FAQs

Travel Visa FAQs    Passport FAQs  Australian ETA FAQs

Travelling with Children FAQs

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.  Please go to the Visas section of our website to see the travel visa requirements for your specific destination.   

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 it 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. VisaExpress 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 counties.  To find out if a travel visa is required for your specific destination, go to the Visas section of our website.

How does VisaExpress obtain a travel visa for me?

VisaExpress obtains travel visas by submitting a completed travel visa application, and other required documents, to embassies or consulates of on your behalf. This eliminates the need for you to visit, communicate, and correspond directly with the embassy or consulate of your destination country.  Please go to the Visas section of our website to see the travel visa requirements for your specific destination.

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. Please go to the Visas section of our website to see the travel visa requirements for your specific destination.


Do nationals of countries other than the United Kingdom need a travel visa?

VisaExpress provides the travel visa requirements for travellers of many nationalities.    No matter what type of passport you hold, VisaExpress can provide detailed travel visa information for most destinations.  Please go to the Visas section of our website to see the travel visa requirements for your specific destination.

Do British Subjects have the same rights of entry to other countries as a British Citizen passport?

No. British Subject passport holders have different entry requirements than British Citizen passport holders. If you hold one of these passports and require information on passports and visas, email info@visaexpress.co.ukfor further information.

How long will it take VisaExpress to process my travel visa?

The speed to process a visa varies for each destination country.  VisaExpress can process travel visas for many destinations in as little as a day.  Please view the Visas section and select your country of travel to determine the travel visa processing time.

Can VisaExpress obtain additional documents required to apply for my travel visa, such as an invitation or confirmation?


Travel visa invitations and confirmations are documents approved by the Foreign Ministry of the country of destination.  These documents authorise you to visit their country.  VisaExpress is able to acquire travel visa invitations and confirmations on your behalf.  Go to the Visas section of our website to see the travel visa requirements for your specific destination.

Can I fax passport copies and completed applications to VisaExpress 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. Please go to the Visas section of our website 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 colour, and type of paper on which the photo is printed.  The standard size is a 45mm high x 35mm 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 (colour, plain background) and be printed on correct photo quality paper.  Please go to the Passports section of our website to see the photo requirements for your passport application.

Has VisaExpress received my documentation yet?


To track the status of your order, please visit Status Check where you can get up-to-date information on your order.  You can track your order by using either the VisaExpress order number and traveller’s last name or the travellers date of birth and last name.  If you are a VisaExpress account manager you can log in to your account and see all of the orders you are managing.    

What is included in the fees I pay to VisaExpress for my travel visa?

The fees to process a travel visa include a consular fee and a VisaExpress 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 VisaExpress 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 VisaExpress varies based on the services you have requested and how quickly you need the documentation to be processed.  The fees established by VisaExpress are in place to facilitate and maintain the highest quality of travel visa and passport processing possible.  VisaExpress service fees and consular fees charged by the country issuing the travel visa will be clearly listed in VisaExpress Application Packs.  Please go to the Visas section of our website to see the travel visa requirements for your specific destination.

What forms of payment does VisaExpress accept?

VisaExpress accepts payment by most major debit and credit cards including:

Debit Cards: Electron, Switch, Solo, Visa Debit

Credit Cards: American Express, Diners Club, 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 apply for a visa will be clearly outlined in the VisaExpress Information Pack.  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 www.masta-travel-health.com.
 

Where can I find the latest Travel Warnings?

For the latest information on Travel Warnings, Public Announcements, and Consular Information Sheets for all countries of the world, please contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Visit: www.fco.gov.uk

Passport FAQs

What is a passport?

A passport is a travel document that serves as the ultimate form of proof for your citizenship. Every country issues passports to citizens of that country.  British Citizen passports are issued by the United Kingdom Identity & Passport Service (IPS).  UK passports come in two sizes to accommodate frequent travellers, jumbo and regular.  Jumbo-sized passports contain 48 pages while regular-sized passports contain 32 pages.

Do I need a passport?

British citizens require passports to exit and enter the UK and all other countries in the world. It is your responsibility to carry the correct identification while traveling abroad.

Do British Subjects have the same rights of entry to other countries as a British Citizen passport?

