FAQs

Working With CIBTvisas    Travel Visa FAQs    Passport FAQs    Australian ETA FAQs    Traveling with Children FAQs

Working With CIBTvisas

What are CIBTvisas's hours of operation?
CIBTvisas's processing offices are open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm in their respective time zone, Monday through Friday. Our National Customer Service Center is open from 7:30 am to 8:00 pm, Central Time, Monday through Friday.

How many offices does CIBTvisas have and where are they located?
CIBTvisas has processing offices in the following cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Our corporate headquarters is located in McLean, VA.

Can I refer travelers directly to CIBTvisas or do they have to go through our agency or travel department?
You may refer travelers directly to CIBTvisas for document processing or questions. However, it is important that your travelers know their CIBTvisas account number to ensure correct billing.

How do I know which CIBTvisas office to send my documents to for processing?
This is determined primarily by consular jurisdiction, which is usually dependent on the state in which a traveler resides. Some consulates have strict enforcement of jurisdiction and some don't have any jurisdictional limits. Sometimes choosing a processing city can even depend on holidays or when certain consulate personnel go on vacation. In order to prevent delays by having your documents sent to the wrong city, contact CIBTvisas's National Customer Service Center first for the specific CIBTvisas processing city.

How long will it take CIBTvisas to process my travel visa or passport?
The speed to process a travel visa or passport varies depending upon the issuing embassy or government agency.  CIBTvisas can process travel visas and passport services in as little as a day.  Go to the Visas or Passports section to determine the processing time for your specific service.

How long will it take to receive my application kit after contacting the Customer Care Center?
Most visa and passport requirements are sent within 30 minutes from the time our representative is contacted and has received all relevant information. In some cases, research can take longer and is dependent upon how quickly we are able to obtain these requirements from the consulate or embassy.

What is the easiest way to check on the status of my document?
Please use the Order Status option found on the CIBTvisas website. You may also contact CIBTvisas's Customer Care Center by email at customerservice@cibtvisas.com or call 800-929-2428.

Why do I need to know my account number when contacting CIBTvisas’s Customer Care Center?
Having your designated CIBTvisas account number available when you contact the CIBTvisas Customer Care Center makes it easier for CIBTvisas Visa and Passport Specialists to find your account information and provide you with the assistance that you need.  If you do not have your account number available, our specialists can research it for you though it is highly recommended that you have this information ready before you contact us.

Why does CIBTvisas ask for two dates when submitting my passport order?
We ask for two dates to ensure that your passport will be returned to you in time for your trip.  It is best practice to have your passport back in your possession prior to your departure date to avoid risking your trip due to incomplete travel documentation.  Please note that processing timeframes and fees are based on the date the passport must be back in your possession.

What are CIBTvisas's fee components?
The cost of using CIBTvisas varies based on the services you have requested and how quickly you need the documentation to be processed.  The fees established by CIBTvisas are in place to facilitate and maintain the highest quality of travel visa and passport processing possible.  CIBTvisas services fees are comprised of five major components: government agency and consular fees, CIBTvisas base service fees, rush surcharges, delivery charges, and foreign national surcharges. 

What forms of payment does CIBTvisas accept?
CIBTvisas accepts payment by most major credit cards including:

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

How can I get a copy of an invoice for my expense report?
Please use the Order Status option found on the CIBTvisas website. You can view, print or download a copy of you invoice.  You can get a copy of an invoice by contacting CIBTvisas's Customer Care Center by email at customerservice@cibtvisas.com or call 800-929-2428. 

CIBTvisas wants a credit card number to bill me. Can I be invoiced instead?
CIBTvisas follows travel industry trends of requiring a valid form of payment before fulfillment of your request. Providing a credit card number is the easiest and fastest way of doing so. It also helps us keep our administrative costs to a minimum. If you would prefer not to use your personal credit card, CIBTvisas also accepts corporate purchasing cards for most services.

Do I actually have to sign passport and visa applications?
Yes, you must sign your passport and visa applications.  Your signature is acknowledging that all the information appearing on the application is true and correct.

