Fact: In 2011, a paltry 30% of Americans have passports. By comparison, that's half the percentage of our friendly neighbor to the North, Canada.
If I can inspire one person without a passport to at least apply for one, with a vision of traveling overseas within the next 10 years, then I'd consider the last 5 years of blogging on Go Backpacking a success.
To make the process as easy as possible for you, Go Backpacking has partnered with VisaHQ*, a leading Washington, DC-based company offering online passport and travel visa services to Americans.
While I happened to live in a DC suburb, and could visit any number of Foreign Embassies in person to apply for visas before my 'round the world trip, most Americans don't have that luxury.
And that's where VisaHQ enters the picture.
At its most basic, the process involves:
- Filling out an online application
- Mailing your supporting documents
- Receiving your passport and visa(s) back in the mail
Online Passport Services
- Applying for a new passport
- Renewing a passport
- Adding extra pages
- Getting a 2nd passport
- Replacing a lost/stolen passport
- Name changes
If you've already got your passport, then you may want to check out the travel visa services.
This is especially important for travelers planning to visit multiple countries during the same trip, or countries which have strict entry requirements.
VisaHQ provides clear, concise information about entry requirements for countries around the world. And they offer this visa support for Americans, as well as Canadians, and UK citizens.
I've already begun using them as my primary resource for countries here in South America.
To see how easy it is, go to the Travel Guides section on Go Backpacking, and look down and to the right for the VisaHQ widget.
Enter your Citizenship and Destination Country, then click “Check Requirements” to see whether a Tourist Visa is required. If no visa is required, you'll see the button turn green. If a travel visa is required, as is the case for me with Bolivia, you'll see the button turn red.
Click the red button, and you'll be transferred to a page outlining the country's requirements (for example, go here to see Bolivia's entry requirements).
In addition to the visa requirements, you'll also see the type of visa offered (single entry, multiple entry), maximum validity, processing time, and cost.
Benefits of Using VisaHQ
- Save time and money – let VisaHQ facilitate the processes. For new passports, pay $44.95 + regular government fees, and you'll receive your new passort in 8-14 business days.
- Easy access to customer service – contact VisaHQ with questions or concerns via their online chat option, toll-free number, or email address.
To kick off our new partnership, you can save 10% off any passport services by using the code “GoPassportHQ” during the application / order process now through October 22, 2011.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I'll get you the answer(s) as soon as possible.
*As an affiliate of VisaHQ, Go Backpacking will receive a small commission for any passport or visa services purchased through our site.