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 CIBT to process my travel visa?
The speed to process a travel visa varies for each destination country.  CIBT 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 CIBT 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
Liechtenstein
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.

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.

Visa Pre-Check

Have an urgent visa application that carries a tight deadline?  CIBTvisas can help you to save valuable time and avoid expensive delays.  A CIBTvisas expert will review all of your documents to confirm your application is accurate, complete and ready for submission. We will contact you personally to quickly handle any mistakes ensuring your application is submitted correctly.

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Concierge Service

Too busy to manage your visa request?  A CIBTvisas Concierge Specialist will manage the entire process from start to finish, providing the expertise necessary to ensure your request is approved as quickly as possible.  Experience the convenience & certainty of the Concierge Service, our highest level of one to one, customized service.  

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Digital Photo Service

Need a fast, easy and inexpensive way to get a photo you can use for your passport or visa application? Use your own camera in the comfort of your home or office. Simply click and then upload your photo to our website. We will take care of the rest ensuring your photo meets government and consular requirements.

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