Does CIBTvisas offer training?
CIBTvisas offers several levels of training for our corporate clients depending on their specific needs. You may contact any CIBTvisas Account Manager by emailing email acctmgmt@cibtvisas.com for further information regarding our client training services.

My company has moved, and the main contact name has changed. Who can I contact at CIBTvisas to give updated information?
Contact acctmgmt@cibtvisas.com, give your account number with any updated information, and it will be added to your account profile.

What are the benefits of using CIBTvisas as opposed to going directly to the consulate or US Passport Agency?
Getting a visa can be a very complicated process and CIBTvisas has the expertise to know precisely what is required to get you the document you need. Visiting a consulate or government agency often means standing in long lines or having to deal with limited hours of operation.  In addition, our liaisons maintain close relationships with government employees and consular staff enabling us to process last minute requests that you may not be able to accomplish on your own.

How can I get the latest news on changes to visa and passport processing requirements?
CIBTvisas's Weekly Update provides up-to-date information on consulate processing announcements and closings, changes from the US Passport Agency, and other important CIBTvisas announcements. Contact acctmgmt@cibtvisas.com with your CIBTvisas account number, account name, and personal contact information to be added to the distribution list.

Can CIBTvisas help with authenticating and legalizing documents for use abroad?
Yes, official documents that are produced in the US usually are not valid in other countries until they have been authenticated by the US Government and legalized by the embassy of the destination country. CIBTvisas offers a full line of document legalization services.  Visit our Legalizations page to learn more.

Will my US driver's license be valid if I want to drive while traveling abroad?
In some countries a US driver's license is valid however, CIBTvisas strongly recommends that you obtain an International Driving Permit to prepare for your trip.  IDP's are often required when renting a car, even when it is not required to drive private automobiles. Visit our Service Directory to learn how CIBTvisas can obtain an IDP for you.

Travel Visa FAQs

What is a travel visa?
A travel visa is a document issued by a foreign country that provides permission for you to gain entry into that country.  It is your responsibility to determine whether or not a travel visa is required for your upcoming trip.  To see the travel visa requirements for a specific destination go to Visa Quick Check.    

What is required to apply for a travel visa?
While the specific requirements vary, most countries require that you submit recent photographs, complete an application form, and submit your actual passport.  Your passport is required as the visa, if issued, is affixed to a blank visa page in your passport.  Other documents can also be required such as a detailed travel itinerary, health information, and invitation letters.  Frequent changes to visa requirements and regulations cause research for international travel itineraries to be a confusing and time-consuming process. CIBTvisas alleviates the confusion for customers and clients by maintaining a proprietary database that has the most up-to-date travel visa requirements for over 200 countries. 

How does CIBTvisas obtain a travel visa for me?
CIBTvisas obtains travel visas by submitting a completed travel visa application, and other required documents, to embassies or consulates on your behalf. This eliminates the need for you to visit, communicate, and correspond directly with the embassy or consulate of your destination country.  To see the travel visa requirements for a specific destination go to Visa Quick Check

Is my passport required to obtain a travel visa?
For the majority of countries, a travel visa is stamped on, or affixed to, a travel visa page inside a passport. However, there are a few exceptions. To see the travel visa requirements for a specific destination go to Visa Quick Check.

Do nationals of countries other than the United States need a travel visa?
CIBTvisas provides visa requirements for travelers of many nationalities. No matter what type of passport you hold, CIBTvisas can provide detailed visa information for most destinations.  To see the travel visa requirements for a specific nationality and country go to Visas and start a search today.

How long will it take CIBTvisas to process my travel visa?
The speed to process a travel visa varies for each destination country.  CIBTvisas can process travel visas for many destinations in as little as a day.  Go to Visas and select your country of travel to determine the travel visa processing time.

Can CIBTvisas obtain additional documents required to apply for my travel visa, such as a Russian Invitation?
Russian Invitations are documents approved by the Foreign Ministry of Russia.  These documents authorize you to visit their country and are required for all travelers.  CIBTvisas is able to acquire invitations for travel to Russia on your behalf.  Go to Russian Invitations to learn more.

