Great Tips For Holiday Travel!

The holiday season is here and people are gearing up to visit their beloved families and friends. This is the time in which we tend to travel the most. Thanksgiving was already projected by AAA to increase for the fourth consecutive year in the US. Traveling will increase as Christmas and New Year’s Day approaches.

Travelers will also to enjoy a change of scenery right before the new year and take a vacation. Traveling in December will be congested, however, it does not have to be difficult. With the right tips, you can make the best of your holiday traveling.

Per the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs, here are some great tips for holiday travel:

Enroll In STEP – The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free online service in which your family can enroll in to help the Department of State locate you in case of emergency in the U.S. or where you have traveled. You can also receive updated travel information of the country you are visiting.

Leave Copies of Itinerary, Passport Data Page, & Credit Card – Leave these important documents with your family or friends. It can help them in the event you need assistance. With leaving a credit card, they can contact your credit card company and they can actually use it to locate you.

Find The Closest U.S. Embassy Or Consulate – In case you need assistance from a consular officer, be informed where the nearest US Embassy is located in your destination country.

Minor Children Traveling – If you are traveling with children under the age of 16, double check their passport expiration dates. Passports for this age group are only valid for 5 years, instead of 10 years like adults. Children must apply for a passport in person with their parents or legal guardians. Feel free to review the requirements for children’s passports on as well.

Sign And Fill In All Emergency Information On Your Passport – Make sure you have a signed, valid passport, and visa, and complete the emergency information on your passport. Write the contact information in pencil for easy updating in the future.

Finally, don’t forget your passport. If you need a passport or visa, you do not have to look any further. For expedited passport processing or expedited visa services, you can contact Washington Express Visas. Washington Express Visas is the Washington DC metro area’s fastest Visa Services, Passport Processing, Document Legalization and Translations specialists. With 30 years of expertise, Washington Express Visas is the Washington DC metro area’s largest courier service. Visit or call 877-675-5571 today!

Reference:, Consular Officers Share Holiday Travel Tips


Best Places To Travel In December

The holiday season is beautiful and is here once again. Thanksgiving and Christmas are considered by many the best time of the year. People receive their fill of gifts, laughs and the simple things, like enjoying those around us that mean the most. But there are also some great places to travel during December to make this the best holiday season ever.

Traveling during the winter season can be more costly in warmer destinations, however, you can still find some places to go with some amazing deals. Below are some wonderful destinations to travel to in December.

The Caribbeans – If you are looking for hot spots, the Caribbeans are a perfect destination to travel to in December. The weather in these countries are hot and sunny year-round due to being close to the tropical line. Whether it is Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic, any of those locations will be excellent choices. Traveling costs to the Caribbeans is not expensive as well.

Western Ireland – The Hunt Museum in Limarick and the Bunratty Castle are just a couple of sites to see in Western Ireland. It has popular walking trails and plenty of history. The shores and mountains of Galway Bay are breathtaking. Galway City, also known as City of The Tribes, is a beautiful university town. It has a medieval culture, with horse racing and festivals. Westpoint is a colorful town, full of shopfronts and restaurants as well.

Greece – The european historical country is excellent for romance and for family vacations. There is the famous Feast of Saint Nicholas on December 6th of each year. In Athens, they Syntagma Square will have a decorated Christmas tree. You can visit the Acropolis in Athens, which is the greatest landmark of Greece. There are many historical sites of ancient Rome. Skiing can also be enjoyed in Greece during December, which is when the ski season begins.

Regardless of where you decide to travel this year, make sure you don’t forget your passport. Expedited passport services providers such as Washington Express Visas can meet all of your passport needs. Washington Express Visas specializes in Visa Services , Passport Processing and Document Authentication. Washington Express Visas 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 us at 1-877-675-5571 today!

References:, Leah Williams, Cheapest Places to Travel in December;


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


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
FrontPage News

DOS Authentication Office Changes

Effective Monday, September 17, 2012

The Office of Authentications will implement a new schedule for document
review, drop-offs, pick-ups and appointments

 We will offer same-day service for individuals and Emergency third parties by appointments only.

Beginning September 17th, the Office of Authentications will begin performing document review and accepting document drop-offs between 8-9 AM, Monday – Friday (except Federal Holidays).

  • Limit of 15 documents per customer per day.
  • Only one submission a day.
  • Documents will be ready up to 72 business hours.


  • 8-9 AM, Monday-Friday (except Federal Holidays).

We will start accepting requests for appointments on September 10th, 2012.  The telephone number will be posted on September 10, 2012

(Limit one appointment a day)

Couriers, relatives and friends submitting documents on behalf of others must have written authorization/permission from the owner or originator of the documents to act on their behalf when submitting documents for review.

When the request involves:

  • Life or death emergencies (serious illness, injury or death of affected individual, immediate family member or prospective adoptee).
  • Proof of domestic or international travel plans within 24-48 hours of submission.
  • Direct support to US Federal agencies.


When:                  August 21, 2012
Where:                 Authentications Office
518 23rd Street NW
Washington, DC  20520
Time:                     2:30pm – 3:30 pm

Denitra Hawkins
Chief, Authentications Office


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