Passport & Visa Information

We all need to have our travel documents current when traveling abroad. Since 9/11 global customs and passport control officers have taken their duites more seriously. To avoid delays, and even worse, detainment, you need to have all necessary passports and visas current.

In addition, make sure that you keep the documents in a safe place while travelling. I learned the hard way, as back in 1981, someone stole my passport from my shirt pocket while I swam in the glorious Mediterranean Sea. I had to get a new passport picture and fill out a gazillion forms at the U.S. Embassy. Now when I travel, I carry my passport in a 4″ wide cumberbund-like pouch under my shirt. My wife, Lida, uses a neck pouch.

In addition to my passport, I also carry in the pouch an emergency information sheet that lists my medical insurance number, blood type, passport number, names and phone numbers of friends back home and in the country that I visit, as well as names and passport numbers of traveling companions.

You can find the latest U.S.A. passport and visa information at U.S. Department of State Passport Services.

Each country has its own entry and exit visa requirements. Some countries require that you obtain a physical visa before entering their country. Other countries upon entry, just stamp your passport with a temporary visa. You need to verify visa conditions with a country’s consulate office.

For example, for Israel you don’t need a special visa ahead of time, but for Egypt you do. Likewise, for Costa Rica you don’t need a visa in advance, but for Brazil you do.

However, you need to note the following disclaimer, “IMPORTANT: THIS LISTING IS PREPARED FROM INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM FOREIGN EMBASSIES PRIOR TO JUNE 2003. THIS INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. CHECK ENTRY REQUIREMENTS WITH THE CONSULAR OFFICIALS OF THE COUNTRIES TO BE VISITED WELL IN ADVANCE.”