer has already skipped town with your payment. To avoid this one, only rent through a reputable company.

Scam Offer: Free Vacation Winner!
You receive a very official looking letter in the mail that you have won a vacation in a contest you never entered (first red flag) all you have to do is call the number to redeem your vacation package. You call and find they want your credit card info to charge you for your prize and the fees on these winnings are usually huge.

Those are just a few of the most common travel scams out there. Have you been scammed?

7 Beautiful Travel Destinations for Walking ToursA type of travel that is gaining rapid popularity is the guided walking tour. Small groups with local guides allow for an intimate tourist experience. Generally, the usual tourist traps are avoided and you get a real view of the country.

Often local guides will arrange for a dinner with a local family in town to give you a genuine taste of the local cuisine. Make sure your passport is ready to go (along with your most comfortable shoes) and talk to us if you need to renew your passport or require a travel visa for entry to any of the countries mentioned in this list.

1. Bhutan
A beautiful walking tour that will take you through ancient temples, small villages nestled between enormous Himalayan peaks, and rice paddies and farms worked the way they have been for thousands of years.

2. New Zealand
Known for its beaches, forests, and beautiful valleys, New Zealand is a nature lover’s dream tour. Due to the country’s geographical isolation, it has developed uniquely in its evolution with a singular ecosystem. Visit untamed frontier towns and quaint villages, all in one tour!

3. Croatia
The Dalmatian Coast is quietly becoming a must-see destination for lovers of medieval architecture, olive groves, and beautiful, rolling green hills. Island-hopping is the standard mode of tourism through this country by the sea.

4. Czech Republic
This country has walking tours that are set in villages that look like they came straight out of a fairytale. World-class breweries, charming cobblestone streets in cities like Telč, the catacombs of Tábor, and the crooked medieval lanes of Český Krumlov where you’ll see brightly painted row-houses. Prague has intriguing gothic streets to explore, and of course, sample the street food of handmade dumplings.

5. Iceland
Known as the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland offers beautiful landscapes, black sand beaches, waterfalls, lava fields and their famous hot springs. Steeped in Viking traditions, you’ll find fjords with Minke whales and seals along with picturesque villages to explore. In the city of Reykjavík enjoy all the comforts of home and explore Europe’s largest migratory bird sanctuary at beautiful Lake Mývatn. One must-see is found in Þingvellir National Park, where you can stand at the meeting place of Iceland’s 1,000-year-old parliament.

6. Peru
Machu Picchu is a destination on the bucket list of many travelers, when you visit, make it a walking tour and really get a feel for the area. The vibrant culture of the area is filled with buzzing marketplaces, beautiful, high rising Andean peaks, and explore the ruins of the lost cities. Other great walking tour destinations in Peru include the Urubamba River Valley or the baroque architecture found in Cusco.

7. Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia
Foodies will enjoy a walking tour of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Walking tours often include a walking tour of the Night Market where all types of delicacies can be sampled. Cambodia walking tours often include the Khmer ruins which are overrun and half hidden by huge silk-cotton trees in the jungles. In Laos, you’ll see country villages and quiet pagodas while walking lush trails.

Those are just seven popular destinations to book a walking tour. Forget the tourist traps and crowded venues, see a country as it was meant to be seen with a local guiding the way.