Category Archives: Passport services

St.Patrick’s Day, a Roman Catholic feast day meant to commemorate the patron saint of Ireland who passed away on March 17, 461, takes place on March 17th every year. Something that may surprise you is that St. Patrick wasn’t Irish, but he is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.

Patrick was born under the name Maewyn in Roman Britain, and was kidnapped and sold into slavery when he was young, which was how he got to Ireland. He eventually escaped to a monastery in what is now France and became a Christian. In 432, he returned to Ireland as missionary and confronted the Druids at Tara, abolishing their pagan rites and spreading Christianity throughout Ireland. After his death, he was made a bishop and named the patron saint of Ireland.

While St. Patrick’s Day was traditionally a religious affair that removed the Lent restrictions on eating meat and was celebrating with food, drink, and dancing, and has been celebrated in Ireland since the ninth or tenth century. According to the legend of St. Patrick, he used a three-leaf clover (also known as a shamrock) to explain the Holy Trinity to the people of Ireland.

It became closer to the modern parades and parties that are associated with it once it started being celebrated in the United States by Irish immigrants. In the 1760s, Irish soldiers in New York who were serving in the English military held the first known St. Patrick’s Day parades as a means of reconnecting with their roots and with other Irishmen in the American colonies.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated all over the world, especially in the US, Canada, and Australia. You can even find a St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin now that has over one million attendees every year! It includes parades, concerts, theater productions, and even fireworks displays.

While US citizens do not need a visa to go to Ireland and will instead need a visa waiver called an ESTA, you will still need a passport. We can help you with that. Give Texas Tower Houston a call 713-874-1420 today and let us know what we can do to help you with your US passport needs. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

When traveling abroad, US citizens are encouraged to carry a passport and a visa, if applicable, for their travel destination. Whether you decide to get a passport book or card depends on your budget, the frequency with which you travel, and where you wish to go. If you’re a traveler based in Dallas, here’s a mini-guide to deciding whether a passport book or card is right for you.

A passport card is much like a driver’s license or state ID, and is a plastic card that fits easily into your wallet. Passport books, on the other hand, are larger affairs filled with blank pages for visas and stamps used as record for anytime you enter or exit a country.

The biggest difference you will find between passport books and cards is that passport books are valid for any international travel by air, sea, or land, while passport cards are only accepted for land and sea border crossings in or near North America. This includes the US, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. If you’re a US citizen, passport cards are not needed for American territories such as Puerto Rico, in which a birth certificate and photo identification would suffice for entry.

Another big difference between passport books and cards is in the cost. For adults, passport books will cost $110 plus a $35 execution fee for the first passport book, while a passport card costs $30 (plus the same execution fee for your first card). For both a book and card, you can expect to pay $140, plus the $35 execution fee if it’s your first time applying and you’re over the age of 16. For minors, passport books are $80, cards are $15, and it’s $95 for both. There’s still a $35 execution fee for first-time applicants. Both passport books and cards are valid for 10 years.

So, which one is right for you? It depends on your travel needs and budget. The passport card is definitely the budget-safe option at only $30, especially if most of your travel is in or near North America, especially for cruises and other non-air travel. It’s also handy for crossing the Canadian border by land or sea to get into or out of Alaska. For air travel, frequent international travel, and peace of mind in case of travel emergencies where you need to schedule a flight home, the passport card is your best bet and well worth the price.

If you’re a Texan traveler who wants to get your US passport needs taken care of in mere business days instead of waiting the typical 6 weeks, we are ready to assist you. Call Texas Tower Houston at 713-874-1420 about our passport expediting services today.

