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May 15, 2014

Consular Updates

India Announcement:

The Indian government is transitioning to a new outsourcing service this week; new applications will not be processed until after May 21st. Travisa will continue to accept applications for review and preparation during this time. We anticipate significant delays during this transition period, and recommend that you send Indian visa applications to Travisa as early as possible.

Brazil Notice:


Several Brazilian Consulates are currently experiencing delays in visa processing, in part due to high volume of applications for attendees of the FIFA World Cup this summer. In some cases, an appointment is required (Travisa can set the appointment) in order for processing to begin. Consulates may prioritize applications based on departure date, and therefore processing time may be unpredictable. If planning travel to other countries prior to visiting Brazil, please contact Travisa for advice on planning.

Schengen Visa Notice:

Schengen Consulates will now require a personal appearance for biometric information to be taken as part of the visa application process.  Read more below...


Weekly Feature - Effective May 15th, 2014, all Schengen Consulates in North America will introduce biometric visas with fingerprints


The Schengen Area is the area comprising 26 European countries that have abolished passport or any other type of border control in-between their common borders. It functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. The Area is named after the Schengen Agreement. Twenty-two of the twenty-eight European Union (EU) member states and all four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states participate in the Schengen Area. Of the six EU members that do not form part of the Schengen Area, four - Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania - are legally obliged to join the area, while the other two - Ireland and the United Kingdom - maintain opt-outs. According to the Department of State "If you are a qualified visitor for tourism or business with a valid U.S. passport, you can apply to enter the area without a visa for a period of 90 days within each 180 day period."

Countries in the Schengen Area have eliminated internal border controls with the other Schengen members, and strengthened external border controls with non-Schengen states.  That being said, the EU has been developing large-scale IT systems for collecting, processing and sharing information relevant to external border management; better known as the VIS, or The Visa Information System.

VIS connects consulates in non-EU countries and all external border crossing points of Schengen States. It processes data and decisions relating to applications for short-stay visas to visit, or to transit through, the Schengen Area. The system can perform biometric matching, primarily of fingerprints, for identification and verification purposes.

What does this mean for Travisa customers?  

In order to apply for a Schengen visa, all applicants (over the age of 12) will be required to go in person and provide biometric data (10-digit finger scans and digital photograph) to the Visa Information System (VIS).  Anyone applying for a new Schengen visa after this date will need to go to the Consulate in person to apply.  However, frequent travelers to the Schengen Area do not have to submit biometric information every time they apply for a new visa. Once this process has been done the biometric information is valid for new visa applications for 5 years.  

Keep in mind this VIS requirement is in addition to the other passport or visa requirements already implemented for travel to the Schengen Area, including:

  • A U.S. passport (with applicable visas, if needed), valid for at least 90 days beyond your intended date of departure from the Schengen area.
  • A justifiable reason for your travel.
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources to support yourself during your stay.
  • Compliance with any other entry requirements for each country you will visit or transit.  

Biometric Scanning is a simple and discreet procedure that only takes a few minutes. Biometric data, along with the data provided in the visa application form, is recorded in a secure central database.  Access to VIS data is limited to authorized staff working for visa, border, immigration and asylum authorities for the performance of their duties.  Each EU State must require a National Supervisory Authority to monitor the lawfulness of the processing of personal data by that country; adding a necessary and comforting level of security to your personal data.


Further information can be found on the European Commission website:

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/visa-information-system/index_en.htm

FIFA is going to Brazil!

In the Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12th the first of several exhilarating soccer matches will take place - don't miss your chance to see the World Cup in Brazil - Live! For Soccer Fans around the Globe, Brazil is offering Visas options specifically for World Cup Spectators that will be available through the duration of the event.  You can start and finish your application process with Travisa. Click here for the step by step instructions and information you will need to get your adventure on track!

Conde Nast Traveler: Airlines Boost Premium Economy on Long - Distance Flights

 
Premium economy options are on the rise this year, with Lufthansa, Hawaiian, and, rumor has it, even Singapore Air considering expanded offerings. All this could make long-distance flying a lot more bearable for those on a budget.

The game changer is Lufthansa's move to turn 10 percent of its long-distance capacity into premium economy, with the comfier seats going on sale next month for flights beginning in December. All the airline's wide body planes will have the seats by mid-2015 for overseas flights. With around 20 to 50 of these premium seats on each of Lufthansa's 100-plus long-distance aircraft, that means thousands of new chances to escape coach class hell.

But what exactly is premium economy?

Click here to find out!


