What you can and cannot bring back from Vietnam can be confusing. Getting knowledgeable about what U.S. Customs allows into the country will make it a quick decision to buy that exotic meat mixture sausage that shopkeeper swears will be fine to bring back into the U.S.

There aren’t actually limits on how much stuff you can bring back from a trip abroad. The ax drops on how much stuff you can bring back into the country for free. Once you pass the $800 worth of goods per person, you start owing taxes on the items.

What can you bring back from Vietnam?
A travel visa to Vietnam is good anywhere from one to three months (depending on the type you obtain) and you can find a lot of good stuff to bring back from Vietnam.
The following is a list of what you can bring back into the U.S, remember $800 total limit per person (before you’re taxed). Current Customs regulations say you can bring back:
– 100 cigars or 200 cigarettes
– 1 liter of alcohol
– Baked foods are usually okay
– Hard cheeses are usually allowed
– Candy
– And this is a good one for Vietnam: roasted coffee beans and dried tea.

Antiques over 100-years old and artworks are exempt not part of the $800 limit so if you find some art that you must have – go for it!

Another way to get your stuff home is to mail it. Yes, mail it. The current regulations state that you can mail yourself up to $200 worth of goods per day, as long as the packaging is marked: “for personal use.”
You can also mail an additional $100 worth of stuff to family or friends as long as the packages are designated, “unsolicited gift.”

Either way, you must list the contents of any package on the outside wrapping, and you cannot mail alcohol, perfume (because it has alcohol in it), or tobacco products worth more than $5.

What can’t a tourist bring back from Vietnam?
The following items will be confiscated:
-plants
-fresh fruits
-fresh vegetables
-meat
Pretty much any freshly prepared foods you attempt to bring in won’t make it if found by customs. You can bring seeds in with you for flowers or vegetables, but not trees. There are some rules to follow, you will need to obtain a phytosanitary certificate of inspection from Vietnam, and you will need to declare them. More information can be found at Aphis.

This thread at TripAdvisor has a lot of ideas for what to buy when you’re in Vietnam. Also, Huffington Post had a great article for the truly unique shopper visiting Vietnam.


Whether you’re traveling overseas for business or pleasure, it is a good idea to have an International Driving Permit of your own. If public transportation is unreliable or you just want to be in command of when you leave and arrive, you definitely need an IDP.

You do need to be a licensed driver in the United States in order to possess driving priveledges in foreign countries, however, you don’t have to take a driving test. The minimum age is 18-years and as long as your driver’s license is valid in the United States, you will be able to qualify for an IDP.

Not every country requires an IDP for a U.S. citizen to operate a vehicle, if you’re not sure if your destination will require one, just ask us! Contact our offices at 713-874-1420 or Facebook: @TexasTowerPassportVisa

There are a lot of reasons you might need to change your name on your passport. Marriage, divorce, legal name change, and other reasons. It boils down to: you need to have a name on your passport that matches your state-issued I.D.

The good news is, the process is simple. Other than supplying proof of your name change, the rest of the process is identical to renewing your passport.

Gather the Documents
Get together the following items:

  • Complete and sign the application for passport renewal. (We can give you the link).
  • Submit 2-passport-type photographs
  • Authorization for Texas Tower to act on your behalf at the Passport Agency
  • Your current passport (Please note that your passport number will change. Your canceled passport will be returned to you).
  • Flight itinerary or company letter requesting rush service.
  • Texas Tower Passport & Visa order form
  • Original or certified copy of your marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order. No scans or photocopies will be accepted.

You can bring the documents in person to our office or send via Fed Ex, UPS or shipping service of your choice.

Get started here on our Passport Name Change page and if you have any questions, our staff is ready to assist you, just call 713-874-1420.

Did you know only 38% of U.S. citizens have valid passports? Did you know that number is expected to rapidly increase before the REAL ID Act goes into full effect in 2020? If you don’t have a passport, now would be a good time to get one.

Yes, you can get your passport yourself, but it can take seven to eight weeks wait time. If you want it faster, you can expedite the task to us. Once you gather the paperwork, there are only three main steps for obtaining your passport.

Determine your eligibility for a passport
First, you need to make sure that you meet the minimum criteria for applying for a U.S. passport. You need to be 18-years of age or older as a first-time applicant. If you were a child under 16-years of age and are now an adult that needs a passport, this would also apply to you. If you had a passport but it’s been over 15-years and you currently do not have a valid passport, you will also need to apply for a new passport.

Gather Documents
You will still need to get a few documents together and fill them out so we can obtain your passport for you in an expedited manner.
You’re going to need the following (and we have links for you to make it fast and easy)

  • Passport application
  • Copy of the unsigned DS-11 (passport form)
  • 2 passport quality photos
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Authorization for Texas Tower to act on your behalf
  • If you have an expired U.S. passport that was issued for 10 years previously, you’ll need to include that in your submission to us.

Get your documents certified
You will need to take the above documents to an authorized Passport Agency Deputy (also known as a local United States Post Office.
Most require appointments and do not accept walk-ins. You can find a complete list of agencies at http://iafdb.travel.state.gov
Passport Agency Deputy is required to charge an execution fee of $25.00 and should be paid separately from the Passport Agency fees.
The Passport Agency Deputy (PAD) will collect the documents you gathered in the previous step and act as a witness to you signing your passport application. The PAD will then place everything into an envelope that will be they seal.
Opening this envelope after sealing voids your application.
Important: Get your sealed envelope back from the Passport Agency Deputy, you’ll need it to turn in to us to expedite your passport application.

Handoff your application to us!
Mail or bring in your sealed envelope and other necessary documents discussed previously to our office. Our staff will handle the rest of the passport process for you. Depending on the time service chosen, you can receive your U.S. passport in as fast as 24-hours.

Ready to get started? Just go to our New U.S. Passport page and if you have any questions, call our office at 713-874-1420, we’ll be glad to assist you.

There are many reasons you might need to expedite your passport renewal, but when it gets down to the point of, you need it sooner than six to seven weeks, that’s where we can help you.

Here is how to renew your U.S. passport through us.
First, you’re going to need your current passport. It must be undamaged and will need to be submitted with your renewal. If your passport is damaged. you’ll need to follow instructions for obtaining a new passport – just talk to us, we can walk you through the process.

The documents we’re going to need, you will need documents with original signatures, the State Department requires it. Email and faxed documents cannot be processed.

Step One: One completed and signed application for passport renewal. This must be completed online at the Department of State (we can give you the link).

Step Two: You will need to submit two passport type photos. You can take the photos yourself but there are strict requirements. Talk to us if you’re not sure.

Step Three: Sign the Authorization Letter allowing us to work as your agent.

Step Four – If you need rush service, you will need to include a flight itinerary or company letter requesting a need for this expediting.

Step Five: Include our order form with payment and depending on the level of service chosen, you can have a passport in your hands as fast as 24-hours.

You can get started here at our dedicated Passport Renewal page. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to our staff at 713-874-1420

Se Habla Espanol.