Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Proof of Citizenship: No Birth Certificate

All of us travel, some of us more than others. Whether we are traveling to a country near our home or one located thousands of miles away, we still need to make sure our passport is up to date and has at least six months left of use before entering certain countries.

The panicking starts when you are about to travel out of the country and you discover that your passport will expire before you leave the country and you feel anxious about what to do and who can help you with the process.

Besides all the research you have to do to find a trust worthy company to work with, there are documents you will need to gather to be able to apply for a new passport or a renewal:
-Birth certificate (proof of citizenship)
-Copy of driver license (if you don’t currently hold one you will need 5 secondary I.D.’s)
-Two new passport photos
-Copy of your itinerary for proof of travel

After reading this you start to wonder and look for those documents. When was the last time you saw your birth certificate? Is your license under six months of use? Is it expired? Where can I take the passport photos? I don’t even have an itinerary yet!

Don’t worry until your options have run out. You can submit a combination of records. Here are some options to help you with that process:
-Baptismal certificate
-Hospital birth certificate
-Census record
-Early school record
-Family bible record
-Doctor's record of post-natal care

Please keep in mind that the public records must be sent in with a birth record or letter of no record. The early public records will not be accepted if presented alone.
If you decide to submit a letter of no record you will need to include the following:
Your name
-Your birth date
-The years when a birth record was searched
-Acknowledgement that no birth certificate was found on file

Another option you have is to fill out the DS-10, which is a birth affidavit. It must be filled out by an older blood relative. If one is not present the form can be filled out by a physician or someone who has knowledge of your birth.

Once that form is completed you may appear at the court house with the DS-11 (application for a new passport) and other public records listed above.

Just to let you know, there is one last option you may apply for. This is the birth certificate search through the government. They will ask you for a fee of $150 and will search for your birth certificate and mail it to you when found. That process could take weeks so knowing exactly when you are traveling is crucial.

Always give yourself enough time to do all that is necessary for your next trip. If sometimes comes up and you need a trustworthy and fast service call us today! We are here to serve you and provide you with the best service.

Contact us today:

Express Passport888-612-9899
Monday – Friday from 9AM to 5PM

If you have any questions on visas feel free to ask for Kerri.

Friday, October 29, 2010

New: Passport Cards

Traveling across the globe is always a great experience, but there is always that one thing to worry about: Identification and passport.

Is it safe to carry your passport book with you at all times? Should you have to stress about the risk you have of losing it? What can you do to prevent your passport book from getting lost or stolen?

When traveling, it is always necessary to carry your identification and passport book with you. Ladies, we love to bring different purses and bags on trips. We go back and forth thinking of which one we will use that morning before leaving for the big day we have ahead of ourselves.

What can happen to your passport after leaving for the day:
-You took it out of your purse/bag because it was taking up space when looking for an item.
- It was left on a stand after you paid for a souvenir.
-You put it down to wash your hands and someone took it when you looked away.
-During lunch it was put down on the table and somehow forgotten.

Numerous things can happen to your passport book when you are traveling. There is always a lot to think about and you only think about it again when you are back in your room at night.

 If you lose it or someone steals it, you could be the next one in line to apply for a temporary passport at an American embassy in another country.

There is an option that could help us prevent all the stress from happening. Why should we have to worry about carrying the passport book around when we can apply for a passport card?

Well, first of all, the passport card is the size of your driver license. If you think about it, the passport card will be harder to lose even though it is smaller.

It will fit in wallets and will be carried around without the worries a passport usually gives all of us.
Your passport card will now be your travel backup I.D. and proof of your citizenship. No more leaving passport books at restaurants, souvenir stands, bathrooms, or random spots you encounter.

Here’s some of the basic facts about using your U.S. passport and passport card, so you can understand a little more about what it really is.

For US citizens, the passport is the sole official travel identification document, recognized, and accepted across the world, regardless of the citizen’s mode of transportation. Every country of the world will recognize you as a U.S. citizen.

On the other hand, the U.S. passport card is accepted as a U.S. citizen’s official travel identification document by 20 of the world’s nations; Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and 17 island nations of the Caribbean. For travel to every other nation of the world, U.S. citizens must use their passport book. Furthermore, the passport card may only be used for international travel, on land and sea. Unfortunately, you may not use the passport card for international air travel.

