Cuba Set To Ease Travel Restrictions

Cuba is an authoritarian state and has many restrictions regarding US travel into this beautiful country. Their citizens have many restrictions to exit the country for travel as well. However, there may be some signs of progression into easier travel requirements for its’ citizens.

CNN recently reported via Cuba’s official news site Granma, that Cuba will make begin to lighten restrictions and make it easier for its’ citizens to travel abroad. Effective January 14, its’ citizens will only have to present a valid passport and entry visa for their destination. There are still some limitations for the average traveler. A statement in the Granma said, “The ordinary passport will be issued to the Cuban citizens who meet the requirements of the Migration Law.” President Castro stated he would implement this change and this appears a great step for the country.

Cubans travelers have had it difficult to travel up to this point. Cubans are currently required to pay $150 for an exit visa plus the resident they were visiting had to write a letter of invitation. There are other fees as well. Even with presenting all necessary documents and fees, there is still a possibly the government could deny them an exit visa. With low monthly wages, this made it a very challenging issue to travel.

The US Department of State informs us of restrictions to Cuba. It states that travel by US citizens and permanent residents to Cuba is restricted by US law and regulations. Even with receiving a license to participate in certain activities, there is restricted while US citizens are there. US travelers that do engage in island activities are subject to surveillance by Cuba. US Diplomats are not even allow to travel freely outside the Cuban capital. These are just a few barriers that communicate the difficulty to travel there. This ease of travel restrictions by its’ citizens could be an avenue to initiate easier travel regulations by US citizens into Cuba.

Whether Cuba or another country, we all have a need to travel. Of course, there can be no traveling with a visa or passport. Sometimes we need a passport fast. If you need expedited passport services, Washington Express Visas can help. Washington Express Visas has specialized in expedited visa, passport, and authentication services for 30 years.

Our expedited service provides same day pick-up and specially trained visa processing agents to deliver your visa applications for processing and document authentication to every Embassy in the Washington, DC area. The Washington Express Visas Advantage is a SSP (Single Source Provider) with tracking capabilities and technologies that integrate our services. We have agent expertise with the Embassies and Department of State. We also provide all cash and other fees up front for you so there are no delays in processing. Visit us at or call us at 202-393-3030 today!

References: 10.16.12, CNN, Ben Brumfield-Cuba eases travel restriction for citizens;


Diversity Visa Program Registration Begins For 2014

Visas are still in high demand for the US and the Diversity Visa Program was instituted by the Department of State to give immigrants the opportunity to obtain one. The program holds only a certain amount, therefore, it is of essence to be aware that the registration for 2014 is here.

The Department of State has announced the Diversity Visa Program registration for 2014 will begin on October 2, 2012. The registration will continue until approximately 12 noon on Saturday, November 3, 1012. The government will strictly follow this timeline eligibility. Applications must be electronically submitted using the DV-2014 registration (E-DV) on the website. This is important to know because no paper entries will be accepted. The electronic registration was created in 2005 by the Department of State to promote efficiency and security. This aids in preventing duplicate entries as well.

The Immigrant Diversity Program is held annually, offering 50,000 diversity visas to countries that have low rates of immigration into the US. 5,500 of this amount is set aside under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) to be used for their region. Whether an aspiring student or business person, this is a great program for those desiring to migrate to the United States.

Here is how the Diversity Program is administered. There is a computer-generated drawing held for the available Diversity Visas. It is comprised of persons that meet the simple requirements. The selectees are made and the visas are split up into 6 geographic regions. The system is fair. Most of the visas available are then offered to the countries with low immigration rates. In contrast, the least amount of the visas are given to the countries that had over 50,000 immigrants migrate to the US over the last 5 years. Also, only up to 7% of the Diversity Visas are allowed to be given to one country annually.
The press release addressed some countries specifically relative to the DV Program:

  • Natives of Guatemala are now eligible to enter the program.
  • Natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because more than 50,000 immigrants came to the United States in the previous 5 years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
  • Natives of Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.

The Department of State notifies those selected via an online process. Those selected will then submit their information regarding their visa application and interview. As of May 1, 2013, the applicants will be able to check via Entry Status Check on the DV website and see whether they were selected. After which, those selected will be notified on how they and eligible family members will specifically apply for the Diversity Visa.

If you need assistance obtaining a standard or other types of visa, you do not have to look any farther. Visa and passport expedited services like Washington Express Visas can help you meet all of your travel needs. Washington Express Visas has 30 years of experience, specializing in Visa Processing and 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. We are an Single Source Provider with tracking capabilities and technologies that integrate our services. We also provide all cash and other fees up front for you so there are no delays in processing. Call us at 1-877-675-5571 today!

