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Back in The USSR!

As Westerners are well aware, Russia is very strict in its visa requirements for American citizens and as such, a shroud of mystery surround the notion of traveling there.

What does it take to get to the “motherland” anyway?

Traveling to Russia

One must have a visa issued before departing for Russia, and the US passport must be legally valid for a period of at least six months after the planned departure from Russia.

In addition, one must have an official invitation before being issued a visa-interesting, huh?

It’s important to note that for travelers who will visit Russia, the visas are broken down into three subsections! This includes tourist visas, business visas, and homestay visas-got it?

Homestay visas are intended for use by travelers who are going to stay with companions, family, or friends on Russian territory.

In this situation, the travelers will stay in their home rather than in a hotel or commercial establishment. Therefore, this arrangement requires a special type of invitation, which the Russian host must formally and properly request on your behalf at a local government office in Russia.

Business visas are offered to those who plan to travel for work, and work only! As for US citizens, these business visas can be issued in several different forms but nevertheless, on any of these visas, one can expect a stay of up to 30 days.

Most commonly, travelers will be entering Russia using a simple tourist visa.  These tourist visas can be valid for either single or double entry, with a maximum duration of 30 days, as well.

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Easy Errors

A simple mistake made in the passport application process can lead to a swift rejection or suspension of the application, entirely!

Of course, this can cause major delays in passport document processing and possibly cause you to miss your trip in the worst case scenario! .

In order to save you some time and frustration, check out these quick tips for staying on top of all things passport:

  • Avoid any errors in that formal application! – Things like cross-outs, strike throughs, white-out smudges, or any other botched markings on the application are very important to omit entirely. It’s significantly better to focus intensely while filling out the form so as to avoid error! Remember to use black ink only, as well! Lastly, filling out the form online and printing it thereafter is definitely suggested for the preparers of the world.
  • Birth certificate mess-ups! – Your birth certificate must be an original or clearly certified copy of your birth certificate. Additionally, this should be the state issued long form with parents full names included.
  • Government fee fuss! – Paying the incorrect amount or made out to the wrong name will definitely cause your application to be rejected! If you are mailing your application in, fees must be made payable to the “U.S. Department of State” for the correct amount, obviously. Additionally, fees can be paid by check, for the easiest method. In person, fees can be paid by credit/debit card, check, money order or even cash for that exact dollar amount. The Application Fee is a pesky and non-refundable processing fee, which is retained by the Department of State regardless of the passport issuance.
  • Applying for a minor! – Both parental guardians and the child must be present in this situation. In the event that the parent or guardian cannot both be present, be sure to have proper consent forms notarized on time!

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Mean Muggin’

Recognize the amazin’ mugs?

Take some visual tips from the best in entertainment or simply bask in the glory of these unforgettable icons.

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Dual Citizenship: Overview

As crazy as it may seem, it’s possible to be a citizen of both the United States and a citizen of another country at the very same time!

Maybe you knew this already…regardless, there are a number of ways that trusty travelers can become dual citizens. Know somebody who’s scored this fortunate position?

Dual citizens can have two up and running passports at one time, and have some pretty unique passport considerations when in possession of passports from two countries.

Dual citizenship with the Unites States and a citizenship of another country can be obtained in a few different ways!

  • Birth!
    • If a child happens to be born to a United States citizen and another parent who has citizenship in another country, that child can claim citizenship to both countries! Pretty simple, huh?
    • Children who are born in the United States to foreign national parents are also able to claim US citizenship via birth on US territory.
  • Marriage!
    • Some countries automatically offer citizenship to Unites States citizens who marry a member of that country.
  • Naturalization as a United States Citizen!
    • Do not fear, prospective dual citizens of the world! When a foreign citizen acquires US citizenship by naturalization, they do not lose their previous citizenship.

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Scoring Serious Discounts on Air Travel

I’ve always heard that when it comes to air travel, it is always worth waiting until the last minute-not for your peace of mind, but definitely for your wallet! Kind of counter-intuitive, right?

Nonetheless, “in the know” travelers have always preached that the best deals on flights and hotels are often available at the last moment. The reason for this is simple.