• Driving between the U.S. and Canada or between the US and Mexico is permitted.
• Taking a cruise from the U.S. to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and/or many Caribbean island nations and back.

Unfortunately, some citizens traveling only with a passport card on those journeys may be heading for trouble.

In case of emergency, it is always necessary and useful to have another form of identification with you at all times. Depending on what country you are visiting your driver license will not work.

Making sure you always have your passport book and card on your trip is a good idea. Hotel rooms have a safe where you can lock your passport book for the day and if that is not the case you can buy a lock for your suitcase and lock your passport in it for the day.

 Is it still worth your order of a passport card? Absolutely! You will have less stress and more room in your bag!

If you would like more information on passport cards and how to order one feel free to call Express Passport at 888-612-9899. We are here to help you.

Express Passport
Monday – Friday from 9AM to 5PM

Monday, October 25, 2010

Visa Marriage

Many people have the dream of coming to the U.S., starting a new career, establishing a new life, getting married, and becoming successful. There are several steps to take before all that happens. Others enter the country on a travel visa on the thought on getting married. Will that work for them? Is it illegal?
You can usually get married on a travel visa. You may enter the U.S., get married, and return home before the visa expires. A bad situation can happen if you come into the country with a visa and plan on marrying a U.S. citizen and moving here after the wedding.
We hear a lot of stories about people from various countries coming into the U.S., getting married, moving here, and starting a new life. Why were these people allowed to stay? What happens is: They can have the U.S. citizen come to their country for a couple of weeks, plan the wedding here, get a travel visa, have the wedding in the U.S., and somehow they prove that moving here was spontaneous.  No, it does not work for everyone.
To successfully adjust status after marrying on a travel visa, the foreign spouse must show that they had originally intended to return home, and the thought of staying in the U.S. was not planned. Some couples find it difficult to honestly prove intent but others are successful.
If you're thinking of getting married in the United States while on a travel visa, here is what you should think about:
1.               Traveling again will take a while. Planning a honeymoon out of the U.S. and going to a beautiful Caribbean island can be forgotten. If you choose to stay in the country and change your status, the foreign spouse will not be able to leave the U.S. until they apply for a green card and receive it. If the foreign spouse leaves the country before securing one of these two documents, they would not be allowed to re-enter. You and your spouse would have to start the immigration process from scratch by asking for a spouse visa while the foreign spouse remains in his or her own country.
2.               Re-entering is a challenge. When the foreigner arrives, they will be asked why they are traveling. You should always be upfront and honest with border protection officials. If you just say, "To see the Statue of Liberty," and a search of your luggage shows a wedding dress, be prepared to be asked numerous amounts of intense questions. If the border official believes that you're not coming to the U.S. for just a visit and you cannot prove that you are leaving before your visa expires, you'll be on the next plane home.
3.               If you are planning to return to your home country, it is ok to get married in the U.S. The problem comes around when you do plan on staying in the U.S. You can get married and go back home before your visa expires, but you'll need very good evidence proving that you ARE planning on going back home. Come prepared with employment letters, proof of residency – such as a water bill -, and of course, a return ticket home. The more proof you have for going back the better off you will be and the easier it is to get in the U.S.
4.               Will you be ok with leaving all your personal belongings back home? If you do get in the U.S. and getting married is successful, you should be prepared to not be able to get your personal belongings back home, because you will not be able to leave the U.S. until your green card is received. One of the advantages of moving to the U.S. on a fiancĂ© or spouse visa is that you will have time to get everything organized and ready to go while waiting for the visa. With a spontaneous wedding, on the other hand, you will not have time to do much. There's no time to say goodbye to friends and family, close bank accounts and end other obligations. You should also know that there are many documents that need to be submitted for a status change. Hopefully there will be a friend or family member back home who can get the information for you and send whatever you need to the U.S.

