How To Know Which Type of Apostille You Need

It can be difficult to navigate which type of Apostille is the right one to use. For those who do not know what or why an Apostille would be used…an Apostille is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participated in The Hague Convention Treaty of 1961. The Apostille seals and signatures on public documents makes sure they can be recognized in other foreign countries that are also members of the Treaty.

For Non-Federal documents, each individual secretary of state for each respective state has the responsibility of issuing the correct seal. For Federal documents, those Apostille seals need to be issued from the Department of State. It can be complex to figure out whether you need the Apostille seal from the Department of State or if it needs to come from the offices of the secretary of state from an individual state.

Washington Express Visas can be helpful in navigating this process and figuring out the type of Apostille you will need dependent upon your need. The types of documents that require an Apostille from the US Department of State are:

  • Naturalization Certificates
  • FBI Background Checks
  • INS Documents
  • IRS Documents
  • Certificates to Foreign Government

Our services at Washington Express Visas are incredibly valuable as it relates to this process because getting an Apostille from the US Department of State can take lots of time and money. The processing can take up to 3 business days and that is if you are able to be there in person. If you need to travel in, you will need to be able to stay in the area for when your documents are ready for pick up. Expedited process can happen for emergency situations but often require an appointment to be made in advance. The best way to understand processing timeframes is to check with the Office of Authentications in advance. Mailing them in can be even more complicated and lengthen the processing time significantly. There is also not a good system to know exactly where to mail them which is why we would recommend taking advantage of our services. Our professionals will make sure to submit your request in person to the correct office which will expedite your Apostille services.


Time to Authenticate Your Documents

Documentation has become an important aspect of everyday life as people become more mobile across countries. If you are only traveling within the United States you likely will not have to deal with getting your documents authenticated. However, if you are traveling outside of the United States and you are intending to use your documents, you need to get your documents authenticated! We often hear that this process can be headache inducing and that is what Washington Express Visas is here for. We want to make this process as easy as possible for you.

Here are our tips and recommendations when it comes to authenticating your documents.

1.Don’t wait until the last minute! It is critical that you have as much time as possible so that there is no chance your trip will be delayed based on obstacles that might come up.

2. Make sure you know what’s required for authenticating your documents in the country you are traveling to. Not all countries have the same requirements. For example, there are differences in what the State Department needs to authenticate versus what Embassy legalization might require.

3. Reach out for help! This process is complicated and complex. At Washington Express Visas, we have people who specialize in the authenticating document process so please connect with us at your earliest convenience!

4. Figure out if you need to authenticate your documents…or not! A few examples of the types of activities you will need to authenticate your document are:

  • If you are relocating to another country for temporary or permanent residence
  • If you need to verify your role as Power of Attorney while in another country
  •  If you plan on teaching English as a second language in a foreign school
  •  If you are planning on marrying in another country and need to show your birth certificate or the birth certificates of your children for visa and residence purposes.

We recognize that authenticating your documents can be arduous and we are here to help! We would hate for you to miss a trip or have to delay your move to another country because you did not authenticate your documents. We want to make the process easier and faster for you.

If you would like to learn more about our authentication and apostille services, call us at 877-675-5571. Please also feel free to contact us for a quote! We would love to help you prepare for your trip and make sure your documents are all set before you leave.


High-Tech Visas Under Debate Regarding Immigration

Immigration is a critical subject currently, as the white house pursues to reach a deal that satisfies all sides. One of the issues that has risen within the debate are high-tech visas. It appears it is now rising many concerns, as even senators make their responses to the visa topic.

Fox News reported yesterday that senators are debating over whether to increase visa accessibility to high-tech workers. Also, the dispute is over how to discipline companies that train these workers in the US, then send them back overseas to continue working. Senator Dick Durbin is one of the main senators involved. Senator Durbin has taken the lead on issues, such as firms that outsource overseas and wage increases for higher-skilled foreign workers with H-1B Visas. High-tech officials feel Senator Durbin’s fight risks punishing companies that have nothing to do with the foreign worker abuse he is pursuing to end.