If hotel beds, airline seats, cruise spaces, etc… become vacant due to a late cancel or something of that nature, the company isn’t going to be making any money on them anyway. In the end, It’s more profitable to sell it to you at a discount, much like the idea of day old bread.

Yes, “last minute” is definitely subjective-but don’t be concerned-there’s a formula.

This certainly doesn’t mean waiting until the day before you aim to leave to book your travel! To be more specific, for flights, there’s a sweet spot about two weeks out from departure when the scheduled airlines get nervous that too many seats are still empty.

Travelers who choose to book flights within 48-72 hours of departure are usually desperate to get to their destination, so that’s when ticket prices go sky high.

In other words, they’re more susceptible to being taken advantage of due to a lack of options!

For components of your travel experience such as hotels, rental car companies, and cruise lines, “last minute” can have a serious range and be quite unpredictable!

An added note for the reader, keep in mind that the successful bargain hunter is someone who can travel on short notice and is prepared to pounce on an opportunity! This includes not being attached to a particular destination in mind, or even desired travel brand.

Moreover, this type of traveler is one who can easily keep track of related travel websites and jump on appealing deals as they go up!

It goes without saying that you’ll need a valid passport to take advantage of any of these pro tips at all!

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Heading to Canada, eh?

Somewhere around 300,000 people cross the US-Canadian border every single day. That’s certainly a lot of poutine to go around!

All together, it adds up to more than 20 million visits by Americans to Canada every year, and somewhere around 40 million trips by Canadians to the United States!

With such a whopping number of trips made between these two countries, one would think that there simply wouldn’t be any lingering confusion about passport requirements for border crossing. Not so fast!

Canada and the United States by air!

All of those lucky passengers flying between the United States and Canada must be sure to have a valid passport book-do not forget this simple fact!

The requirement for passport books to be presented in advance of ALL international air travel has been in effect since the beginning of 2007.

Don’t feel too targeted, as even newborns must have a registered passport book in order to board an international flight…with national security “better safe than sorry” is everything!

Crossing the border on land!

By miles (pun very much intended), the most popular way to enter the Canadian territory is by land. There are a number of options for documentation for both US and Canadian citizens to use to clear immigration at a land border, including:

  • Valid Passport Book
  • Valid Passport Card (US citizens only)
  • Enhanced Driver’s License

Furthermore, adults over the age 16 must have one of the documents listed above to cross the border by land!

Don’t forget that children/passengers under the age of 16 traveling with their parents can use one of the above-listed documents! It’s also possible to enter Canada by showing alternate proof of US citizenship. These are the acceptable documents:

  • Original birth certificate showing US origins
  • Original Consular Record of Birth Abroad
    • * This one is for children born abroad to US citizen parents!
  • Original or certified copy of US Naturalization Certificate

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Child Passport Renewal!

Child Passport Renewal and You

US passports that are being issued to folks who are 15 years of age and younger are valid for a mere five years, so sooner or later, every frequently-traveling family struggles to get their child’s passport renewed in a pinch.

The truth is that there is no distinct renewal process for children like the passport renewal procedures that are clearly available for adults.

As a result, every time a child needs a new passport, that child’s identity and citizenship must be verified by a lawful agent! Talk about a broken system…

If your little one’s (or tween’s) passport is expired, you will need to follow the same process that is followed for minor passports (first time applicants). The only difference here is that you will need to submit your child’s expired or soon to be expired passport.

Don’t forget that If your child also has a passport card, you will need to submit the passport card as well.

You will have to accompany your child to a Passport Acceptance Facility in order to have the passport application officially closed and properly sealed.

This formal procedure called the  “execution” of the passport and It’s not as deadly as it sounds.

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Become an Airline Elite!

Do you know (or are you, yourself) one of those people always traveling “smarter” than you? The kind of people who always seem to enjoy all of the airline benefits without hassle?

Ever wonder what kind of benefits one can receive with that elite status in your favorite airline’s loyalty program?

Of course, those specific benefits vary from airline to airline, but at the mot introductory level of elite status, benefits may include things like the following:

  • Free bags for checking! Forget that pesky fee and usual struggle to make it all cram.
  • Flight Upgrades! Get that seat that you’ve been pining for. Connecting flights get you where you’re going quicker!
  • Priority boarding status! Be among the lucky few to board your flight early and you’ll be guaranteed to get space for storage.
  • Free “award” travel! Even with “free” flyer miles, there’s often a fee attached to that transaction-enjoy the discounts without the strings attached.
  • The ability to extend benefits to your friends! You know the drill-share the love/pass it on!