References: 10.2.12,, Department of State, 2014 Diversity Visa Program Registration


How To Be Healthy While Traveling Abroad

Health is not just a part of daily life where you are, but also where you travel. Traveling within your native country is one thing, however, traveling outside of your country is another.

Having optimal health in a foreign country is very serious. The territory is unfamiliar to your body, therefore, you want to make sure you have everything you need to adapt and remain healthy. Dr Deborah Mills is the author of “Traveling Well”. She stated in a recent CNN article, “Don’t assume it’s going to be OK. You plan for your passport, your visas and you save your money, but health should be on your little checklist”. In the same article, Here are some ways you can stay healthy while traveling.

One way you can stay healthy is to first register with STEP, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. This is a great tool to begin with because it requests information about your trip. It is used to send alerts in the country you are in. Most of all, your information is used in case of an emergency to help you. This is critical for your life overall.

You can also find out through the World Health Organization information about the health risks of a country. The WHO travel and health guide can be used and is a great resource to help you prepare for your travel. The article encourages visiting a doctor that specializes in travel health or the area you are traveling to. This way, you can be treated and get wisdom for anything you may encounter specific to your body.

Another way to be healthy is to get insurance for travel overseas. This is something you may have to discuss with your health care provider. Find out whether your current insurance covers you. If not, what is required to have travel coverage. This is very crucial to enable you if needed, to be able to visit a foreign hospital. Dr Brendan O’Brien, director of American Citizens Services with the U.S. State Department stated an emergency evacuation to the US can cost more than $50,000. Without insurance, this could be very costly, not just your health, but to your wallet. Feel free to visit the US State Department website for details on travel insurance policy providers.

Make sure you pack all your necessary medical documents and supplies. Whatever medication you normally or even rarely use, it is recommended to pack extra doses of it. Do not be caught unawares if where your are traveling does not have that specific medication or if they run out. That can result in you having to spend money to have it shipped to you right away. This can be risky in case of an emergency and you can’t wait a day without that vital medication. Also, bring things that are normal to the US, such as bandages, needles, antibiotics, etc. They may not be standard in the foreign country you are in or they may use something else not familiar to your body.

Finally, if you are sick in a country, do not hesitate to seek help as soon as possible. Diseases can surprise you in foreign countries. In the article, Dr Mills commented, ”We call malaria a ‘cliff disease.’ People don’t really feel too bad, and then all of a sudden they’re over the cliff, and they’re dead.” Therefore, it is imperative to take heed to body signals and seek help.

Being healthy while traveling is very important, yet you also need to make sure you have your visa or passport to get there. Visa expedited services like Washington Express Visas can get your visa and passport needs met fast. 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.

Washington Express has been in business for 30 years with offices in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. We provide prompt and reliable service- you’ll always speak with a live person. Washington Express’ service times are the fastest available in the region with a 99% on-time track record. Call 202-393-3030 today!

References: 9.13.12,, Jacque Wilson, 5 ways to stay healthy while traveling abroad


Faster Trips Though Airport Security Is Coming

Travellers know the drill when they go through airport security, and it all equates to long lines and a whole lot of time.  The Federal Aviation Administration is in preparation of doing something about it to make screening better.
CNN reported yesterday the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a worldwide travel industry group representing 240 airlines, hopes to make security  screening faster by implementing fingerprint or retinal screening technology to obtain boarding passes.  After which, travelers are at liberty to advance through security checkpoints non-stop.  This would make a lot of travelers very happy, especially frequent flyers.
This is an exciting new development for the travel industry.  350 people per hour went through airport checkpoints prior to 9/11.  Now, improvements since then have lowered that number significantly to 150 per hour.  The IATA is after totally eliminating long security queues.  The association has even created a video headlining their effortson their website.  The video voices their mission to the public that there is airport and intelligence technology under development coming that will change our future airport security experience.
“The goal of the checkpoint of the future is to make security even better than today but to remove those hassles and to make it streamlined and a better experience for the passenger,” said IATA Spokesman Perry Flint.  Currently, the US Transportation Security Administration Primarily utilizes the latest technology PreCheck, along with other scanners and X-ray machines for airport security.  These measures, although effective, still take time, as travelers must take off clothing, shoes, etc. throughout the process.
PreCheck has been used for more than 2.5 million passengers to minimize screening time.  It is the technology being used as we make strides to optimal security screening.  Frequent travelers can at least bypass some security measures such as checking liquids they have in their bags.  The report stated the TSA plans to expand PreCheck to 35 of the busiest airports by the end of this year.  The Federal Aviation Administration states 1.3 billion people will be flying is the US annually.  It makes sense to seek after a faster trip through airport security.
Faster security screening is not the only demand for a quicker and happier travel experience.  Travelers also would like to obtain their passports and visas faster asl well before the trip even begins.  Expedited service providers like Washington Express Visas can help you with any of you passport and visa needs.  With Washington Express Visas expedited visa and passport services, our professional visa and passport services staff will have one of our specially trained visa agents take your visa and passport processing documents to the appropriate Embassy or agency and get your documents processed properly for less than traditional visa and passport processing services charge.  Call Us at (202) 393-3030 or Toll Free (877) 675-5571 and let us make your travel experience faster today!
References:  9.11.12,, Jim Barnett-Goal:  Speedier Trip Through Airport Security Could Come Within A Decade

