The Travisa Connection
 
January 2016
Travisa Updates, Announcements and Reminders...
ESTA Update

Citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries who are residents of Syria, Iran, Iraq and Sudan - or with limited exception who have visited these countries since March 1, 2011, are no longer eligible for the ESTA. You will need to apply for a visa.

Reminder

Canada introduced a new entry requirement in July that will be mandatory as of March 15, 2016, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to Canada. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travelers who already hold a valid Canadian visa.

Travisa started processing Canada eTA's in August and has seen much success thus far. We recommend that you apply for your eTA now, as processing times my change once there is a higher volume.
 
Consulate and Embassy Closings
Chicago

Bulgaria
: Thursday March 3rd, Friday March 4th
Indonesia : Wednesday March 9th
Ireland : Thursday February 25th, Thursday March 17th
Korea (South) : Tuesday March 1st
Lithuania : Friday March 11th
Philippines : Thursday February 25th
Thailand : Monday February 22nd

Houston

Indonesia
: Wednesday March 9th
Russia : Tuesday February 23rd

London

Bangladesh
: Thursday March 17th
Ireland : Thursday March 17th
Myanmar : Wednesday March 2nd
Russia : Tuesday February 23rd, Tuesday March 8th
Uzbekistan : Tuesday March 8th

Los Angeles

Thailand
: Monday February 22nd
New York
Bulgaria : Thursday March 3rd, Friday March 4th
Indonesia : Wednesday March 9th
Nepal : Friday February 19th
Russia : Monday February 22nd, Tuesday February 23rd
Thailand : Monday February 22nd

Ottawa

Indonesia
: Wednesday March 9th
Nepal : Friday February 19th, Monday March 7th
Philippines : Thursday February 25th
Russia : Monday February 22nd
Thailand : Monday February 22nd

San Francisco

Ireland
: Thursday March 17th
Peru : Friday March 18th
Russia : Monday February 22nd, Tuesday February 23rd, Monday March 7th, Tuesday March 8th
USA : Thursday March 3rd

Toronto

Korea (South)
: Tuesday March 1st
Philippines : Thursday February 25th
Thailand : Monday February 22nd

Washington

Australia
: Monday March 14th
Bangladesh : Thursday March 17th
Brunei Darussalam : Tue February 23rd
Bulgaria : Thursday March 3rd, Friday March 4th
Indonesia : Wednesday March 9th
Ireland : Thursday March 17th
Latvia : Friday March 11th
Lesotho : Friday March 11th
Nepal : Friday February 19th
Russia : Monday February 22nd, Tuesday February 23rd, Monday March 7th, Tuesday March 8th

Featured Article:Renew your Passport soon!

If you are a follower of any news outlet or travel website you have seen the "Renew your Passport Now" articles. And, if you are anything like me, you scanned the headline and made a mental note to read it later...but there it sits, book marked and unread!

Well I am telling you from one lazy news reader to the next this is some important information! Especially if you are planning on traveling in 2016 and have a nearly expired passport - so don't bookmark me for later, I will make this fast and to the point!

Ten years ago new travel rules went into effect and travelers to places like Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean were required to get passports. 18 million passports were issued in 2006. Well, passports have a 10 year expiration cycle, so the delays and trip postponements felt in 2006 will be felt this year as the passport agencies get a landslide of renewals! Don't think this will affect you? Keep in mind your passport needs to have a window of 6 plus months before it expires if you are traveling. So if you are traveling this year, and your passport is about to expire, you must apply sooner rather than later! And don't think this is something you can squeak by on:

"The State department has experienced an increase in frantic calls from Americans who were denied entry at foreign airports and borders because their passports had less than six months to go."

To add to the uptick in passport applications, the State department has already reported an increase in application from states who's ID's do not comply with the Real ID act, even though restrictions don't go into effect until 2018.

The state department is predicting millions of new Passport or Passport renewal applications. They are also expecting a six week wait time on Passport renewal applications. Summer is high season for the passport agencies, so now is your time to avoid delays in your passport renewal or your first time application!


Happy Travels,
Morgan Eslick 
Administrative Assistant
Travisa Passport and Visa Service 

Conde Nast Traveler
Where to Find the Best Wines in the World!


Tasmania | Pinot Noir

One of Australia's fastest-growing wine regions, you won't find any big, bold shiraz on cool-climate Tasmania. Instead, the island is gaining attention for its sparkling wine, chardonnay, riesling and, surprisingly, pinot noir. In fact, Tasmanian pinot is increasingly being exported and found on savvy wine lists, like at Public in New York City. In warmer years, pinot here can be elegant, pleasant, and lively with red berry and spice flavors, with Domaine A, Dalrymple and Josef Chromy leading the pack.

Canary Islands | Tinto Tradicional

If you want to feel like you're on a different planet, visit the windswept vineyards of this Spanish archipelago off the coast of Morocco. The winds are so bad, in fact, that the local farmers craft walls from the volcanic soils to protect their precious cachet of vines, to delicious effect. The region's output-particularly blends of native red grapes listán negro and negramoll grown near Tenerife-has translated into more wines making it into the U.S. These wines are generally bold, earthy, and inky, with smooth black fruit (think plum) and a hint of salinity. Bodega Tajinaste and Suertes del Marqués are worth noting, and are increasingly stocked in the best wine shops.  

Click to read more!   



Corporate Accounts and Travel Industry

 

Find out the benefit of opening a Corporate Account with Travisa, and find out how your organization can increase its profits by offering passport & visa services.