Consular Updates

Consulates across the country are constantly changing their requirements, depending on political climate.  Because of this, it is easy to be misinformed about what requirements are, or to have outdated requirements.  Consular websites are not always up-to-date, and often have requirements that are not listed.  To save you the trouble of researching different requirements, let Visa Service, Inc. do the research for you.  By calling or emailing Visa Service, Inc., we can supply you with a digital packet of information that contains a checklist of requirements, processing times, and pricing as well as the application.  You can also see our "Request Information" page, which will send a message directly to the Visa and Passport Manager, who will promptly reply to your inquiry.

September 2016 Updates

Vietnam new visa validity for US passport holders 
Effective September 6, 2016, Vietnam will now be issuing only 1 year, multi entry visas for all US passport holders. Applications can be processed in either 1,2, or 5-8 business days. The consular fee pricing has also changed, so visas will now cost $245 for 1 day processing, $235 for 2 day processing, and $215 for regular processing. All other Visa Service, Inc. fees still apply. 


Consulate of the UK in New York
The consulate of the United Kingdom in New York no longer requires foreign nationals to submit notarized or original copies of their immigration paperwork.Visa applicants can now submit regular scanned copies of their green cards or immigration paperwork.

Consulate of India in Washington DC
The consulate of India in DC will no longer issue business or tourist visas to foreign nationals with validity longer than one year. US citizens will still be able to apply for five or ten year validity. 

The Consulate of Russia in San Francisco
The consulate of Russia in San Francisco now requires proof of health insurance for all visa applicants who are non US citizens. This applies to all categories of visas and does not apply to US citizens.
July 2016 Updates

Additional pages

As of 1 January 2016, the State Department will no longer add pages to US passports. Those in need of additional space in their passports will need to renew their passports. It is recommended that when applying for a new passport, you apply for the larger 52-page book, which is the same fee as the standard 28-page book. The State Department will add pages to passports for all applications submitted until 31 December 2015. When adding pages, you can add either the 24-page book or a 48-page book for the same fee.

 

Brazil Olympic visa

In order to increase tourism this summer, the Brazilian Consulates have issued a visa waiver for tourist visas for all US, Canadian, Japanese and Australian citizens traveling to Brazil between 1 June and 18 September. Business travelers will still need a visa.


Argentina Visa Waiver

Argentina has suspended their Reciprocity Fee requirement for US citizens. Tourist travelers can now travel to Argentina without a visa or Reciprocity Fee.


Russian Application Changed

The Russian Consulates have made many changes to their application and required documents.  If you are traveling to Russia, please request a new information packet for each trip, specific for your purpose of travel and your citizenship.  Please read the packet and application guide very carefully.

September 2015 Updates

China and India

China and India continue to issue 10 year, multi entry visas for all US citizens that have at least 1 year left on their passport. If your passport expires before your visa does, you can then travel with both passports and still get into the country.


All Chinese Consulates will be closed October 1, 2 and 5 2015 for the Chinese National Day. Please take this into consideration when applying for visas.

Saudi Arabia
All Saudi Arabian Consulates and Embassies will be closed September 21-25 2015 for Eid-al-Adha. Please take this into consideration when applying for visas.

Kenya

Kenya is no longer processes visas-upon-arrival; all visas must be processed prior to your departure. Kenya offers an online visa option for those entering the country once.  If you are entering Kenya more than once, you will need a multi-entry visa, which will be processed through a Kenyan Consulate. 


Brazil Olympics

Brazil will be hosting the Summer Olympics in 2016.  Brazilian Consulates will be processing visas for the Olympics for free for all attendees when you can provide your ticket to the Olympics, or proof of purchase of your ticket.


Turkey

Turkey no longer processes visas-upon-arrival; all visas must be processed prior to departure.  Turkey uses an ETA system (Electronic Travel Authority), where your passport does not need to be sent to a Turkish Consulate in order to obtain the visa.  The visa is done online, and is electronically linked to your passport number.