US Announces New Deportation Policy

With so many immigration talks in our government this year, it is priceless to now have an option for young immigrants. There is a peace of mind knowing there is now a way not be deported out of the US as a young immigrant.

CNN reported The US has announced a new deportation policy for illegal immigrants. The new deportation program applies to illegal immigrants that are under the age of 30 and have lived in the US since the age of 16. More details of the program are to come, however, young immigrants are already preparing to take advantage the opportunity. It will allow qualifying immigrants to receive a 2-year deferred deployment program, which can be renewed every two years.

Young immigrants must not only meet the age specifications, but also other requirements such as not being a criminal or a threat to US security. They must also be successful students or serve in the military. The policy does want to make sure our homeland is safe.

One requirement for young immigrants is they must actually acquire a passport from their own native country. This may present challenges because some immigrants, such as a Mexican teen in the report, can not hardly speak his native Mexican language, let alone know how to obtain a passport from the Mexican Government. They may not even have a birth certificate either. Some don’t even know their fathers, which Mexican law requires for a passport, a birth certificate and finger prints of both parents. The Mexican consulates in the US have stated they will help those that qualify, but have issues with getting their passport or document legalizations.

All 50 consulates in the US have information on the new program and are available for any illegal that desire to get started. With support from Latino leaders and even Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, this new policy appears to be going in the right direction for an ultimate immigration resolve.

For anyone needing a passport quickly and desire to take part in the new deportation program, expedited passport services such as Washington Express Visas can help you. We provide expedited passport processing and document legalization services to consulates 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 us at (202) 393-3030 or Toll Free (877) 675-5571 today!

Reference: 8.1.12,, Gustavo Valdes-Young immigrants prepare for new U.S. deportation policy


Immigrant Entrepreneurs Have Challenges Getting Visas In US

Starting businesses in the US should be a relief because of job creation and the promoting of a better economy. One would think entrepreneurship would not be a struggle for immigrants with this agenda, however, it is.

Entrepreneurs are now experiencing challenges obtaining and maintaining Visas in the United States reported CNNMoney. The requirements are strict and out of reach by many immigrants. The investor visa costs $1 million, making it too expensive for most entrepreneur immigrants just starting their business. The executive visa allows entrepreneurship only if the business in the US is a subsidiary of their homeland business. The reason entrepreneurs desire to come to the US is for the best environment and market to for start-up success.

The E-2 Visa is the least challenging of them all and the most commonly sought after for start-ups. An entrepreneur can enter into the US with this visa based on an investment being made here. It can be continually renewed, however, it must be renewed every other year and provides no path to permanent residency.

The US immigration system has become downright painful in some instances. “It’s just not right and not fair. I am an American,” said Lauren Gray in the report. “I had so many plans here, so many options, so many connections. I’m going to have to learn an entire new culture. This was said in response to the Gray family discovery that their daughter, now 21 years old, can not remain under her parents’ E-2 Visa any longer. She must obtain her own visa which could take some time. Without it, she will have to return to their native country Britian. The heart-broken family moved to the US to manage a hotel and a restaurant, which positively impacted the community with more jobs.

In another instance, a family returned to Ireland to renew their visas, only to find out while there US immigration officials denied renewal. As a result, their business closed. They were able to get back in temporarily, yet what a harsh reality to experience being an immigrant entrepreneur. There is hope for the immigration system and representatives pushing to make changes. One example is Representative John Conyers who proposed a bill last month that would offer green cards to entrepreneurs with E-2 Visas who hire at least five Americans. Many agree it needs to be fixed and this is a major step in the right direction.