No. British Subject passport holders have different entry requirements than British Citizen passport holders. If you hold one of these passports and require information on passports and visas, email info@visaexpress.co.uk for further information.

How does VisaExpress obtain a passport for me?

VisaExpress provides passport services for UK citizens by submitting proper documentation on your behalf to the UK Identity & Passport Service (IPS). This eliminates the need for you to visit, communicate, and correspond directly with the IPS. VisaExpress also provides Passport Renewal and Extra Pages services for US passport holders.  Please go to the Passports section of our website to see the full range of passport services VisaExpress provides.  For citizens of any other country residing in the UK, please consult your home country's local consular office for passport details

How long is my passport valid?

If your passport was issued when you were 16 years of age or older, your passport is valid for 10 years. If your passport was issued when you were 15 years of age or younger, your passport is valid for 5 years.

When applying for a passport renewal, will my old passport be returned to me?

Yes, your old passport will be returned unless it is deemed to be damaged by the UK Identity & Passport Service (IPS). The passport will clearly indicate that it is invalid and it is important that you advise whether any valid visas remain in the passport before applying for it to be renewed.

How long must my passport be valid for international travel?

Most countries require that a passport be valid for at least six months beyond the completion of a trip. If your passport expires sooner than that, you must apply to renew your passport.  Please view the Visas section to determine how long a passport must be valid for each specific country of travel. In the event that your passport is set to expire, VisaExpress can assist you. Please visit Renew Passport for details.

Can VisaExpress obtain additional passport pages for my passport?

No. You must apply for another passport. Please visit  Renew Passport for details.

How many blank passport pages do I need to meet entrance requirements and what is considered a 'blank' passport page?

Passports must have enough blank pages to accommodate entry and exit immigration stamps for each country of travel. At least one visa page in your passport is required for each visa. Most travel visas that are stamped into your passport require an entire blank visa page. A 'blank' visa page must be clean, clear, and not show ink or stains from any other pages in the passport. 

I am recently married or divorced and have changed my name. Can VisaExpress help me change my name on my passport?

With proper documentation, you are able to change the name listed in your passport.  VisaExpress can assist you in this process by submitting the necessary documents on your behalf.  Please go to Passport Name Change for details.

Can VisaExpress replace my lost or stolen passport?

With correct documentation, VisaExpress can replace your lost or stolen passport in as little as a day. Please go to Lost or Stolen Passports for details. 

Do my children require passports?

Yes. Each individual citizen, including infants, must possess his or her own passport. You are not allowed to represent other members of the family inside your passport. VisaExpress can assist you if you need to get a new child passport or if you need to renew a child’s passport.  Please go to Child Passport to learn about passport requirements for children.

How old must my children be to apply for a Child Passport?

Your children must be 15 years old or younger to apply for a Child Passport.  Please go to Child Passport to learn about passport requirements for children under the age of 15.


How long will it take VisaExpress take to process my passport?

For most passport services VisaExpress has two processing times: Same Day (1 working day) and Standard (6 working days). Please go to the appropriate passport service in the Passports section to determine your passport processing time.

What mailing method does VisaExpress recommend for submitting my completed VisaExpress Passport Application Pack?

VisaExpress recommends using Royal Mail Special Delivery Post or other traceable methods of delivery when submitting your completed VisaExpress Application Pack.

Australian ETA FAQs

What is an Australian ETA?

An Australian ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) is the electronic equivalent of an Australian visa which is issued by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship of Australia (DIAC).  An Australian ETA authorises access to travellers residing outside of Australia without providing a stamp in your passport. To get your instant Australian ETA, go to the Australian ETA section of our website.

Are there different types of an Australian ETA?

Yes, there are 2 different types of Australian ETA.  There is a Tourist ETA and a Business ETA.  The Tourist ETA applies for travel for tourism only. Tourism includes holidays, recreation and visiting family and/or friends. It is valid for 1 year for multiple journeys of up to 3 months.  The Business ETA applies to business purposes only. Business purposes may include attending a conference, negotiation or an exploratory business visit. It is valid for 1 year for multiple journeys of up to 3 months.  To get your instant Australian ETA, go to the Australian ETA section of our website.

Who is eligible for an Australian ETA?