Can I fax passport copies and completed applications to CIBTvisas for issuance of a travel visa?
For the majority of countries, an original passport and application with your signature must be submitted in order to apply for a travel visa.  However, there are a few exceptions. Go to Visas to see the travel visa requirements for your specific destination.

Does the photo in my passport count as one passport photo? Can I submit digitally produced passport photographs?
The photographs submitted with a travel visa application must adhere to specific requirements regarding the size, background color, and type of paper on which the photo is printed.  The standard size is a 2” high x 2” wide photo taken of yourself within the last month.  Please be aware that any attempts to use digital photos must adhere to standard passport photo requirements (color, plain background) and be printed on correct photo quality paper.  Go to Passports to see the photo requirements for your passport application.

Do I need a visa to transit through a country?
Many countries do not require a visa if you are in-transit to another destination and are staying for a very short period of time however, specific transit requirements vary widely from country to country.  Visit our Visas section to view the transit requirements for your destination.

What is an On Arrival Visa?
Some countries only issue visas once you arrive in the country.  Visit our Visas section to download a CIBTvisas Application Kit and learn the entry requirements for your country of destination.

What does Personal Appearance mean?
Some consulates require you to appear in person at the consulate to apply for your visa. This may be done just to verify your identity or conduct a formal interview. In these cases, you must submit your visa application directly to the consulate.  CIBTvisas can collect your completed visa from the consulate however, we cannot submit your order on your behalf.

What is a Schengen visa?
The Schengen visa gets its name from a small town in Luxembourg where a treaty was signed in 1995 to end internal border checkpoints and controls. The following European countries currently honor this visa:

 Austria
Belgium
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
The Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland  

With a Schengen visa, you may enter one country and travel freely throughout the Schengen zone. This type of visa only applies to nationalities that would normally be required to obtain a visa prior to entering the countries above. Typically, US citizens would not need to apply for a Schengen visa.  If you would like to apply for a Schengen visa, you should apply for a visa for the country in which you will stay the longest.  If you do not have a main destination, you should apply for a visa for the country that will be your first point of entry.

What is consular jurisdiction and how does it affect my visa processing?
Consular jurisdiction is the geographic area for which a consulate has responsibility for issuing visas. Jurisdictional requirements are determined by each country and frequently vary.  Some consulates have strict enforcement of jurisdiction while other consulates are flexible with their jurisdictional requirements.  Your visa processing options are determined by the jurisdictional requirements in place for the consulate that will issue your visa.

Can CIBTvisas guarantee that the embassy or consulate will issue my visa?
CIBTvisas cannot guarantee that a visa will be issued by the embassy or consulate you have submitted your documents to.   While it does not happen frequently, any embassy or consulate can decide not to issue a visa at any time.  In the event that you are not issued a visa, CIBTvisas will contact you to discuss next steps for your application process.

Has CIBTvisas received my documentation yet?
To track the status of your order, go to Order Status where you can get up-to-date information on your order.  You can track your order by using either the CIBTvisas order number and traveler’s last name or the traveler’s date of birth and last name.  If you are the account manager for a CIBTvisas account, you can log in to your account to see all of the orders you are managing.    

What is included in the fees I pay to CIBTvisas for my travel visa?
The fees to process a travel visa include a consular fee and a CIBTvisas fee.  The consular fee is a fee charged by the country that is issuing the travel visa.   These charges must be paid to the consulate issuing the travel visa whether the visa is issued by CIBTvisas or not.  Please note that the consular fees are subject to change without advance notice at any time by various governments.  The cost of using CIBTvisas varies based on the services you have requested and how quickly you need the documentation to be processed.  The fees established by CIBTvisas are in place to facilitate and maintain the highest quality of travel visa and passport processing possible.  CIBTvisas service fees and consular fees charged by the country issuing the travel visa will be clearly listed in the CIBTvisas Application Kit.  Go to Visas to see the travel visa requirements for your specific destination.