June 2015 Updates

India

10 year visas

India has also started issuing 10 year, multi-entry tourist visas for US passport holders.  They currently do not have a passport validity restriction, and have been issuing 10 year tourist and business visas to all US passport applicants.  The current consular fee is $130.  Business visas are still available for 1, 5 and 10 year visas, with current consular fees of $190 for a 1 year visa, and $275 for 5 and 10 year visas.

 

Additional Particulars Form

As you may remember last year, the Consulate required the Additional Particulars Form with all applications, and then a month later they removed this from the requirements.  It is again a requirement.  It is a 1 page form that is a summary of the application that will be submitted with the other documents.

 

Visa Service Fees

Effective 15 June, Visa Service Inc. will implement new processing fees.  Any applications that we receive before 15 June or are currently in processing will be charged at our old rates. The new fees are as follows:

Tourist visa: $95

Business visa: $105

Non-US passport holder: $130

Rush processing: $80

Emergency processing: $140


January 2015 Updates


Brazil

The Brazilian Consulate in New York City (servicing residents of NY, NJ and PA) have switched to an appointment only system (if applying through Visa Service Inc, we will make the appointment for you).  This has considerably slowed down processing time to 6 weeks.  Processing time is still about 3 weeks, but it takes about 2 weeks to get an appointment. If you have anyone living in the above 3 states who needs a Brazilian visa, please apply well in advance to accommodate the delays.


China

Flights and Hotel

Flight and hotel confirmations are no longer required for US passport holders applying for business visas.  If the applicant is a non-US passport holder (business or tourist) or a US passport holder applying for a tourist visa, flight and hotel conformations are still required.

 

Polio vaccine

The Chinese government is now requiring travelers with passports from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria to show proof of polio vaccination within 12 months of travel.  The vaccination is not required for visa application, but only for their arrival in China. All travelers from the above countries without a proper polio vaccination certificate will be administered the vaccine at the port of entry.


India

Processing Times

Processing times for the New York City Consulate (servicing residents of ME, NH, VT, MA, NY, CT, RI, NH, PA and OH) have reduced in the last few weeks.  US passport holders are processing in 7-10 business days and non-US passport holders are processing in 10-15 business days.  Because there are still delays, the Consulate urges applicants to not purchase flights until they have been granted the visa.

 

Additional Particulars and Certificate of Incorporation

In May, the Indian Consulate in New York started requiring the Additional Particulars form as well as a Certificate of Incorporation from the Indian company.  These two documents are no longer required for application.


Visa Service

Fill-in Service

Visa Service Inc now offers a fill-in service, where you can answer a packet of questions and Visa Service Inc will complete the application for you.  This service is an additional $50.

 

Order Form

Visa Service Inc has a new order form, which includes our disclaimer on it.  When sending applications in to Visa Service Inc, please use the new form.  Old forms will no longer be accepted. You can find the new Visa Service Order Form below:

Digital Photo Service

Passport and visa photos can often be a hassle to get, especially if you do not have enough time in your day to get them done.  Why not skip the frustration and use Visa Service, Inc.’s digital photo service? With prices starting at $15, you can send a digital photo to Visa Service, Inc. via email, which we will then crop, print and attach to your completed application. For more information and requirements, please see the attachment below:



11/14/2014 - Chinese 10-Year Multi Entry Visas

China has recently started the automatic issuance of 10-year, multi entry visas. Here is some important information for you to have:

 

Eligibility. This agreement applies to:

-            - US passport holders only.  At the current time, the New York City Consulate is still issuing 6 month, double entry visas to non-US passport holders

-          - Applicants that have at least 1 year validity remaining on their passport.  If a traveler has less than 1 ear validity, a 6 month visa will be issued

-             - To both tourist and business visas

 

Application process. At this time:

-             - All visa requirements (application, business letter and invitation letter) remain the same

-             - All consular fees and processing times remain the same.

         - All eligible applicants will be automatically issued a 10-year visa, no matter what their application requests.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions, and I will do my best to answer them. For more information, please contact Visa Service, Inc. at info@visaserviceboston.com or call us at 617-266-7646


Photo: Great Wall of China

Photo Credit: Imperial Tours