Travel Visas and Passports

Travel visas have turned out to be a bit more complicated than we thought.  Our biggest challenge has been the timing of when to submit our applications for the countries we'll be needing visas for.  For most countries, you cannot submit your visa application more than 90 days prior to entering the country.  The problem with this is that we will already be abroad when we will need to send in our passports for visas.  We were trying to figure out complicated plans like paying for same day service and use a courier via London.  The timing was still an issue, we don't plan on being in London for more than a week and some counties like Kenya or Brazil for example can take a week to process a visa.

The solution is that you can apply for a second passport.  We used a visa/passport expediter to help with this.  We just received our second passports today, which is a relief.  Now we will be able to send one passport in from wherever in the world while still having a passport in our possession.  Basically we will be "leap frogging" our passports throughout our travels getting different visas we will need 90 days out.  FedEx will be our friend. 

These are definitely the countries we need to apply for in advance:  Brazil, Kenya, Russia, China, India

There are many more that we would like to apply for now to minimize the headache of acquiring one in  customs:  Zambia, Tanzania, Egypt, Turkey, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia

The US department of State has a great website to explain all entry requirements to any country here.


Posted at 2:53 pm in

9 Responses to Travel Visas and Passports

  1. Tree says:

    When you are exiting a country, don’t they check the stamp you got when you entered the country? If you ship your passports out, you won’t have that stamp…

  2. Sammy T says:

    I too was wondering about the stamp on the passport? That’s the best part of the passport detail.

  3. Beau Wynja says:

    Yes, we thought of that as well. It’s definitely a timing thing. We will be using our first passports as our primary and use the new one as a secondary. Whenever we are using the secondary one, we will have both passports in our possession. For example, we will enter Argentina with our primary and when we are in Buenos Aires, we will send out our secondary passport to obtain the African countries visas. If the visas are ready, we will have it sent to our hotel in B.A. Worst case scenario, we will leave Argentina and go into Brazil with our primary. We will have the secondary sent to either our hotel Rio or Lisbon. We will carry both passports with us through Portugal, Spain and Morocco. Once down in Africa we will enter these countries with our secondary passport with the visas in it. I hope that made sense…

  4. stella says:

    I stumbled into this post and found it very helpful for people like me who are planning to travel soon. I hope you can also write about your experience with long distance rates on telephone calls while traveling, as I expect to be making a lot of telephone calls. Thanks!

  5. GapYearGeek says:

    I also stumbled across this post (been meaning to start reading this blog for ages) and am interested to know how you got your Russian visa.
    I would like to visit Russia and would have an invitation from a tour operator. However, I will have been overseas for 3 months before I receive said invitation and can apply for the visa. Additionally, the Russian embassy websites say that you need to apply within your own country of residence. Of course this is for a tourist visa.
    Perhaps you only required a transit visa?

  6. We ended up applying for a second passport. That way we could travel with one and send the other back to the USA to obtain the Russian Visa. We did all this through a passport service: VISAHQ.COM
    We’ve used them for everything without a hitch. If you’re not an American Citizen, I’m not sure if your country has the same type of system in place or not. Let us know if you have any other questions. Thanks for visiting our website.

  7. I’ve been to Brazil, Applying for a visa is problem too. It took me 4 months to have a visa in Brazil.

  8. Kitchen unit says:

    We will be using our first passports as our primary & use the new one as a secondary. Whenever they are using the secondary one, they will have both passports in our possession.

  9. Janika Tamm says:

    Getting a Kenyan tourist visa from border for 3 months is very easy, not a problem at all (when flying in).