Tag Archives: passport

With all states given the reprieve to comply with identification requirements, having a passport for travel within the United States still isn’t a thing. In the future, that may change. In the meantime, you still need your passport for traveling outside the United States. Here are some of the most common passport issues we see daily and how to handle them.

Your passport is within 6 months of expiring.
You might as well consider your passport expired if there is less than six months left until the expiration date. Go ahead and renew your passport.

The country you’re entering requires a blank page in your passport for stamping upon entry, and you do not have the blank pages available. 
Until January 2016, you could add pages to your passport. Now you need to go through the renewal process to add pages, no matter how much extra time is left until expiration.

Remember! No glasses in passport photos now
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You are an adult that wants their first passport.
Applying for your first passport can seem daunting with the documents you need to gather. However, our service can make it easy. Just look over what you need to do to apply for a U.S. passport through Texas Tower and let us get your passport for you.

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Can someone have two passports?
Yes, if you meet certain requirements. If you are traveling between politically sensitive countries or you need to get a visa stamp plus need to travel internationally at the same time – you qualify. Learn more here.

Have a newborn and need to travel internationally? You need a passport. 
We can obtain passports for your children from newborn to 15 years of age. Children over that age will need to use the adult passport form.

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Replacing a lost, stolen or damaged passport?
We can assist you with that. We have some forms you need to fill out and we can help you get your old passport canceled and your new passport in your hands.

Avoid delays and keep your name current on your travel docs.
Marriage, divorce, adoption, and other life events can cause a change in your name. Make sure your name on your identification matches your passport exactly. If you need to update, let us help you apply for a name change on your passport.

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If you’ve been putting off renewing your passport because you don’t want to deal with chasing the paperwork or standing in the long lines, it’s time to consider outsourcing the task. You can fill out the documentation you need to renew your passport, send it into us and get your passport back much faster than using the U.S. Passport Agency. Here are some of the most common questions and answers we get regarding passports.

Can I just apply for a new passport online?
Yes and no. You can do much of the documentation you need online but you will have to print your forms and send them to Texas Tower. We created a passport renewal checklist to follow for passport renewal that makes it easy to get your documents gathered and sent so you can get your passport renewed quickly.

Which form is the correct one for renewing a passport?
The usual form for renewing a passport is Form DS-82 is used for passport renewals. Depending on your situation, additional forms may be required.

How  Close to the expiration date of my passport do I need to renew?
Some international destinations will require that your passport has more than 6 months before the expiration date at the completion of your trip.

I changed my name, do I have to renew my passport?
If your name has legally changed due to marriage, divorce, or other reason , and you have updated your state-issued identification- you’re going to need to renew and change your name on your passport and travel documents. The name on your passport much match your other identification or it can halt your travel plans.

I got my passport at 14 and it’s now expiring.  How do I renew this passport?
You will most likely need to apply for a new (adult) passport.

I understand that a passport photo needs to have a plain background, can I just take a selfie?
You can take your own photographs for your passport photo, but there are some requirements you need to meet.
You can’t just snap a selfie for your passport photo. We highly recommend using a professional passport photo service to get your passport photos.
Here are the requirements :
Size : 2×2 inches
Identical images
Must be full color
Frontal face view only with plain white background
No headgear
If you use a hearing aide, hairpiece or wig, – wear them for your photo.
No eyeglasses or sunglasses may be worn for your photo as of November 1st, 2016

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The State Department quoted me a wait time of 6-7 weeks for my passport.I need to leave before then.  Can Texas Tower get it any faster?
You bet we can. Our standard service time is 8-12 working days and if you need an expedited passport, we can get you a 24-hour passport renewal.

What happens to my expired passport? 
Your old passport will be cancelled and returned to you with your new passport.  It’s a good idea to keep your old passport in a safe place as it is one method of showing proof of your U.S. citizenship.

What is the renew passport process?
We streamlined the process so it’s very quick and easy.
1- Gather the documents on the passport renewal checklist.
2- Send to our office with the passport agency fee + service fee.
3- Receive your passport in 8-12 business days or 24 hours for expedited service.

If you have a passport renewal question, contact our offices at 713-874-1420 or on Twitter, we’re ready to answer!

Take a minute and think about your passport, when does it expire? Your passport basically expires six months before the expiration date. U.S. travelers will be unable to travel out of the country.

So what happens if you book a trip out of the country and your passport is within 6 months of expiring? For one, it can put the brakes on your trip.

One woman recounted a tale of being in a Miami airport waiting to board a plane to Cuba when some fellow travelers had passports that expired within the following six months and had their trips canceled right then and there.

It can take 4-7 weeks on average to get your passport from the U.S. Passport Agency, and if you choose to have it expedited, be prepared to still wait another 2-3 weeks.

Using Texas Tower, we can fast-process a U.S. passport renewal. 24 hours from the time you give us your documents, your passport can be in your hand ready to travel with you.

