Friday, January 18, 2013

How to Get a Visa in Southern California

The procedure of obtaining a visa in southern California is the same as it is everywhere in the United States. After all, when it comes to receiving a visa to travel abroad, where you are is not as important as where you go. Requirements be different by country; research the entry requirements of your destination will make your trip planning easier and save you from unnecessary work, because many countries do not require U.S. citizens to have a visa if they are tourists and the planned visit is less than 90 days.

The U.S. State Department has a database on its website ( with visa requirements for each country in the world, the U.S. embassy and consular offices, security information and medical conditions. Knowing the needs of the country is particularly important if you plan to enter the country as a tourist and plan to stay a while. The State Department's website includes a list of required vaccinations for each country as well.

You must have a valid U.S. passport. In general, your passport must be valid for the duration of your trip and have at least one or two blank pages. The exact requirements vary by country. For example, China requires that your passport does not expire for at least six months after your departure from China. Senegal requires that your passport be valid for three months after your departure from the country. In most cases, this is for your protection in case of unexpected and you have to stay longer in the country you are visiting.

Get a visa at the Embassy, Consulate or designated office in the country you are visiting. Most applications require you to provide your passport and a recent photo glued or stapled to the application. The specific information that must be included in the application includes your name, passport purpose of your stay and the duration of your stay.
Submit your application and the required fee, in agreement with the instructions of the embassies. Some embassies allow you to post requests for revision; others require that you submit your application in person.

Wait for your acceptance. Processing times vary embassies. The waiting time is as fast as four days for some countries or as long as two to four weeks for others.

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