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Fast Travel Visa Service - How to Expedite Your Travel Visa Application

visa on a map

While traveling internationally always requires a current and valid passport, you may need a travel visa as well. Not all foreign countries require visitors to have visas, but there are some consulates and specific international travel situations that do.

It is important to remember that every country sets its own visa criteria. As such, visa rules can change at any time and without notice. Check out our guide to figure out if your trip abroad requires a visa.

Unfortunately, getting travel visas can take time that some travelers don't have. Whether it's a family emergency, a business trip, or a last-minute vacation, your travel plans won't get off the ground without the proper documentation in hand.

Thankfully, you can cut down on the wait times for visas and, in some cases, request expedited processing to speed things up.

Countries that require visas usually have specific channels where you can submit your requests to rush your visa processing. Applicants' expedited requests are considered case-by-case and may require a visit to a consulate or embassy, added fees, and/or additional documentation.

If you need a visa fast, you have a few options which are outlined below. Ultimately, your best bet may be to get help from a professional visa expediting service. Not only do these businesses keep up to date on the latest requirements and regulations for visas around the world, but they also provide several time-saving benefits that can help reduce how long you have to wait for your visa.

Getting a Travel Visa Quickly

Thankfully, fast visa expediting is available at most foreign consulates for U.S. citizens who plan to travel abroad within a few weeks or less.

Visa processing times can be rushed as quickly as a few days to as rapidly as the same day.

That said, the speed at which visa applications are processed depends on the consulate to which you are applying and the type of travel visa you are requesting.

It is important to note that not many consulates accept applications sent by mail. Most require you to submit the application in person or through a third party. So, no matter how fast you need your visa, you will need to plan for how you will physically get your passport and supporting documents to the appropriate officials for approval. The good news is that this can usually be handled on your behalf by a friend, relative, business associate, travel agent, or expedited visa service agent.

One difficulty in getting a visa processed quickly is that many consulates limit the number of visa applications they accept each day. Oftentimes, it is necessary to schedule an appointment before you arrive. In a rush, you may struggle to get an appointment as fast as you may need it. For this reason, travelers should apply early for their visa to avoid any problems. When this is not possible, you can expedite your visa directly at the consulate or apply through an expediter like iVisa.

These services cannot carry out the entire visa application process for their clients, but they can offer invaluable expertise and service in helping move the process along faster than most U.S. citizens could do on their own.

In a rush, hiring an expedited travel visa service is the ticket to saving time, frustration, and money.

Steps to getting a travel visa only you an complete

  • Make sure your passport meets the requirements for your destination - All foreign consulates require a current, valid passport to enter their country. Many countries also require passports to have a specific number of months' worth of validity remaining after the date of entry into their country (6 months and 3 months are the most common).

    Another common requirement is that your passport must contain at least 1 completely blank visa page. Some countries even require 2 pages that are adjacent to one another.

    It is up to you to make sure your passport meets the requirements of the country you are seeking a visa to enter. If you don't have a valid passport, you must begin the process to expedite your passport as soon as possible to avoid travel delays.

  • Gather your other supporting documents and materials - Each type of visa may have its own application and supporting document requirements, depending on the host country's rules. For instance, a typical requirement for a tourist visa is to include 1 or 2 recent passport-style photos, a copy of your itinerary or round-trip ticket, and a copy of your driver's license as proof of residence.
  • Requests for a business visa usually require you to submit a letter from your employer or sponsoring company on official stationery stating the nature of your business.

    While these are some of the most common documentation requirements, other documentation may be needed. Again, it is up to you to have all the relevant documentation and proof of travel for your destination country.

  • Select and complete the appropriate travel visa application form - Most visa applications can be downloaded online in PDF format and printed for completion at home. However, more and more consulates are switching to online applications and/or evisas that are submitted immediately to the consulate and cut down on processing time.
  • Some countries have a single application form for all types of visas, while others provide a separate application form for each. You must complete the correct application form accurately (especially if you need your visa quickly). Mistakes like choosing the wrong form or including incorrect information on your form can result in processing delays.

    The tool below can help you find the proper forms and documentation requirements for the visa you need for your travel destination.

How travel visa services can help

  • Identify exactly what visa type and documentation you need for your trip - Government agencies are very particular in what can and cannot be done with certain types of visas. Your plans and length of stay in a host country will dictate what type of visa you need and what documented proof you need to supply to get one.
  • Rather than trying to navigate websites and embassy phone directories, a visa expediting service can help you find the exact visa(s) you need, what documentation you must provide, and how to get it all compiled for a successful expedited request.

  • Double-check your application and supporting materials for errors - While you, the traveler, are responsible for the steps listed above, a travel visa expeditor can be a helpful asset for ensuring you have all your paperwork in order. These professionals deal with thousands of visa applications per year and know how to avoid both common and uncommon mistakes.
  • Get your visa application processed faster than you might be able to yourself - Another notable benefit of enlisting the help of a travel visa expeditor is the ability to take advantage of speedier processing times. The relationships these professionals have with foreign embassies and consulates can often result in improved access and, in turn, quicker application processing.
  • Save you time - Depending on where you are located, traveling to a country's embassy or consulate may be a multiple-day journey - to say nothing of the wait for your application to be processed and your visa to be issued. A visa expediter can eliminate the need for you to take time away from your job or other responsibilities to make the trip to deliver your application and secure your visa stamp.
  • Save you money - Naturally, hiring a visa expediting service to expedite your travel visa costs money. Fees can reach up to several hundred dollars depending upon the turnaround time you are expecting. Yet, these businesses can save you money compared to the costs associated with completing the process on your own.
  • To see for yourself, total up the estimated costs of transportation to the destination's nearest consulate; the amount of time you would need off from work; and any other necessities for your trip like food, beverages, and accommodations. In many cases, this will far exceed a visa expeditor's fee.

About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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