5.               If you choose to stay in the country after the wedding, what will happen if you are denied? No one expects to be denied a visa or a status change, but not everyone is eligible to receive one. Reasons for denial: a person's health, criminal history, previous bans or just a lack of required evidence. If you are the immigrating foreigner, will you be prepared to be denied the stay and be ready to go back home? What if you are the U.S. citizen? Are you prepared to leave your life here in the U.S. and start over? Or will circumstances like work and even children keep you from leaving the USA? If that happened would you have to divorce your new spouse and move on? These are difficult questions to answer, but the possibility of being denied is very real, so you should both be prepared.
6.               Avoid visa fraud. If you want to come into the U.S. and you have successfully said you are just visiting, but you stay, there could be consequences. If caught, you could be sent back to your home country and be banned from coming back to the U.S. Be careful and choose the right method.
On another note, if you are an American citizen and you plan on traveling to another country on a travel visa, there are many things you should know.
If you are planning on traveling next year – four months from today – and your passport expires in less than six months, you will not be allowed to enter a country on a travel visa or by using your passport. They will require that you renew your passport. It cannot expire six months or less before your travel date.
There are certain documents they will also ask for before you are ready to travel:
-Letter of invitation, bank statement, vaccinations, driver’s license, utility bill, phone bill, and etc.

Always prepare yourself to gather many things they will ask of you. It is all done for security purposes and for your own safety.
If you need a passport renewal or a travel visa give us a call! It is our duty at Express Passport to satisfy your every need of travel (New passport, Passport renewal, Child Passport, Lost/Stolen Passport, Added pages, Name change, and Travel visas).
Don’t hesitate to contact us!
Hours: Monday – Friday from 9AM to 5PM

Friday, October 22, 2010

Former FSU Football Player Faces Caning in Singapore

A former Florida State University football player may become the first American citizen in 16 years to be caned in Singapore after he overstayed his visa, his lawyer said Thursday.
Kamari Charlton, who was a reserve tight end for FSU from 1992 to 1996, was arrested on September 1 when he attempted to leave the city 169 days after his 90-day social visit pass expired.
Charlton was born in the Bahamas and owns a construction company there. He decided to go to Singapore due to his wife’s medical care for pregnancy complications. It was not clear why Charlton and his wife chose Singapore for medical treatment.
Staying in Singapore more than 90 days after the end of a visa is punishable with a maximum jail term of six months and at least three cane strokes.
The attorney general's office declined to comment on the case. A judge is to meet with lawyers from both sides in a pretrial conference today.
If found guilty, Charlton would be the first American citizen caned in Singapore since 1994, when the last person to be arrested was a teenager named Michael Fay. He was punished for vandalism.
Know your rules and regulations for every country you are going to visit. Every country has different requirements. They even require that your passport will not expire in the next six months between now and the time you visit/travel. A passport renewal would be necessary. Go to and sign up today!
I know many of us forget to check expiration dates on our passport and visa information, but no one would like to be in Charlton’s shoes. It could be something that would hunt you for the rest of your life.
Here is a checklist for visas:
  1. Passport (0-6 month validity)
  2. Passport photos (1-4)
  3. Application
  4. Confirmed itinerary (round trip ticket)
  5. Consulate fee: Money order made out to the consulate (most are postal money orders). India is made out to Travisa.
  6. Business: business letter of financial responsibility
Added requirements for some countries:
    • Letter of invitation
    • Bank statement
    • Vaccinations (yellow fever)
    • AIDS test
    • Jurisdictional visas: Brazil, India – Driver’s license, utility bill, and phone bill.
If you would like any more information or details on visas or passports, please contact us.
888-612-9899 (Visas -> Kerri / Passports -> John)
Hours: 9AM to 5PM Monday – Friday.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Largest U.S. Passport

