Category Archives: Passport services

The State Department currently advises against non-essential travel by U.S. citizens to most regions of Pakistan and the India-Pakistan border for safety reasons.
The most common reasons for traveling to Pakistan are for seeing family, humanitarian or missionary organizations, and journalists, photographers, and reporters covering the area.
It is up to the Pakistani Embassy to grant issue of the travel visa and they or may not grant the request. Here are the basics to know:

  • Maximum stay is 30 days
  • The odds of obtaining a Pakistan visa are not favorable
  • A completed Pakistan visa application (we can give you the link)
  • 4 passport-type photographs
  • Maximum stay is 30 days
  • Money order for $324 made payable to The Embassy of Pakistan
  • Invitation from host that has been notarized by a Pakistan notary
  • Copy of inviting party’s NICOP card that has been notarized by a Pakistan notary
  • Copy of inviting partys Pakistan passport information that has been notarized by a Pakistan notary
  • If the purpose of visit is Trekking/ mountaineering, then the applicant must provide an Invitation letter from tour operator in Pakistan, Registration letter of tour operator with Ministry of Tourism in Pakistan, and the Trekking/Expedition permit issued by the Gilgit-Baltistan Council.

Once you gather the paperwork, we can do the rest and go the embassy for you.
see the full scope of documents and links to documents on our Pakistan Visa.
Any questions? Just contact our office and we’ll be glad to help you 713-874-1420.

According to the State Department, lines for passports are long and can be expected to be longer. Also, the wait to receive a passport may increase due to the Real ID Act activation date fast approaching. At this time, all 50 states have either switched to Act-compliant state identification or have filed an extension. However, by 2020, all states much comply.

Having a valid US passport meets the requirements for alternative ID and it’s good for ten years until expiration. 

Make Sure Your Passport Photo is Compliant
The State Department rejected thousands of applications due to poor passport photos, so make sure that you adhere to rules and guidelines for passport photos.

New U.S. Passports Have Chips
The U.S. passport got a makeover in July 2016. One of the most significant changes was the addition of a chip inside the passports. The chip is featured on the information page, is machine-readable, and contains key biometric data on each traveler helping to reduce fraud.

Passport Pages
The number of pages in the passport were reduced and the ability to add pages is no longer an option. Passports are also sporting a new cover with a special coating to protect the book from getting wet and bending.

Outsourcing your U.S. passport to us is one way to beat the lines and get your passport faster. Talk to us today 713-874-1420. Se Habla Espanol.

Vietnam is a long, narrow country situated between the Laos and Cambodia borders by the South China Sea. There are gorgeous landscapes to explore. Take in the lush rice fields, dense mountain forests, and the beautiful beaches on the coast. There are modern cities and traditional villages for travelers to immerse themselves in Vietnamese culture both past and present.
You will need both a valid U.S. passport and visa to enter the country. Let us expedite the process for you. Visit our Vietnam visa page or call us at 713-874-1420.

1. Dalat
The weather cool year-round and the misty valleys, pine tree forests and a myriad of colorful flowers are the reason emperors and French colonials used this destination as a getaway from the heat of summer. In the present, this south-central region of Vietnam is still popular for the same reasons. With a high walkability score, Dalat is a beautiful melding of scenic landscapes and both traditional Vietnamese and French architectures.


2. My Son
Located on the central coast of Vietnam near the Duy Phú village is the important archaeological site known as My Son. One of Southeast Asia’s most notable ancient sites, My Son was once a significant center of religious Hindu ceremonies where the kings of the Champa Kingdom built numerous temples devoted to the worship of the god, Shiva, between the 4th and 14th centuries.


3. Ho Chi Minh City
The jewel of southern Vietnam is by the Mekong Delta. Formerly known as Saigon, this was the capital of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Today, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city of the reunified country, offering plenty of reasons to visit, from its blend of historic and modern attractions to vibrant shopping, dining, and nightlife.


4.Mekong Delta
A short distance from Ho Chi Minh City Colorful you will find an area filled with floating markets, lush fruit orchards, bird sanctuaries and quaint villages. This area is known as “The Rice Basket,” and rightfully so. This agricultural region feeds more than 30% of the country from the rice plantations, fish farms, and orchards.


5. Nha Trang
A popular destination is this resort city on a beautiful bay. You will find a gorgeous bay view, picturesque mountains, beaches and lush islands to explore. For a little more modern fun, take in the amusement and water parks.

It stressful to find out at the last minute before you leave for your trip that your passport is expired.
The good news is that in just a few steps, you can renew your expired passport in as little as 24-hours.

