Home: US Visas

US Visas and Passport Requirements!
Important Travel Information To Orlando!

US Visas, passport applications, heightened homeland security! There's so much to think about when planning your family's holiday in the sun. Here are our family's tips to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Getting organised to get your own passport is a challenge. Arranging passport applications for a family of 10 is an Olympic event! We've found that the most important part of getting a passport is to get it early. There's nothing more stressful than watching the date of your Orlando vacation approach when you don't have your passport in hand.

Organising Your Family's Passports:

Start making arrangements for your passport (or to make your US visa application if required) as soon as possible. We like to do it at least three months ahead of time-or more. Remember, during high seasons, such as summer, Christmas and Easter, more passport applications have to be processed. Make sure you get your passport application in as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Here's what you'll need to get your passport:

  • Passport application forms

  • Passport photo

  • Your local Passport office

  • Passport Fee (Subject to own countries guidelines)

US Visas:

US visas are not required for the residents of many countries to visit the US. However, even when you don't need US visas, you do require a passport. In fact, each member of your family will need a passport, complete with a regulation passport photo. If you'd like to learn more about American visas or making your visa application, this US government site can help. US Visas

When Visas Are Not Required:

Currently there are 38 (Nov 2016) countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program. If you live in one, your family does not need US visas. However, visa waiver travellers from ALL 38 Visa Waiver Program countries must present either

  • a machine-readable passport at the U.S. port of entry to enter the US without a visa, or

  • a US visa.

Since January 12, 2009, all nationals and citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries will be required by law to obtain a travel authorization prior to initiating travel to the United States under the VWP.

This authorization may be obtained online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a free Internet application administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through a U.S. government Web site. This service takes up to 72hrs for approvel and costs $14 (Jan 2016) also available in 23 languages.

Laws and regulations surrounding US visas are often updated. Take a look at this helpful information site. All Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travellers, regardless of age or type of passport used, must present machine-readable passports. There used to be one-time exemptions if it was your first time as a VWP traveller and you didn't have a machine-readable passport, but that time is over. The exemption program ended in June 2005. In addition, depending on when your passport was issued, other passport requirements will apply:

Still have questions about your passport application, US visas or your visa application? The following sites may be helpful:

US Department of State.

Embassies & Consulates of the World.

The UK Passport service.

Video explaining United States Visa

US Immigration:
Green Cards, Visas, U.S. Citizenship and Passport applications. Download Immigration Forms. Locate United States Embassies, Consulates and USCIS(INS) offices.

Homeland Security - What Does it Mean for You?

As we all know, 9-11 changed the way the United States and the rest of the world look upon internal security. When arriving in Orlando, you will see the difference homeland security has made from the moment you leave your plane right through to Customs & Immigration.

Our family has discussed the issue of increased security and we agree that although it can be irritating, our safety is worth the extra hassle. Yes, your wait is longer due to the photographing and finger printing carried out on each person. But it's a small sacrifice when these kinds of activities are keeping us safe.

Tips for dealing with increased homeland security:

  • Plan to be held up in customs so you aren't feeling rushed.

  • Remember that homeland security measures protect your family.

  • Obey the instructions you are given by the immigration officers.

  • Keep smiling. Security and immigration officers are just people doing their jobs.

  • Think about the reasons you have come to Orlando rather than getting upset. Before you know it, you'll be jumping into that 75°F swimming pool at your hotel or villa without a care in the world!

  • Here's a helpful link on playing it safe on holiday or vacation.

Quick reminder:

  1. Check expiry dates on existing passports (remember six months remaining at departure date to Orlando).

  2. Are US visas required? If not sure, ask your local post office, travel agents or passport offices.

  3. Listen to the Custom & Immigration people at Orlando & Sanford airports. They are there to help & assist.

We hope our personal recommendations, hints and tips help you and your family have the best Orlando vacation possible. Please tell your family and friends about us so they can take advantage of our experiences as well.

Just like your local paperboy

We will keep updating our site via our RSS feed. Simply click onto the RSS feed above and follow the instructions. It's an easy way to stay on top of what's happening in & around Orlando, free of charge, including updates on US Visas and passport information

[?] Subscribe To This Site

follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines

US passports, only $99.  Same Day Service