We have a handy list of the documents you need to gather.
First, make sure you meet the requirements to renew your passport. If you don’t meet the requirements, you will need to apply for a new passport.
requirements to renew your passport

Now use the handy list for the documents and items you need to get your passport renewed fast.  All documents must be signed and mailed to us. Unfortunately, you may not scan and email us these documents because the Department of State requires original signatures.  [click to view larger]
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Send your documents to Texas Tower and our trained staff will begin the process to get your passport renewal expedited. Call us today 713-874-1420.

 

What You Need to Know Before Applying for Your Ghana Travel VisaPlanning a trip outside the U.S.? Did you know that makes you part of around five percent of Americans who travel internationally each year? If you’re a first-time traveler overseas, we have some tips to make it easier.

Tip #1 – You will need a passport.
Actually, all signs point to travelers within the United States needing a passport by 2020, but you’re traveling outside the United States now and you will need a passport to exit and enter the U.S. when you return. You will also need to show a certified copy of your birth certificate to obtain your passport. Outsource the task of getting a passport and spend your time planning your trip and deciding if you really need to include that 15th pair of shoes. Once you get your passport, it will be good for ten years. When you get your passport photo taken, get a few extra copies. Sometimes random countries will ask you for one at the border or you might need one for a visa (more on visas in a moment).

Tip #2 – Will You Need a Travel Visa?
Not every country requires a travel visa for entry. This is where the process gets extra fun, every country has their own rules, regulations, and process for obtaining a visa for entry. It also usually requires a trip to the consulate or embassy. This is a good task to outsource.

#3 Research Your Destination
In many countries, people in the cities do not drive at all. Public transportation, taxis, private buses, ride-sharing and other ways to get around make even renting a car unnecessary for a lot of destinations. Look up where you’re going and learn the basic customs, hot spots, places to avoid, and whether a Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended to avoid getting sick from the food or water.
Tip #4 Where To Stay
A hotel isn’t your only option. Check out couchsurfing.org or AirBnB.com to get in a local’s home and really get a feel for the place you’re visiting (maybe even make some new friends) get insider tips on cool places to go and save money.
Tip #5 Learn How the Money Works
In the present, if you don’t have a credit card with a chip, ask your card issuer for one and you’ll likely get it. Most chipped cards won’t come with outrageous fees for using it abroad. Ask your credit card issuer what their fees are to avoid surprises on your statement when you get back.

Using a credit card is excellent security against fraudulent transactions. However, not all businesses will take cards so it’s a good idea to carry a little local currency with you.

Figure out the exchange rate ahead of time so you aren’t trying to do constantly calculate prices. For example, if you are in Iceland and you know 600 Krona is roughly equal to five dollars U.S., you can have a rough and ready point of reference for figuring out how much to spend and keep on you.
Tip #6 Avoid Roaming Fees
When you board your flight, switch off your mobile data. WiFi is available pretty much everywhere, use that to upload your travel photo to Instagram instead of your phone’s data and you’ll save money.

Tip #7 Learn a Little of the Local Language
Most places you visit will have people who speak English. However, it is polite to at least learn how to say, “Do you speak English?” and a few other phrases in the local language. You might be met with grins and laughs for trying, but most people are happy to help if you try.

Tip #8 – Know the Basics to Pack
Here is a complete list of the basics you need to pack: a toothbrush, toothpaste, your passport, your phone, and your credit card. Anything else you might want can be acquired where you’re going.

You can make life easier for yourself by packing clean undies for a week if your stay is longer wash them in a sink with whatever soap is handy, and hang up to dry. Wool socks won’t heat up your feet and never gather a smell.

For clothing, dress nice and for the weather (again research your destination) and you won’t need more than two pairs of shoes for most trips.

And that’s the basics for having a great time on your first jaunt outside the U.S.

Travel Hacks for Getting Your Passport and Travel Visa Effortlessly

The actual beginning of every trip whether business or pleasure begins with planning. Then getting your tickets. Once you have your destination, make sure your passport is up-to-date and then if you need a travel visa, we can show you how to skip making a trip to the embassy.

How getting a passport through Texas Tower works:
Depending on the type of service you need, we have set up a specific passport page to assist our clients. We have a dedicated page for each type of passport request, set up with easy to follow instructions and what forms we need from you to process your passport request.

If you have any questions, we pride ourselves on the fact during business hours you will always talk to a person, never an automated service. We like to deliver a one-on-one service because each passport application is unique as the person requesting it. If you need your passport as fast as 24-hours, we can process that too. Get started on your passport here.

Since a travel visa isn’t a one-size-fits-all-countries endeavor, we have a dedicated page for each country, and whether or not they require a visa for entry for United States citizens. If a visa is required, we have a form that will list exactly what paperwork you need to provide us. Our agent will make the trip to the embassy on your behalf. Tap to choose your destination country.

One of the best travel hacks you can do when you’re gearing up for an international trip is outsourcing your passport and/or visa acquisition. This frees you up to plan your trip instead of standing in line. Call us today if you have any questions at 713-874-1420.
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No matter what the reason is that you need your passport, we can help you.