Step 1. Make sure you meet the requirements to renew your passport.
renew expired passport

Step 2. Complete the application for passport renewal online at the State Department portal.

Step 3. You’ll need two passport photos. Remember, as of November 1st, 2016, no glasses are allowed in passport photos.
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Step 4. Print and sign the authorization letter for Texas Tower to act on your behalf to obtain your passport for you.

Step 5. You will need to include a copy of your flight itinerary or letter on company letterhead requesting rush level service for your passport application.

Step 6. Print and fill out the Texas Tower order form.

Step 7. Send the documents along with your currently expired passport to Texas Tower. Your passport will be canceled and returned to you with your new passport.

Ready to get started? Access to the necessary forms and list of fees can be found on our Renew Passport page.


We often encounter documents that will Notaries often encounter documents that will be sent to another country. Certain countries require that documents used by travelers have an Apostille or authentication certificate

What is an Apostilles
Apostilles and authentication certificates validate the seal and signature of a notary on a document so that it can be accepted in a foreign country. It verifies that the signature and the notary are authentic and validated.

When are Apostilles Needed?
Apostilles are used when public documents are being transferred between countries that are party to the Hague Apostille Convention of 1961. This international treaty streamlined the cumbersome, traditional procedure for authenticating documents.

How Does the Apostille Process Work?
Contact our office at 713-874-1420, or visit our Apostilles page online and upload your documents for a free quote!

What are your resolutions for 2018? Everyone makes the one about eating better and exercising. How about some resolutions to make travel easier or plan a new adventure?
Here are some ideas for making travel resolutions

Develop a savings plan
Beginning in January, start a travel fund and add to it weekly or monthly as you can. At the end of each quarter look at how much you’ve managed to save and find ways to save even more. The reward is a vacation you can take without putting extra stress on your budget.

Don’t let your passport expire
Check your passport often enough that you know when the expiration date is. If you need help renewing, talk to us and we can get your passport in as little as 24 hours.

Challenge yourself to travel light
On your next trip, instead of packing everything you “might” need, consider packing only what you will actually need. You know you’re pretty much going to be the same pair of shoes for exploring your destination in the day.

Get your International driver’s permit
Why be at the mercy of the bus or taxi schedules? Get an IDP and you can see the country you’re visiting on your own terms. There is no driving test required. If you’re interested in getting your own IDP, talk to us, we can assist you.

Scour travel deal sites
Sites like Expedia, Orbitz, and other deal sites are great for finding bargains on travel, including rental cars, and hotels. Once you get some money socked back, sign up to receive emails with deals. You might get a last-minute deal to Mexico or another exotic locale for a song.

Those are just a few ideas, what are your travel resolutions for 2018?

 

One of the best things about visiting a city around the globe is sampling the local cuisine. Street food is a great way to dive in to local treats and learn the culture of a city.


1. Tokyo, Japan
Did you know Japan has more Michelin starred restaurants than any other country? Getting a great meal isn’t a problem, narrowing down choices is. While you’re out sightseeing, grab something to munch on.


2. Hanoi, Vietnam
Eat like a local and hit the streets for freshly prepared pho, the national soup of Vietnam. You cannot leave without sampling a Bahn Mi. A baguette filled with cucumber, herbs, crispy onions, pork, and among other toppings, fish sauce for one delicious bite.


3. London, UK
People make jokes about English food being bland. In truth, there’s a lot of deliciousness to be found. There are pop-ups and street food to explore.


4. Jaipur, India
Love barbeque and chargrilled food? You will love Jaipur’s food. The traditional cuisine of the Rajputs, the warrior princes that ruled this area, are highlighted in many dishes here.


5. Mendoza, Argentina
Want a large, perfectly cooked steak? Your dream destination will be found in Mendoza. This area of Argentina is surrounded by wine estates and some of the best food in the country.

You will need a valid U.S. passport to experience these delicious destinations, book your trip and talk to us about expediting your U.S. passport and visa (if needed). Safe travels and happy eating!

Moscow is a city that never sleeps. There is something to do 24/7. Here are five of the best things to experience when you visit.


1. Red Square
This is a true mix of the old and new – historical and modern living. It was once the once site of executions and military parades, is in the middle of Moscow. The history of the Kremlin walls with Lenin’s tomb and on the other side is GUM, the largest department store in the country.


2. The State Tretyakov Gallery
The State Tretyakov Gallery is the national treasury of Russian fine art and contains more than 180,000 works of painting, sculpture and graphics created by generations of Russian artists.