When does CIBTvisas apply 'rush' and 'emergency' fee surcharges for visa processing?
CIBTvisas applies the 'rush' surcharge when provided 4-7 business days for processing after we receive your completed application. The 'emergency' surcharge applies when CIBTvisas is given 3 business days or less for processing after we receive your completed application.  Standard processing applies to all orders that are given 8 days or more to be processed. Please refer to your visa application kit for the latest information regarding processing times, as certain clients have longer processing timeframes due to the nature of their travel.

What forms of payment does CIBTvisas accept?
CIBTvisas accepts payment by most major credit cards including:

American Express, Discover, Master Card, Visa

Am I required to receive vaccinations for international travel?
Some countries require you to show proof of vaccination for certain diseases in order to apply for a visa.   Any vaccinations required to obtain a visa will be clearly listed in the CIBTvisas Application Kit.  However, additional vaccinations may be recommended for you.  To determine if vaccinations are recommended for your travel itinerary, please contact your local physician or consult Immunizations.

Where can I find the latest travel warnings?
The United States Department of State has the latest information on Travel Warnings and Tips for Traveling Abroad for American citizens.

I lost my US Green Card and cannot complete my visa requirements. How can I obtain a new one?
Visit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website to learn how to obtain a replacement for your US Green Card.

Passport FAQs

What is a passport?
A passport is a travel document that serves as the ultimate form of proof for your citizenship. Every country issues passports to citizens of that country.  US passports are issued by the United States Department of State.  

Do I need a US passport?
American citizens require passports to exit and enter the US and all other countries in the world. It is your responsibility to carry the correct identification while traveling abroad.

How does CIBTvisas obtain a US passport for me?
CIBTvisas provides passport services for US citizens by submitting proper documentation on your behalf to the United States Department of State.  This eliminates the need for you to visit, communicate, and correspond directly with the Department of State. CIBTvisas also provides a full line of passport services including First Time Passports, Passport Renewals, Additional Pages, Child’s Passports, and Passport Name Change services for US passport holders.  Please go to the Passports section of our website to see the full range of passport services CIBTvisas provides. 

How long is my US passport valid?
If your US passport was issued when you were 16 years old or older, your passport is valid for 10 years. If your US passport was issued when you were 15 years old or younger, your passport is valid for 5 years.

I need to visit a Passport Acceptance Facility before I can submit my application to CIBTvisas.  Where can I find a Passport Acceptance Facility in my area?
Visit the United States Department of State Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page to find a Passport Acceptance Facility near you.

When applying for a US passport renewal, will my old passport be returned to me?
Yes, your old US passport will be returned unless it is deemed to be damaged by the United States Department of State. The passport will clearly indicate that it is invalid and it is important that you advise whether any valid visas remain in the passport before applying for it to be renewed.

How long must my passport be valid for international travel?
Most countries require that a passport be valid for at least six months beyond the completion of a trip. If your passport expires sooner than that, you must apply to renew your passport.  Please view the Visas section to determine how long a passport must be valid for each specific country of travel. In the event that your passport is set to expire, CIBTvisas can assist you. Please visit Renew Passport for details.

Can CIBTvisas obtain additional passport pages for my US passport?
Yes.  CIBTvisas can obtain additional pages for your US passport.  Please visit Additional Pages for details.

How many blank passport pages do I need to meet entrance requirements and what is considered a 'blank' passport page?
Passports must have enough blank pages to accommodate entry and exit immigration stamps for each country of travel. At least one visa page in your passport is required for each visa. Most travel visas that are stamped into your passport require an entire blank visa page. A 'blank' visa page must be clean, clear, and not show ink or stains from any other pages in the passport. 

I got married or divorced recently and have changed my name. Can CIBTvisas help me change my name on my US passport?
With proper documentation, you are able to change the name listed in your US passport.  CIBTvisas can assist you with this process by submitting the necessary documents on your behalf.  Please go to Passport Name Change for details. 

Can CIBTvisas replace my lost or stolen US passport?
With correct documentation, CIBTvisas can replace your lost or stolen US passport in as little as a day. Please go to Lost or Stolen Passport for details. 