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The number one reason people realize they suddenly need their passport, is the country they are about to visit needs to see that you have more more than 6 months left on your passport before it expires. If you have less than six months left until the expiration date, pretty much consider your passport expired.

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You have choices for renewing your passport, changing the name on your passport, or even applying for your first-ever passport for yourself or a child in your family.
If you choose to go through the State Department – there are fees and the process can take on the average anywhere from four to seven weeks. This is exactly the reason it makes sense to outsource the processing of the paperwork to Texas Tower.

We can bring the standard time service for obtaining your passport down to 8-12 days.  If you need your passport on a rush basis, we can have your passport within 24-hours.

Read more about the types of passport situations we can assist you with at the Texas Tower Passport page.

Owe Taxes- IRS Can Revoke Your Passport
Americans that are more than $50,000 in debt to the IRS for overdue taxes could find themselves in a real pickle if they need to travel when the Real ID Act is fully implemented in 2020.

In 2015, Congress introduced a bill for highway funding that includes a provision to revoke the passport of any citizen of the United States who owes more than $50,000 in delinquent tax debt. The criteria to meet the level of delinquent tax debt includes the IRS filing a levy or lien against the overdue taxes and no repayment plan has been established. Now, it’s the law, the IRS can revoke passports.

Lawmakers feel this measure will be an incentive for individuals who owe back taxes to become current with their tax debt and they have until October 2020 to get their tax bills in order.

Another group this provision is expected to affect are Americans who live abroad who may have domestic tax bills in arrears. This will affect their passport status as well.

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If you have any questions about how to get your passport or how to renew, talk to us. Call us at 713-874-1420 during business hours or message us on Facebook.

Ghana is a beautiful African country with a lot to see and do. Densely forested nature walks to gorgeous beaches – there’s a little something for everyone. The following are five fun ways to explore Ghana.

1. Go Shopping
There are numerous open air markets to shop at in Ghana. One of the best is the Kejetia Market in Kumasi. You can sample exotic foods, see arts and crafts, and browse vibrant displays of Kente cloth and Ashanti sandals. This is a great place to practice your bargaining skills with over 10,000 vendors. Want more of a “mall” experience? Accra has a large mall ready and waiting.

2. Experience Nature at Her Finest
Kakum National Park has lush forests and beautiful birds. Lake Bosumtwi is surrounded by picturesque mountains and usually isn’t too crowded.

3. Experience History
Ghana is filled with history. Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle stand as stark reminders of the horrors of the slave trade. These buildings were final destinations for captured Africans who became slaves in the New World. In the Asante Buildings, you can explore and learn the story of the Ashanti (Asante) Kings.

4. Go to the Beach
Bojo Beach in Accra is known for its breaking waves and beautiful views. Another great beach is Labadi Pleasure Beach also located in Accra.

5. Don’t Just Eat, Learn to Cook It
Anyone can go to another country and enjoy the food. At the Global Mamas Cultural Workshops in Cape Coast, Ghana, you can learn to cook Ghanaian cuisine. They also offer classes in dancing, drumming, batiking fabrics, and head wrapping.

When you’re ready to go, you’ll need a passport and visa, talk to us about expediting both and spend your free time planning your time in Ghana.

Questions and Answers about

We process all types of passport requests here at Texas Tower. Renewing passports that have expired, helping people get their name changes done due to marriage, divorce, or other life change. And one of the most common types of questions we address on a daily basis has to do with passports for children. Here are some of the most common questions we get.

What are the requirements for a child’s passport?
The child must be from newborn to age 15.

Is it true newborns need a passport?
Yes. Even newborns need a passport in their own name.

What is the soonest departure date for a child’s passport?
Your departure date should be at least 3 days from the day you apply for a child’s passport.

What type of passport would a 16-year old need to apply for?
An individual age 16 and above will need to apply for an adult passport.

How fast can Texas Tower obtain a child’s passport?
Standard time service is 8-12 days and we can expedite the passport to receive in 24-hours.

How will I show proof of identity?
A certified birth certificate will be necessary. If you need one, our office can assist you in obtaining it from anywhere in the United States or Puerto Rico.

Will passport photos be necessary?
Yes you will need two passport-type photos. If you aren’t sure where to get them made, talk to us – we can assist you.

We want to help make travel with your kids as easy as possible, if you need passports for visas for young travelers – call us today 713-874-1420 or write us at info@texastower.net and one of our trained staff will be happy to assist you.

Planning a trip to Vietnam? The travel visa to Vietnam is good for a maximum stay of 30 days and may not be obtained upon your arrival in Vietnam. You need to have it before you travel to the country.

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If you want to make the process of getting your travel visa to Vietnam a breeze, let us get it for you. Just fill out the paperwork for the type of travel visa you need (Business or Tourist) and get the packet to us, and we will do the legwork for you.

Curious about what to do and see in Vietnam?

If you have any questions about getting your Vietnam visa or any questions regarding your passport, just contact our office at 713-874-1420. We are ready to assist you.