Are you a Houstonian (or any American citizen) that is itching to travel abroad, but you need to renew your passport first? Is your passport about to expire and you want to renew before the expiration date? Here are the documents you’ll need in order to successfully renew your US passport:

  • Form DS-82
  • Your most recent US passport
  • Name change documents, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree
  • One photo, stapled in each corner with vertical staples to your application, that meets all requirements for a passport photo (2”x2”, plain white background with no shadows, no wearing glasses or uniforms, etc.)
  • Payment for a passport renewal fee. $110 for a passport book, $30 for a passport card, $140 for both book and card. Checks or money orders must be made out to “US Department of State”

Once your application is accepted and completed, Keep in mind that, in order to renew your passport by mail, your most recent passport must meet certain requirements:

  • must be submitted with your passport renewal application
  • in largely undamaged other than some wear and tear
  • issued when you were at least 16 years of age
  • issued within the past 15 years
  • was issued in your current name (if there has been a name change, be sure to include documentation, such as an original or certified copy of a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or a court order)

When you’re ready to mail your passport renewal application, there are a couple of different addresses to consider that depend on where you live. There’s also an acceptance facility specifically for expediting passports. When your application is ready to go, be sure your papers are packaged in a way that leaves the application unfolded and ship only through USPS.

For travelers who live in Texas (or other states like Florida, California, Illinois, New York, and Minnesota), you will want to send it here:

National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 640155
Irving, TX 75064-0155

If you would like assistance in getting your US passport renewed or would like it expedited so you don’t have to wait a whopping 6 weeks for your next trip, we are ready to assist you. Simply contact Texas Tower Houston at 713-874-1420 about our passport services and we’ll take care of the rest.

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 our local Houston office 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.

 

Business and tourist travelers need a valid passport and visa to enter Egypt. Here are the easy steps to getting your business and tourist travel visa. The best reason to outsource your visa, our Houston office can even expedite the service in as little as one to two days.

egypt passport and visaBusiness and tourist travel visa requirements
Visit our dedicated Egypt visa page and you will see the paperwork that is required. We have links to the applications and forms you need with full instructions.

Business travelers will also need a company letter in their application, and we have a sample letter available to make sure your company provides a letter that will be accepted by the embassy for a travel visa. We also provide other information you need to obtain such as a passport photo and verifying your passport’s expiration date is 6 months beyond your completed trip date.

Top Tourist Destination
Once you’re in Egypt, one of the top destinations for tourists is the beautiful beaches of Sharm El Sheikh. Where beach goers can enjoy beautiful views, swimming, and diving with the abundant sea life.

For women traveling alone in Egypt
TripAdvisor.com has a great piece that tells the real deal of how to travel safely in Egypt as a woman traveling alone. Unwanted attention can happen, and knowing what to do can keep your visit to Egypt enjoyable.

If you have any questions about traveling to Egypt or you believe you have a special circumstance for your passport or travel visa, contact our office at (713) 874-1420 and one of our agents will be glad to assist you.

Spring 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 round-trip 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 nightlife.

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 round trip flights and you can probably snap up a great deal. Just pack your bathing suit, sunscreen, and your passport and you’re set!

Texas Tower Passport and Visa is a Houston, Texas based company that expedites U.S. passports, travel visas, certified birth certificates and Apostille to make your travel plans go smoothly contact us at 713-874-1420.

Cameroon requires that U.S. citizens hold a visa for entry to the country. This applies to both business and tourism travelers.

Our Houston office can obtain a visa for you because the Cameroon embassy has exacting standards for issuing visas, the process time can take 6-8 business days and this is one of the few countries we cannot process the visa application with emergency service.

For us to process your visa application, just gather the following items and we’ll do the rest.

BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS FOR CAMEROON VISAS:

  • Two completed Cameroon visa applications
  • Two passport type photos
  • Physical passport with 6 months validity beyond trip completion and one blank visa page
  • Notarized letter of invitation from Cameroon host (Notarized by a Cameroon Notary)
  • Non-USA passport holders must provide a copy of green card or US Visa and I-94
  • One copy of flight itinerary
  • Company business letter – Generate one now and print on your company letterhead. Please indicate a guarantee of 3 months
  • One copy of proof of vaccination for yellow fever
  • One authorization from Cameroon authority
  • One copy of flight itinerary
  • Texas Tower order form

TOURIST REQUIREMENTS FOR CAMEROON VISAS:

  • Two completed Cameroon visa applications
  • Two passport type photos
  • Physical passport with 6 months validity beyond trip completion and one blank visa page
  • Non-USA passport holders must provide a copy of green card or US Visa and I-94
  • One copy of flight itinerary
  • One copy of recent bank statement (Please obscure account number)
  • Texas Tower order form
  • If you have any questions, just contact our office at 713-874-1420 and we’ll be glad to answer any questions you have.

Knowing the basics of getting your travel visa for China can make the process go a lot faster. Our Houston-based office can expedite the entire process for you.

When to Apply
The timing of when you apply is an important part of getting your visa. You can start the application process within 90 days of your departure date, but no sooner.  Although we can validate any jurisdiction, there an extra $150 fee for processing applications outside of Houston.

No Showing Off Your Awesome Handwriting 
Also, the application for a China visa must be type-written. Although many embassies allow for handwritten visa applications, the Chinese Embassy isn’t one of them and any application not submitted in typed form will not be accepted.

Special Note for Individuals Born in China
If you were born in China, you will need to submit to us your Chinese passport or a copy of its personal information page, or your last foreign passport you received with a China travel visa. Your visa application may require that you submit renunciation papers.

Types of China Visas
There are two main types of travel visas. Business and tourist. The nature of your travel to China will depend on the type of visa you need to apply for.

Process for Getting a China Visa
There are just 4 easy steps to getting a visa for a trip to China.
1. Choose your type of visa.
2. Go to our China Visa page and complete the documents.
3. Ship completed paperwork to us with your payment
4. We make the trip to the embassy so you don’t have to.  The final thing to do is just wait for your visa to arrive in two to ten business days (dependent on the time service chosen).

 

how-to-get-your-sao-tome-and-principe-visaSao Tome and Principe are two islands that make up the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe. This Portuguese-speaking country is a beautiful destination. Travelers that are United States citizens will need a travel visa to enter the country.

Here is how easy getting a travel visa though Texas Tower in Houston can make the process.

Simply gather the requested documents for the type of visa you need (business purposes or tourism) and then send them to Texas Tower. We will have your travel visa in your hands and we can even expedite the acquisition of your visa to arrive in 1-2 working days if you need it on a rush basis.


If you have any questions about the process of getting your travel visa, our knowledgeable staff is always happy to help you. You will also need to check your passport and make sure it meets the requirements of travel.

In the event you need documents translated to or from any language, we offer that service too! Contact our offices if you have any questions and we’ll be glad to get you started on your Sao Tome & Principe visa.

Here’s a video overview of what to see in Sao Tome & Principe:

Brazil is a frequent travel visa expediting request we process in our Houston office. The embassy has exacting requirements to issue this visa, and when you outsource the task to us, we make the trip to the embassy for you. Carnival is in early March this year and is a particularly busy travel season and we suggest you get your travel documents as soon as feasible for your trip.

Here are some of the most common questions people ask before they obtain their Brazil travel visa.

How does a Brazilian visa work?
Your visa is your permission from the government of Brazil for entry.

What is the difference between a business and a tourist Brazil visa?
The type of travel visa you’re issued will depend on the nature of your visit to Brazil.

Are Tourist level visa holders prohibited from any business activity in Brazil?
Yes, tourist visa holders are not allowed to engage in any paid activity in Brazil.

How fast can I get a Brazilian visa?
Talk to us about the time constraints on your visa, and we will do our best to accommodate you. In most instances, we can obtain your visa as fast as you need it.

This video will give you a fast overview of how easy outsourcing the task to Texas Tower can make the process. You just gather the paperwork and we’ll do the rest. Plan your trip, wrap things up, and don’t stress about your visa or passport! Call us at 713-874-1420 if you have any questions.