3. Moscow Metro
Riding the city’s underground subway system is a sightseeing tour in itself with huge, vaulted, marble-columned stations – some with ornate mosaics and splendid stained glass – designed and decorated by famous Russian architects and sculptors.


4. St. Basil’s Cathedral
Built by Ivan the Terrible in the 1550s, this intriguing cathedral bordering Red Square consists of nine separate chapels, each capped with its own individually shaped and colored dome.


5. Bolshoi Theatre
The oldest theater in Moscow, rebuilt following a fire and later a hurricane, is magnificent both inside and out, and its resident opera and ballet troupes rate among the finest in the world.

To visit Russia, U.S. citizens require both a valid passport and travel visa. We can help with both! Call our office today to get started and let us do the work for you while you plan your time in Russia.

As the world’s largest country, Russia offers up a diverse selection of tourist opportunities. From fine art to gorgeous landscapes and a diverse society. Here are some of the most common issues travels find as a first-time Russian tourist and how to avoid them.

Get Your Travel Visa Early
Russia has specific rules for travelers entering the country and you need to start your Russia visa process as early as possible. We can expedite your visa and make the trip to the Russian Embassy for you.

Once in Russia, You Need to Register
Once you enter Russia, you need to register within seven days of your arrival this excludes weekends and public holidays. Many hotels will offer this service, just ask. Even families must register if you’re staying in a private residence.

Best Times to Visit
During major holidays, museums and other institutions in St. Petersburg or Moscow may have shortened hours or closed. The best times to visit Russia are from May through September with mid-June through early July being one of the best times as it’s the peak of the White Nights when the city is bathed in nearly rough-the-clock sunlight.

Dress to Impress When You Go Out
No guarantee you’ll make it past the doorkeepers in some of the top clubs, but dressing your best will give you a good shot at it.

Learn the Cyrillic Alphabet
It will pay off for you big time. You will be able to decipher street signs, timetables for public transportation, and menus. This app claims you will be able to read a little Russian in 3-hours!

Make Sure You Have Access to Extra Money
Moscow is easily one of the most expensive cities in the world and other major cities are equally expensive destinations. You may feel your wallet-thinning with every restaurant meal.
Students can sometimes get discounts if they have an I.D. card to flash at museums and save on the entrance fee. A big fad in the cities is the anti-cafe. Patrons pay by the minute and can enjoy snacks, coffees, Wi-Fi, and video games.

Keep Your Vodka Plain
Russians don’t add mixers to vodka. If a straight vodka shot is a rough ride for you, ask for a chaser. No one sips their vodka in Russia. It’s also tradition to consume snacks between shots.

If You Visit a Church…
Most churches in Russia are open to everyone but you need to know the basics in order not to offend. Be quiet and speak in a whisper. Women should cover their heads and bare shoulders, some monasteries and churches require women to wear skirts. Wraps are available at the door of many churches for women to use. Men should not wear hats or shorts inside of a church.

Skip the Photos of Government Buildings
You can be fined or even arrested for photographing stations, official-looking buildings or military or security buildings. If you aren’t sure, don’t photograph it.

If You are Stopped by Police
It is a good idea to carry a photocopy of your passport, visa, registration on you at all times when you’re out and about. If a police officer asks to see your documents, you will have them on hand. If you are asked for an unofficial payment to expedite the service of looking over your documents, ask for an official receipt.

Russia is a wonderful destination with something for foodies, history buffs, and luxury lovers. Use these tips to get into the rhythm for understanding basic customs and enjoy exploring this beautiful country.

Thinking of a great place to ring in 2018?

Beautiful, busy Hong Kong is a great place to dive in for a vacation getaway. Here are some fast and easy tips for getting the most from a Hong Kong visit.

You Won’t Get Your Passport Stamped
United States citizens don’t require a travel visa and since 2013, you will get a stapled piece of paper with your travel itinerary.

Hit Up Public Transportation When Possible
Renting a ride or taxi can get expensive in traffic and Hong Kong has a pretty reliable public transportation system that will save you money getting around. Especially to and from the airport. If you spring for an Octopus Card, you will be set to ride ferries, buses, and trains.

Be Adventurous Eating
Hong Kong has some of the best street food you’ll find. Try some Black Sesame Tong Yuen for breakfast if you don’t try any other foods in HK. It’s a delicious rice ball filled with sweet black sesame or red bean paste and covered in nuts. A great way to get your energy fix for the day.

Find Victoria Harbour at Night
The area will light up after dark with a laser show across the water synced to music.

Those are just a few tips to make your time in Hong Kong more fun. Make sure your passport is valid and start planning your time in HK.