Do my children require US passports?
Yes. Each individual citizen, including infants, must possess his or her own passport. You are not allowed to represent other members of the family inside your passport. CIBTvisas can assist you if you need to get a new child passport or if you need to renew a child’s passport.  Visit Child's Passport to learn about passport requirements for children.

How old must my children be to apply for a Child Passport?
Your children must be 15 years old or younger to apply for a child passport.  Visit Child's Passport to learn about passport requirements for children.

Can CIBTvisas help me obtain a passport if I am not a US citizen?
CIBTvisas can assist with all passport services for Australian, British, Indian, Irish, and Israeli citizens residing in the United States and in possession of a valid US Green Card.  Visit Foreign National Passports to get a Passport Application Kit.  If you are a foreign national residing in the US from another country, please visit your country’s nearest embassy or consulate for further details regarding passport services.

What is a passport submission appointment and why is it necessary?
A passport submission appointment is required for all passport services.  If you need a service in less than 3 weeks, you must call the CIBTvisas Customer Care Center at 800-929-2428 to schedule your appointment with a CIBTvisas Visa and Passport Specialist.  For passport services with a processing time of 3 weeks or longer, a passport submission appointment is made once your completed application is received by the CIBTvisas office location designated in your Passport Application Kit.

What is a passport authorization letter?
A passport authorization letter is a letter that authorizes CIBTvisas to act as your representative when submitting your passport application.  The United States Passport Agency requires that you sign this letter before they will release your new or updated passport to us once your order is complete.

Can I use a photocopy of a United States Department of State Passport Application Form?
No. You can only submit original copies of these forms.  You can find instructions for downloading and printing the US Department of State Passport Application Forms in our CIBTvisas Application Kits.  Go to Passports to get a CIBTvisas Application Kit.

Can I fax my completed forms to CIBTvisas?
No, you must submit original copies of all documents and order forms to CIBTvisas for processing.

How long will it take CIBTvisas take to process my passport?
CIBTvisas can process your passport in as little as one day.  Each passport service supports a variety of processing times to meet your specific travel needs.  Visit the Passports section, select your service and determine the best processing time for your order.

When does CIBTvisas apply 'rush' and 'emergency' fee surcharges for passport processing?
CIBTvisas applies the 'rush' surcharge when provided 4-10 business days for processing after we receive your completed application. The 'emergency' surcharge applies when CIBTvisas is given 3 business days or less for processing after we receive your completed application.  Standard processing applies to all orders that are given 11 days or longer to be processed.

What forms of payment does CIBTvisas accept?
CIBTvisas accepts payment by most major credit cards including:

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

What mailing method does CIBTvisas recommend for submitting my completed CIBTvisas Passport Application Kit?
CIBTvisas recommends using FedEx, UPS, or other traceable methods of delivery when submitting your completed CIBTvisas Application Kit.

Australian ETA FAQs

What is an Australian ETA?
An Australian ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) is the electronic equivalent of an Australian visa which is issued by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship of Australia (DIAC).  An Australian ETA authorises access to travellers residing outside of Australia without providing a stamp in your passport. To get your instant Australian ETA, go to the Australian ETA section of our website.

Are there different types of an Australian ETA?
Yes, there are 2 different types of Australian ETA.  There is a Tourist ETA and a Business ETA.  The Tourist ETA applies for travel for tourism only. Tourism includes holidays, recreation and visiting family and/or friends. It is valid for 1 year for multiple journeys of up to 3 months.  The Business ETA applies to business purposes only. Business purposes may include attending a conference, negotiation or an exploratory business visit. It is valid for 1 year for multiple journeys of up to 3 months.  To get your instant Australian ETA, go to the Australian ETA section of our website.

Who is eligible for an Australian ETA?
To be eligible for an Australian ETA, you must reside outside of Australia and hold a passport from an approved country.

