Elimination of Visa Page Inserts for U.S. Passports

November 20th, 2015 by

The U.S. Department of State will no longer add visa pages into U.S. passports beginning January 1, 2016. Previously, U.S. passport holders had the option to pay for the insertion of additional 24-page visa inserts when valid passports lacked adequate space for entry or exit visa stamps. The decision to discontinue this service was made to enhance the security of the passport and to abide by international passport standards.

To mitigate the impact on frequent travelers, the Department began issuing 52-page passports to all applicants outside the United States starting October 1, 2014 for no additional cost. Applicants within the United States may choose a 28-page or 52-page book.

Requests for additional 24-page visa inserts will only be accepted until December 31, 2015. Beginning January 1, 2016, applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport by mail.

For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

For media inquiries please contact: CAPRESSREQUESTS@state.gov.

India Fee Increase

May 7th, 2015 by

Starting April 15, 2015, the visa fee for India tourist visa for US citizens has been increased to $120. When submitting online India tourist applications US passport holders will have to choose “10 years multiple entries Tourist Visa” category. The actual duration of the visa will be at the discretion of the Embassy or Consulate of India.

Average Wait Time to Clear Customs at US Airports

November 20th, 2012 by

Customs and Border Protection closely monitors the flight processing times, commonly referred to as wait times, for arriving flights at 23 of the busiest international airports. The flight processing time is the length of time from flight arrival to the time the last passenger on the flight is screened by CBP officers in the primary processing area.

Flight arrival patterns can vary considerably by time of year and day of week, as well as by time of day. The best predictor of wait times for future flights is the wait time observed for the corresponding seasonal time period in the recent past. To help travelers in planning their next flight, CBP is providing the public with historical data for the past twelve months that can be used to estimate seasonal wait times by airport and arrival terminal.

As you are planning your next flight, remember that CBP airport wait times do not include time to retrieve baggage or navigate through the airport. These times should be factored in as well if you will be scheduling a connecting flight. Always consult with the airline and airport authority for additional guidance.

To find wait times to go through customs in 23 major airports please click here.

Health: What You Need to Know in Advance of Travel

November 8th, 2012 by

All travelers should familiarize themselves with conditions at their destination that could affect their health (high altitude or pollution, types of medical facilities, required immunizations, availability of required pharmaceuticals, etc.).

While some of this information may be found in the documents listed above, the key resource for health information is the Travelers’ Health page of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at http://www.cdc.gov/travel.

The CDC website also provides general guidance on health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect-bite protection. The CDC also maintains an international travelers’ hotline at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747).

FYI: The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

October 31st, 2012 by

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a program provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.

STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency.

STEP also allows Americans residing abroad to get routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

This will help the U.S. Government contact you if there is a family emergency in the U.S., or if there is a crisis where you are traveling. In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare and whereabouts will not be released to others without your express authorization.

For more information or to sign up please click Smart Traveler Enrollment Form.