The immigration deal is almost to close, and senators are attempting to handle the visa dispute as best as possible. The new immigration legislation would secure the border, and most of all, will grant 11 million people currently in the US illegally, the citizenship they are looking for. It will also give thousands of skilled workers access into the US under the new visa programs.

A number of large high-tech companies have stake in the visa issue. Some of those companies include Google, Microsoft and Apple, which have a high demand for the high-tech visas. These tech giants, for example, have a cap of 65,000 allowed H-1B visas that they can offer. They also can issue another 20,000 annually for foreign workers that have graduated from a university in the US. The amount of applications received by Homeland Security has been overwhelming. In less than one week of accepting the H-1B visa applications, they have already reached capacity for the 2014 budget year.

There need to be some major reforms before expansion happens,” said Daniel Costa, immigration policy analyst from the Economic Policy Institute. Costa stated the top 10 companies with the highest number of H-1B visas last year were firms that bring workers to the US and work for less money, after which, they are sent back to their home countries. Senators are debating whether to demand companies that operate with 30% of their workforce as such, to pay these workers higher wages. The US is considered increasing the annual cap from 65,000 to 100,000.
Regardless of the outcome, what does not change is that foreign workers will need a visa. Washington Express Visas can assist you with all of your expedited visa services and expediting passport processing needs. Washington Express Visas is the Washington DC metro area’s fastest visa services, passport processing, document legalization and translations specialists. Washington Express Visas has provided expedited passport processing services with same day pick up for over 30 years. Our professional passport specialists hand carry your passport documents to ensure that your documents get the expedited attention they need. Call us at (877) 675-5571 today!

References: 4.9.13, Fox News, Associated Press, Senators arguing over high-tech visas for foreign workers in immigration deal, aides say


TSA To Expedite Screening for Faster Travel For Disabled Military

TSA has made great strides in advancement of security measures since 9/11 to keep travelers safe. However, some of those measures have caused some travelers to feel violated. One past example is the use of graphic airport body scanners. Now, a recent wounded military personnel’s encounter with TSA screening has sparked more change in the right direction.

The TSA will begin to expand its’ program for expedited screening through airports for inactive-duty and inactive “wounded warriors” reported CNN late last week. The expanding of the expedited screening military program comes as a result of a disabled Marine being requested to remove both of his prosthetic legs. Although he had the prosthetic legs, he had limited mobility. He could not stand of walk on his own merit. The TSA screener, however, asked the Marine to stand or walk, so they could perform examination on the wheelchair. After putting the prosthetic legs back on, he was put through the same screening process at another point while pursuing to travel. The TSA screener denies the allegations.

TSA will now include within its’ military expedited screening program all active-duty and also what they call inactive “wounded warriors”. They will have the same expediting screening privileges as active-duty, uniformed military personnel. The process for wounded warriors will be to contact TSA via e-mail or phone before their flight, in which they will have similar benefits to the TSA Precheck Program. The program allows them to keep on certain apparel such as shoes and hats. TSA also desires to provide “curb to gate” service to all wounded warriors as well.

TSA Deputy Administrator John Halinski stated, “In recognition of the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, we have revised our screening requirements to allow expedited screening for this trusted group of citizens”. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was said to be pleased with the TSA changes.

There are other screening changes TSA has plans to make in 2013, which involve their scanning devices. They will remove airport body scanners that reveal graphic images of travelers’ bodies in June. Travelers felt the body scanners were a violation of privacy. TSA has pursued to solve the problem with the backscatter machines. There are 174 backscatter machines in 30 airports that are expected to be removed. Currently, 170 airports are using the millimeter wave machines. Traveling will become quicker and easier through the airport.

Wherever you will be traveling this year, do not forgot your passport. Washington Express Visas can assist you with all of your expedited visa services and expediting passport processing needs. Washington Express Visas is the Washington DC metro area’s fastest visa services, passport processing, document legalization and translations specialists. Washington Express Visas has provided expedited passport processing services with same day pick up for over 30 years. Our professional passport specialists hand carry your passport documents to ensure that your documents get the expedited attention they need to meet all of your travel needs and deadlines. Call us at (877) 675-5571 today!