If you do need to know how to obtain an E-2 Visa, you do not have to look any farther. Expedited Visa services like Washington Express Visas, can assist you with all of your visa needs. Washington Express Visas specializes in Visa Processing and 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. Call (202) 393-3030 or (877) 675-5571 today!

References: CNNMoney, 8.6.12, Jose Pagliery, Visas come up short for entrepreneurs


Not That Easy For A Russia Visa

The Red Square, the Catherine Palace of Saint Petersburg and the Kremlin are just to name a few of the most historical sites in the world.  They are all located in mighty Russia.  Visiting other countries is one thing, but getting access to experience Russia is in a category all of its’ own.  If you are attempting to obtain a visa to Russia, you may want to count the cost first.

Russia is one of the hardest countries to obtain a visa.  Recently the Washington Post reported a father’s pursuit to get an expedited Russian visa for his son desiring to take a summer trip to Russia.  It was harder than he had ever imagined.  The father begins his journey by traveling to the Russian Visa Center in Georgetown because applications must be hand-delivered.  As he arrives, the center is very disorganized and difficult.  There were no ticket dispensers for people in line.  The operation had several different breaks and only accepts visa applications in the morning.

The date of entry into Russia has to be correct or your application will be rejected.  This was another experience the father had resulting in him having to go correct the application and resubmit it via express.  One of the reasons for the laborious process for obtaining a Russian visa is the outsourcing of the visa processing.  As of April 10th of this year, the Russian Embassy’s visa processing is handled by contractor Invisa Logistics Services (ILS).   Along with the new company, came special forms that had to say “ILS” and not the previous embassy form titled “WAS” or they would not be accepted.  Also any checks or money orders had to be made out to ILS and not the Russian Consulate.

It appears with the transition being so new in April, the people that ran into the  processing bumps during the new system seemed to get hurt the most.  Aleksander Kovganov, the ILS head, said the office had “some problems” in May, second month the ILS office was in business.  He also stated in the report, inspite of all the visa processing problems, “the decision to open this office was made to improve service”.  The operation should have worked out the errors now, however, it’s clear that it is best to begin your Russia visa processing month in advance to avoid any delays.

If you need visa processing to Russia or any where else in the country, Washington Express Visas can help.  We specializes in Visa Processing and 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.  Washington Express has been in business for 30 years with offices in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.  We provide prompt and reliable service- you’ll always speak with a live person.  We have the fastest available in the region with a 99% on-time track record.  Our messengers specialize in urgent, on-demand delivery and can be trusted.  Call us at 1-202-393-3030 today!

References:  7.6.12, Washington Post, Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr-Getting a Russian visa takes a lot of application


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

Japan Tourism Recovery After Tsunami

March 11, 2011 marks one year to date when the horrific tsunami and earthquake hit Japan.  The devastation took over 15, 000 lives and parts of the growing country demolished.  The catastrophe hurt various steady and constant industries, including tourism.

Japan has begun to see some daylight with tourism growth in Tokyo and surrounding areas per a recent Newsday-Associated Press report.  Shuichi Kameyama, director of the International Tourism Promotion Division at Japan Tourism Agency, stated tourist numbers in January this year are only 4% lower  than January 2011.  This is heading in the right direction, as projected tourist recovery would occur in 2012 by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Tokyo is one of the major areas for tourism.  The three disasters caused a nuclear plant meltdown in Fukushima, about 180 miles from Tokyo.  However, signs of recovery is showing in the hotel industry.  Malcolm Thompson, general manager of The Peninsula Tokyo hotel, said in the report, “Corporate business is 95 percent back,” he said. “It’s really the high-end leisure traveler from America and Europe. They’re the ones we are not seeing yet. They’re the ones who are still very tentative about Japan. We here know that everything is fine and life is back to normal in most parts of Japan, but that’s not the perception.”

Promotional campaigns are being made by Japan to help tourism recover.  Japanese tourism officials will be launching a “Japan: Thank You” campaign to build tourist support.  In the US, they will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift of flowering cherry trees to Washington DC, which draws a million people.  In New York there will be marked what will be called “Japan Week”.  Digital cherry blossom displays will be held in Times Square and “Dine Out for Japan-Restaurant Week from March 7-11.  Donations will given toward the disaster relief.

You can aid tourism recovery in Japan, yet, you will need a visa or passport  to get there.  Expedited visa and passport services provided by  Washington Express Visas can meet all your travel 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:  3.9.12, Newsday-Associated Press, Beth J Harpaz-Japan tourism recovering a year after disaster


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!