To be eligible for an Australian ETA, you must reside outside of Australia and hold a passport from an approved country.

Countries approved for an Australian ETA are:

 

Andorra                                 Malaysia

Austria                                   Malta

Belgium                                  Monaco

Brunei                                   The Netherlands

Canada                                  Norway

Denmark                                Portugal

Finland                                  Republic of San Marino

France                                  Singapore

Germany                               South Korea

Greece                                 Spain

Hong Kong (SAR)*                 Sweden

Iceland                                 Switzerland

Ireland                                 Taiwan**

Italy                                    United Kingdom - British Citizen

Japan                                  United Kingdom - British National (Overseas)

Liechtenstein                       United States of America

Luxembourg                        Vatican City 

* A Hong Kong Document of Identity (HKDI) cannot be used to apply for an ETA. Residents of Hong Kong require a citizen passport to apply for this visa.

** Holders of Taiwan passports can only be processed for an ETA if residing and applying in Taiwan. Applications can be lodged with an approved ETA Travel Agent in the Taiwan or Australian Visa Services office in Taipei.

You are only eligible to apply for an Australian ETA if you reside outside of Australia.  If you do not meet ETA eligibility qualifications, please visit the Visa section of our website to determine your specific travel visa requirements for Australia.

Why is there no visa label in my passport?

The Australian Government introduced an electronic visa system so that travellers no longer needed to submit their passports to an Australian Embassy. The system operates through the worldwide flight information system that is accessed by all airlines and cruise companies. After your Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa has been issued the visa exists only in this system.

Do I need a ticket before I apply for an ETA?

No. You do not need to arrange your flight to Australia before applying for an ETA.

How long will it take for my visa to be processed

In most cases, ETA visa applications will be processed instantly. However, processing may be delayed if you enter incorrect information, if you have a criminal conviction or if your application is referred.

How does VisaExpress obtain an Australian ETA?

VisaExpress provides Australian ETA services for UK citizens by submitting proper documentation on your behalf to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship of Australia (DIAC).  VisaExpress simplifies the application process by eliminating the need for you to visit, communicate, and correspond directly with the DIAC. To get your instant Australian ETA, go to the Australian ETA section of our website.

Travelling with Children FAQs

Are children and infants required to carry their own UK passport?

Each individual UK citizen must possess his or her own passport. You are not allowed to represent other members of your family inside your passport. Infants must now possess their own passport. Please go to Child Passport for details.

Can VisaExpress obtain a child passport for my child?

VisaExpress provides passport services for child passports by submitting proper documentation on your child’s behalf to the UK Identity & Passport Service (IPS). This eliminates the need for you to visit, communicate, and correspond directly with the IPS. Please go to Child Passport for details. If you are not a UK citizen, please consult your home country's local consular office for child passport details.

How old must my child be to qualify for a child passport?

To qualify for a child passport, your child must be 16 years of age or younger and recognised as a British citizen.  For more information, please visit Child Passport for details.

How long will it take VisaExpress to process my child’s passport?

For most passport services VisaExpress has two processing times: Same Day - 1 working day and Fast Track - 6 working days. To determine the processing time that is available go to Child Passport for details.

How long is my child’s passport valid?

A passport issued to a child under the age of 15 is valid for 5 years from the date of issuance.  All passports issued to individuals over the age of 15 are valid for 10 years from the date of issuance.  Please go to Child Passport for details.

Do my children need travel visas?

Travel visa requirements are the same for all travellers, regardless of age. Please visit ourVisa section for current, specific travel visa requirements for your children.

My spouse and I are divorced.  Do our children have to meet special passport requirements since we are no longer married?

The passport application requirements for children of divorced parents vary depending upon the details outlined in the custody arrangement.  As a result, each application may be subject to different processing requirements.  To obtain more information regarding your specific parental responsibility requirements,please contact a VisaExpress travel visa and passport specialist for details at info@visaexpress.co.uk.

What are the passport requirements for children who reside with guardians other than their natural parents?

There are additional legal requirements for children who are in the care of, or are placed with, foster parents or legal guardians.  All children under the age of 15 must have an adult sign their child passport application, regardless of circumstance. Please contact a VisaExpress travel visa and passport specialist for details regarding specific guardianship information at info@visaexpress.co.uk.