Countries approved for an Australian ETA are:

 Andorra                                 Malaysia

Austria                                   Malta

Belgium                                  Monaco

Brunei                                   The Netherlands

Canada                                  Norway

Denmark                                Portugal

Finland                                  Republic of San Marino

France                                  Singapore

Germany                               South Korea

Greece                                 Spain

Hong Kong (SAR)*                 Sweden

Iceland                                 Switzerland

Ireland                                 Taiwan**

Italy                                    United Kingdom - British Citizen

Japan                                  United Kingdom - British National (Overseas)

Liechtenstein                       United States of America

Luxembourg                        Vatican City 

* A Hong Kong Document of Identity (HKDI) cannot be used to apply for an ETA. Residents of Hong Kong require a citizen passport to apply for this visa.

** Holders of Taiwan passports can only be processed for an ETA if residing and applying in Taiwan. Applications can be lodged with an approved ETA Travel Agent in the Taiwan or Australian Visa Services office in Taipei.

You are only eligible to apply for an Australian ETA if you reside outside of Australia.  If you do not meet ETA eligibility qualifications, please visit the Visa section of our website to determine your specific travel visa requirements for Australia.

Why is there no visa label in my passport?
The Australian Government introduced an electronic visa system so that travelers no longer needed to submit their passports to an Australian Embassy. The system operates through the worldwide flight information system that is accessed by all airlines and cruise companies. After your Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa has been issued the visa exists only in this system.

Do I need a ticket before I apply for an ETA?
No. You do not need to arrange your flight to Australia before applying for an ETA.

How long will it take for my visa to be processed?
In most cases, ETA visa applications will be processed instantly. However, processing may be delayed if you enter incorrect information, if you have a criminal conviction or if your application is referred.  It is also important to note that Business Long-Validity ETAs generally take up to 2 days to be processed.

How does CIBTvisas obtain an Australian ETA?
CIBTvisas provides Australian ETA services for US citizens by submitting proper documentation on your behalf to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship of Australia (DIAC).  CIBTvisas simplifies the application process by eliminating the need for you to visit, communicate, and correspond directly with the DIAC. To get your instant Australian ETA go to Australian ETA.

Traveling with Children FAQs

Are children and infants required to carry their own US passport?
Each US citizen under the age of 16 must possess their own passport in order to travel internationally by air.  You are not allowed to represent other members of your family inside your passport. Infants must now possess their own passport. Please go to Child's Passport for details.

Can CIBTvisas obtain a child passport for my child?
CIBTvisas provides passport services for child passports by submitting proper documentation on your child’s behalf to the United States Department of State. This eliminates the need for you to visit, communicate, and correspond directly with the Department of State. Please go to Child's Passport for details. If you are not a US citizen, please consult your home country's local consular office for child passport details.

How old must my child be to qualify for a child passport?
To qualify for a child passport, your child must be 15 years old or younger and recognized as a US citizen.  For more information, please visit Child's Passport.

How long will it take CIBTvisas to process my child’s passport?
CIBTvisas can process your child’s passport in as little as one day.  Our Child Passport service supports a variety of processing times to meet your specific travel needs.  Please go to Child's Passport to determine the best processing time for your child’s passport order.

How long is my child’s passport valid?
A passport issued to a child 15 years old or younger is valid for 5 years from the date of issuance.  All passports issued to individuals over the age of 16 are valid for 10 years from the date of issuance.  Please go to Child's Passport for details.

Do my children need travel visas?
Travel visa requirements are the same for all travelers, regardless of age. Please visit our Visas section for current, specific travel visa requirements for your children.

My spouse and I are divorced.  Do our children have to meet special passport requirements since we are no longer married?
The passport application requirements for children of divorced parents vary depending upon the details outlined in the custody arrangement.  As a result, each application may be subject to different processing requirements.  To obtain more information regarding your specific parental responsibility requirements, please contact a CIBTvisas travel visa and passport specialist for details at customerservice@cibtvisas.com

What are the passport requirements for children who reside with guardians other than their natural parents?
There are additional legal requirements for children who are in the care of, or are placed with, foster parents or legal guardians.  All children 15 years old or younger must have an adult sign their child passport application, regardless of circumstance. Please contact a CIBTvisas travel visa and passport specialist for details regarding specific guardianship information at customerservice@cibtvisas.com.