References: 3.28.13,, Mike M Ahlers, TSA expedites screening for ‘wounded warriors’


Canada Set To Launch Start-Up Visas To Draw Entrepreneur Immigrants

As an immigrant entrepreneur, having the opportunity to start a business is one of the most highly-developed countries in the world like Canada can be rewarding. The country is now set the launch start-up visas to help their overall economy thrive.

Canada has announced they will launch a new start-up visa program for skilled-working immigrants who desire to set up new companies reported Yahoo News. The new program will officially begin April 1st of this year. The push is to help their immigration system align with their economic goals, resulting in a positive effect on their economy. “Our new start-up visa will help make Canada the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies. Recruiting dynamic entrepreneurs from around the world will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy,” said Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

There will be requirements in place for immigrant entrepreneurs to obtain the start-up visa. Entrepreneur foreigners will be required to have the support of a Canadian venture capital fund or angel investor group. This assures that the start-up company’s approval, and that it has the financial investment it needs to be successful. These financial groups will identify and confirm the start-up visa candidates. Once completed, the Canadian government will provide their start-up visa within weeks, which makes for an overall speedy process.

Ottawa will begin taking the first steps in the initiative. They have two umbrellas groups that will work to identify association members eligible for the program. The two groups are Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the National Angel Capital Organization. Canada appears to have high hopes for the new start-up visa program to bring in the brightest foreigners to help create leading companies.

Canada expects a number of benefits from the new start-up visa. The new visa will help the country compete globally and remain innovative. It also allows Canadians to come together with foreign minds and learn from one another. The report also mentioned this could attract frustrated foreigners who have had a difficult time acquiring a visa from the US. This could appeal to foreigners having difficulty in other countries as well. For foreigners, the new Canadian visa would grant them permanent resident status, which means they can take the path of citizenship if they so choose.

Whether you are an immigrant entrepreneur or traveler, you will need a visa. Washington Express Visas can assist you with all of your expedited visa services and expediting passport processing needs. Washington Express Visas is the Washington DC metro area’s fastest visa services, passport processing, document legalization and translations specialists. Washington Express Visas professional office staff and specially trained visa agents provide same day pick up service to deliver all our services to every Embassy and agency in the Washington, DC metro area. Call us at (877) 675-5571 today!

References: 1.24.13, Yahoo News-Reuters, Randall Palmer, Canada sets start-up visa to attract entrepreneur immigrants


Philippines Announces Faster Visa Processing For Tourist Extensions

Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park and the historic town of Vigan are just a few of the tourist attractions the Philippines has to offer.  The Philippines is a beautiful country to behold.  It has over 7,100 islands to choose from, which are full of rich lands and tropical climates.   Tourism is important there, and the country’s government desires for it to grow.

The country is seeking to create a higher level of tourism and has made a recent effort to make this a reality.  Yahoo News reported via GMA News that the Philippines Bureau of Immigration announces they will be instituting expediting visas for tourists who desire to extend their stay.  BI Commissioner Ricardo David Jr stated in a news release, “We should extend the most efficient service to these tourists, many of whom end up engaging in businesses here that generate jobs for our people”.  He also stated it will “further improve efficiency, accountability and transparency” in the agency’s frontline services.

Commissioner David will be directly overseeing the initiative to ensure all applications for extensions are handled as quickly as possible.  With many countries worldwide pursuing economic improvements, the Bureau of Immigration is sensitive to what tourism can do for the country.  Non-restricted foreign nationals or those that do not require entry visas into the Philippines, will continue to have their visa extensions processed as normal.

The Philippines Department of Tourism states that tourists can visit the Philippines without a visa for travel 21 days or less.  This is if the tourist has a passport valid at least 6 months and a return ticket or ticket to another destination other than the Philippines.  Amazingly enough, it is the 3rd largest English speaking country in the world because of its’ history of American influence.  Therefore, US citizens seeking to travel there will not have a language barrier issue.