Featured Sponsor

Great Features from Travisa

Visa Widget

Travisa Visa WidgetGive visitors to your website instant access to visa requirement information.  Travisa's complimentary Visa Widget allows travelers to choose their destination country, citizenship, and purpose of travel to see if a visa is required, with the added convenience of never leaving your site.  You can customize your Widget with a company logo or simply leave it the way it is.  Your account code can also be embedded within, ensuring that travelers will have access to correct pricing and account details.  We can even save a default destination and citizenship if your travelers have a common preference.  Adding the widget is easy.  Just visit the widget set-up page.  If you have any questions about how this can be of benefit to your travelers, you may also contact Travisa's Account Management Team for more assistance.


Smart Phone Apps


Have you ever been in a time crunch and not at your desk to check visa requirements for your upcoming international trip?  No problem!  Use Travisa's FREE App for Android or App for iPhone for easy access to visa and passport requirements on the go.  You can also e-mail the information directly from the App for easy retrieval at your convenience.

App for Android


Download Travisa's FREE App for Android.  You can also find us on the Android market (just look for Travisa Visa).  Passport and visa requirements and instructions are now available anywhere you are.  You can look for information and send travel document requirements via e-mail for easy, convenient retrieval later on.


App for iPhone and iPad

Travisa's App for iPhone
With the Travisa Visa App, you can download FREE App for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch!  You can also access detailed information on travel visa requirements for over 200 countries and passport services directly on your iPad, even when you do not have internet access.  The Travisa Visa App is great for frequent international travel managers, as well as individual travelers, who need to know country visa requirements fast.  Send your travel document requirements via email for easy, convenient retrieval later on, even in areas with no receptivity.

Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod touch, and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.  iPad is a trademark of Apple Inc.  App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

Consulate and Embassy Closings

Travisa Office Closings

  • All Travisa Offices in the US - Closed May 26th

Atlanta

  • Germany - Closed June 9th
  • Israel - Closed June 4th, June 5th
  • Nigeria - Closed May 29th

Boston

  • Germany - Closed June 9th
  • Italy - Closed June 2nd

Chicago

  • Australia - Closed June 9th
  • Austria - Closed May 20th, May 29th, June 6th
  • Germany - Closed June 9th

Houston

  • Germany - Closed June 9th
  • Indonesia - Closed May 15th, May 29th
  • Italy - Closed June 2nd

Los Angeles

  • Ethiopia - Closed May 28th
  • Finland - Closed May 29th
  • Germany - Closed June 9th
  • Indonesia - Closed May 15th
  • Israel - Closed June 5th, June 6th
  • Philippines - Closed June 12th

Miami

  • Germany - Closed June 6th
  • Italy - Closed June 2nd
  • Trinidad and Tobago - Closed May 30th

New York

  • Bangladesh - Closed June 12th
  • Germany - Closed June 9th
  • Indonesia - Closed May 15th, May 29th, May 30th
  • Sweden - Closed June 6th
  • Switzerland - Closed May 29th, June 9th
  • Trinidad and Tobago - Closed May 30th

Ottawa

  • Australia - Closed June 9th
  • Belgium - Closed May 29th, May 30th, June 9th
  • Germany - Closed May 29th
  • Guyana - Closed May 26th
  • Indonesia - Closed May 15th, May 27th, May 29th
  • Israel - Closed June 4th, June 5th
  • Italy - Closed June 2nd
  • Philippines - Closed June 12th
  • Switzerland - Closed May 29th, June 9th
  • Turkey - Closed May 20th

San Francisco

  • Indonesia - Closed May 15th
  • Italy - Closed June 2nd

Toronto

  • Cyprus - Closed June 9th
  • Germany - Closed June 9th
  • Indonesia - Closed May 15th, May 27th, May 29th
  • Italy - Closed June 2nd
  • Philippines - Closed June 12th

Washington

  • Australia - Closed June 9th
  • Austria - Closed May 27th, May 29th
  • Bangladesh - Closed June 12th
  • Congo Republic - Closed June 10th
  • Finland - Closed May 29th
  • Germany - Closed June 9th
  • Indonesia - Closed May 15th, May 27th, May 29th
  • Iran - Closed May 27th
  • Israel - Closed June 4th, June 5th
  • Lesotho - Closed May 29th
  • Philippines - Closed June 12th
  • Sweden - Closed June 6th
  • Yemen - Closed May 22nd

About Travisa

We are a privately-held company, headquartered in Washington, DC with other networked locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Puerto Rico, San Francisco, Ottawa, Toronto and London. Travisa has been the leader in the visa and passport industry for over 30 years. Our clients include corporations (of all sizes), travel management companies, cruise lines, non-profit organizations, tour operators, universities and individuals. Our clients and the embassies we serve count on us for our world class service, cutting edge technology and our commitment to the security of the documents we process.

Contact Us

For more information about how we can better serve your visa, passport and legalization needs, please contact our Account Management Team at accountmanagement@travisa.com. Or you can visit our website at www.travisa.com

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