Some of us like to travel the country while others like to travel abroad. Traveling out of the country requires a few extra things and one of them is a passport.
Each person’s passport tells a story: Where they have been, what countries, how many countries, and how many times they have left the U.S. Some have a few stamps on a couple of pages and others have numerous pages with stamps everywhere.
Sanjeev Midha loves to take his family on lavish, multiple-month international vacations. Each year, he sets aside $150,000 to $250,000 just to travel the world. Clearly, money isn't an object for the owner of a technology company.
I began to wonder how many pages and stamps he has in his passport.
We tend to think about traveling and planning trips, but the size of our passports never seems to cross our mind. Only about one in every three Americans even has a passport, according to the U.S. State Department.
Midha has had to add a huge amount of pages to his, which at 96 pages, is considered one of the largest in the United States. In 2009 he had to get a new one, because it was full and he couldn't add anymore pages.
"Each page was crowded, crowded, crowded. There were stamps, stamps, stamps. We travel as a family, a lot," he explained.
These vacations involve a lot more than sitting on a beach or getting on a cruise ship for a three-week trip in Australia.
Now the question comes to play: How do I add pages to my passport? Easy. You can start by going to our site ( Click on the “passport forms” link ( That page will show you the DS-4085 form. Once you apply for our service that is the form you will be filling out. Keep in mind that DS-4085 only applies for those whose passports have at least one year left of validity.
“But my passport expires in eight months.” That is no problem. All you have to do is apply for a passport renewal and request a “big book”. Your passport will then come with extra pages and ready for travel!
A passport renewal is very simple. The checklist of documents we will need contains a very small amount of things – Your expired passport (for proof of citizenship), two new passport photos, an authorization letter we send you by e-mail, and the DS-82 form that allows you to apply for the renewal. That is it!
If your passport has expired for over five years you will need to apply for a new passport. The checklist includes a few more items that are required. Here is a link to the checklists:
The form you will need to apply for a new passport is the DS-11. Once you are done filling it out make sure you take it to the nearest post office or court house. An agent has to witness you signing the form – for security purposes – and he/she will also sign the form.
How close are you to traveling now? Very close! Just choose the delivery service that is best for you and your travel date. Example: If you choose the 3-4 business day service, you will receive your passport 3-4 business days from the day we receive your documents.
Do you travel a lot? Do you need to add more pages or get a new passport? Do you want a renewed passport? Maybe your passport has expired or it’s been lost.
So many things could happen in such a short amount of time. That’s why Express Passport is here. Our main purpose is to help and serve you with any passport needs you may have.

Contact us at 888-612-9899
Hours: Monday – Friday from 9AM to 5PM

Monday, October 18, 2010

Worry-Free Traveling

For everyone:
Here is some advice on what to do before going out of the country.

All of us should have a passport. We all think, “I’m not traveling any time soon so it is a waste of time to get a passport now.” Big mistake! Random travel dates can come up, such as, business trips, family vacations, and even when you just want to get away spontaneously. When that situation happens you start looking for your passport or you panic because you don’t currently hold one.

Your travel date is a few months away. You become worry-free, and suddenly, your passport situation starts to become faint.
Time goes by and you find yourself in an unusual situation: only a few weeks away from traveling. What do you do now?

The post office can always help, but their service will take about eight weeks (two months) and you can’t wait that long. Will you miss your trip? Is there a chance you could your job? No! Express Passport is here to serve you and help you get your passport in as little as 24 hours!

“But I don’t have to come into your office and take time off from work.” That is no problem. You can apply online. It is very simple. Once you are done with your order and you are ready to process it we’ll contact you, send you an email with a checklist of things you will need, FedEx labels, and an authorization letter that you will sign to authorize us to work on your passport. Yes, that’s it!

*What about children?
If your child’s passport has expired you’ll need to apply for a new one. Until the child is 18 they may not renew their passport.

If you apply for a passport and you decide to apply for your child’s passport as well, keep in mind that the delivery cost will be lower! In a time like this it is good to think about all the options you have.

How to get started:
Phone number: 888-612-9899
Hours: Monday – Friday from 9AM to 5PM.
You may ask for Kerri or John for details.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Soccer Player Loses Passport Before Finals

Some of us sleep with blankets, others with teddy bears, but Carlos Vela sleeps with his passport! I’m sure you’re all wondering why anyone would do that.

Carlos revealed that in April 2010, he lost his passport and missed the biggest game of his career. He didn’t know of any express services, and as a result, he wasn’t able to attend the game and his team lost (Arsenal’s Champions League quarter-final game in Barcelona).

Because of the hit Carlos and his team took, he thinks the best thing to do is make sure the passport is near him at all times.
He believed Mexico had a good chance competing for the World Cup and keeping his passport safe would assure him and his teammates that he would be there. They would also have a chance to play against the best teams.

Vela had the chance to prove himself again and he did have the chance to play in South Africa this past June. He continues to keep his passport safe at all times and under his pillow every night. Make sure yours is safe as well!

Have you ever lost your passport? Has it been stolen? If this has unfortunately happened to you, give us a call. We can help you have your lost/stolen passport reported missing and we can issue you a new one!

You can reach us at 888-612-9899
Hours: Monday – Friday from 9AM to 5PM