If you are going to travel to the Philippines, or to any other country, you need quality visa processing.  Washington Express Visa can assist you with all of your expedited visa services.  Washington Express Visas is the Washington DC metro area’s fastest visa services, passport processing, document legalization and translations specialists.  Washington Express Visas is also the Washington DC metro area’s largest and fastest courier service.  Our expedited service provides same day pick-up and specially trained visa processing agents to deliver documents on time.  Call Washington Express Visas at 1-800-675-5571 today!

References:  11.8.12, Yahoo News/GMA News, BI assures faster processing of tourist visa extensions;


Manila Philippines Opens Passport Processing Center

Manila is the capital city of the Philippines and has a lot to offer for tourism. Manila is known for many attractions, including the world’s oldest Chinatown, the walled city of Intramuros, museum, and art. Now, Manila is also going be known by its’ own citizens as the city they can come to when they need to government services to travel.

The Department of Foreign Affairs opens a passport processing center in Manila at SM (Super Mall) City Manila reported the Yahoo News via the Manila Bulletin. The location of the NCR-West satellite office is strategically located within the Super Mall, the city’s first of its’ kind. This is unconventional when it comes to passport processing, however, the location may help. The DFA has partnered with SM City Manila to make governement services easier and more convenient. It makes for a perfect place to shop and eat, while your passport is processed.

This will make the fourth satellite office created by the DFA. The DFA location will offer a number of services, such as new passport applications, authentications, and passport renewals. The office will have the ability to process 1,000 new passport applications and passport renewals. “Applications can be finished in an hour or less while seniors, PWD and OFW are guaranteed to finish their application in 45 minutes. Two hundred (200) applicants a day can be accommodated for the authentication services. Only walk-in applicants are accepted here and not available for online applicants,” stated DFA Passport Division Director Andre Estanislao in the report.

The new office will be open for processing and releasing from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. It will only be open for releasing from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sundays. Visit for the Department of Foreign Affairs to find out more about the new NCR-West satellite office.

The Philippines is not only the country where people need passport processing, but all over the world. If you need a passport, Washington Express Visas can help. Washington Express Visas offers expedited passport processing, document authentication services, expedited visa services, and more. Washington Express Visas is also the Washington DC metro area’s largest and fastest courier service.

With 30 years of experience, Washington Express Visas professional office staff and specially trained visa agents provide same-day pick up service to deliver visa applications, passports, document legalization and translations to every Embassy and agency in the Washington, DC metro area. Give us a call at 1-877-675-5571 and let us help you travel today!

References: 10.15.12, Yahoo News, Manilla Bulletin, SM Manila Opens Passport Processing


Places To Travel On 4th of July

Independence Day, also known as the 4th of July, is the holiday the US commemorates our Declaration of Independence. It is one of the most popular holidays during the year. It also occurs during the best season to travel and have a hot, fun vacation. Statistically from the AAA, 42.3 million Americans will be traveling for the holiday this year, the highest amount within a decade. Whether you are traveling to the United States or abroad, there are some beautiful place in the world to enjoy.

If you are taking a vacation this week and seeking where to travel on the 4th of July, below are some suggested great places you can go.

Florida is one of the most beautiful states in the US and is an excellent place to travel during this 4th of July. The states is known for its’ white sand beaches and theme parks galore. Walt Disney World is one the most famous theme parks in the world and is located right in Orlando, Florida. London, England is a country full of historical sites, such as St. Stephens Tower and Buckingham Palace. Traveling to London is so significant this year because they are the proud hosting country of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

If cruises are your favorite way to travel, Alaska is breathtaking during this time of year. Another top rated place to travel during this holiday week is Boston, Massachusetts. Rich in colonial history and American heritage, Boston has filled its’ calendar with several events to celebrate America’s independence. So be sure to participate in the Boston Harborfest this week, as it will be a fun-filled time for everyone.

Traveling does require much more than just you and your bags. If you need a visa or passport, Washington Express Visas is a great choice for you. Washington Express Visas specializes in Visa Services and Passport Processing and Document Authentication. Our expedited service provides same day pick-up and specially trained visa processing agents to deliver your visa applications for processing and authentication to every Embassy in the Washington, DC area. For more information on our Visa and Passport Processing services and Document Legalization, please call us at 202-393-3030 or 877-675-5571 or visit today!

References:, 6.19.12, AAA Projection for Independence Day Holiday Travel Ties Record for Highest Volume in Past Decade

U.S. Announces Online Application For Passport Cards

As of 2012, reports have found over 110 million of United States citizens possess a passport.  This is one-third of the total US population and a record number for the world giant.  Due to further attempts to make travel as safe as possible, this record indicates passports are being viewed by many now as a necessity for travel.

The US Department of State continues to help passport holders ability to travel and has announced a pilot program of an online application for passport cards.  It will be valid for 10 years.  This card can be used to travel from the US into nearby countries such as the Caribbeans, Bermuda, Canada and Mexico.  It can not be used for international travel via air, therefore, travelers can turn to companies like Washington Express Visas to meet their standard and expedited passport needs.The requirements for eligibility reported to enter into the pilot passport card program are below:

  • Must be 16 years of age of older
  • Valid, 10 year U.S. passport book
  • At least 12 months of validity remaining on your passport book before expiration
  • U.S. or Canadian mailing address
  • E-mail address

There are some other measures taken in the process of identity confirmation.  The online application will request information such as your social security number, mother’s maiden name, the emergency contact name and full permanent address on your most recent previous passport application.  Also, the online application is secure with encryption technology and e-signature is required.

If the new program is successful, the greatest benefits will be the saving of what everyone desires when it comes to passports−money and time.  There will be the elimination of postage costs for mailing and the application is available 24 hours/7days a week online.  The pilot is scheduled for a 90-day trial (January 24 to April 22), after which, it will be analyzed for merit to becoming implemented permanently.

Whether a passport card or standard passport, both are valuable and can help you take advantage of most of the traveling we have come to enjoy.  Do you need a passport? Washington Express Visas can help you.  Washington Express Visas provides expedited passport processing service with same day pick up and specially trained passport processing agents to deliver your passport applications for processing at the Washington, DC Passport Agency. Our professional passport specialists hand carry your passport documents to ensure that your documents get the expedited attention they need to meet all of your travel needs and deadlines.  Call 1-(202)-393-3030 today!



Traveler Successfully Uses iPad Instead Of Actual Passport

MSNBC recently reported a man successfully uses his iPad to cross the border into the United States.  Canadian traveler Martin Reisch was thirty minutes to border crossing, realizing he had left his actual passport at home.  He decided to make an attempt of displaying to the U.S. Border officer a scanned copy of his passport from his iPad.  “I thought I’d at least give it a try,” Reisch said. “He took the iPad into the little border hut. He was in there a good five, six minutes. It seemed like an eternity. When he came back he took a good long pause before wishing me a Merry Christmas.”  He also used it tocross the border back home that same day.
There are other stated facts about the incident by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection that aided to Mr. Reisch success.  No one can cross the U.S. border with merely a scanned image alone.  “In this case, the individual had both a driver’s license and birth certificate, which the CBP officer used to determine identity and citizenship in order to admit the traveler into the country,” said spokeswoman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Jenny Burke.  Canada ended the driver’s license only policy to cross the border in 2009.

Scanned passports are not anything unknown for several countries, especially Canada.  Scanned passports have been the basis of creating the highly anticipated e-passports.  In fact, Passport Canada, the agency that is responsible for canadian passports, is set to introduce e-passports by the end of 2012.  Special diplomat pilot e-passport projects already exist and currently there are no difficulties reported.

Indeed, e-passports may be the way of the future.  Until then, passports are still needed and there are companies like Washington Express Visas that can meet your needs.  We are the Washington DC metro area’s fastest Visa Services, Passport Processing, Document Legalization and Translations specialists.  Washington Express Visas has 29 years of experience and is also the Washington DC metro area’s largest and fastest courier service.  Call (202) 393-3030 and let us help you today!

1.4.12, staff and news service reports-updated, Canadian man uses iPad to enter US; 9.15.11,, Future Travel Experience, Canada set for 2012 ePassport rollout