At the top level of these elite flying programs, await more benefits, like free booze in economy class, or no fees for services like agent ticketing! Avoid those troublesome charges for changing your ticket on the same day of the flight, too!

Additionally, top-tier airline elites are able to access airline lounges at the airport, where there are free drinks, snacks, business center rooms, showers, and most importantly, a really relaxed and luxurious environment while you wait for your flight!

Gotta catch that business meeting and care to dress to impress? You’ve got it!

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Canada Rush

Although the old “I’ll move to Canada if X” exclamation has been around a while, it seems to have taken on an added layer of seriousness this past election season.

Perhaps  this is a sentiment that you’ve heard or felt in your own life.

No matter how desperate the political opposition, moving to Canada LEGALLY isn’t quite as simple as packing up your ride and heading for the border.  If you’re serious becoming a resident of Canada, you’re going to need to get a residence visa for our icy neighbor country of the north.

It’s worth noting that for shorter stints, American citizens are legally allowed to stay in Canada for up to 180 days without even obtaining a visa. Yup, that’s six full months to enjoy hassle-free Canada splendor.

Want to head north for more than 6 months? Well, you guessed it-for a long term move, a visa is a must.

Canadian Visas

As you may already know, there are several option with moving to Canada – one can head over on a temporary basis (with a residence-type visa) or on a more permanent basis as an immigrant.

Additionally, residence visas are available to US citizens who will work or study in Canada.

  • The Student Visa requires that you have been accepted into a learning institution in Canada – this just means schools universities that have been authorized to host foreign  students.
    • In addition to this student visa, one can also apply for a student work permit.
  • The Work Visa permits you to live and work in Canada while receiving income from a Canadian employer.

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Passporting in the Trump Age

As projected daily by a stunned world and staggered media front, Trump’s election to the highest office has certainly brought new, legitimate concerns for immigrant communities in the United States.

Foundational elements of the Trump platform are threatening yet non-existent ideas like “deportation squads” to seek out and capture undocumented immigrants.

Additionally, in this past October, Trump released his official plan for his first 100 days as president, which certainly includes the mass deportation of at least 2 million illegal immigrants.

Additionally, with such rhetoric being legitimized, even legal immigrants and US citizens, may have reason to worry about being subjected to government-sanctioned harassment and search over their immigration status.

In such extreme events, having the proper documentation available to prove legal status should definitely be of help.

  • Non-US Citizens who are legally residing in the United States: 
    • Be certain that your foreign passport is both valid and current to ensure that you do not experience unnecessary hassle and violate serious national security laws. Of course, passport renewals can be obtained through the embassy or consulate of the country of origin.
  • Permanent United States residents:
    • Ensure that your green card is both valid and on hand! As you know, these cards expire every 10 years, even though the residency status, itself does not officially expire at said date. Green cards are required to be renewed when they are six months away from expiration.
  • Naturalized United States citizens should apply for a US passport book, passport card, or a combination of those two documents!

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Check Up and Head Out!

What you’ll need!

  • Learn about local visa requirements languages, cultural customs, and even emergency medical care possibilities in the location that you are traveling to. Some visitors, including but not limited to those with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ individuals may face additional challenges when abroad (It’s 2016, but we’ve got a long way to go…)
  • Look into any travel warnings/alerts that have been recently issued for your destination country. These notifications will elaborate on possible health, environmental, and political dangers.
  • Check up on those recommendations for vaccinations and other travel health precautions for your trip (masks, devices, etc…)
  • Be fully prepared to deal with local and unfamiliar currencies overseas. Before you go away, it might be wise to notify your bank and even credit card company of your travel (check exchange rates, too!).
  • Carry contact details for the nearest embassy, in both English and in the local language!
  • Get required documents!

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Applying for Your Passport at a Regional Office

Before your visit,

  • Make an appointment and make note of your appointment! This would be an awful shame to sleep through…
  • Gather all of the documents required for your passport service, including your valid ID and definitely a means of payment (checkbook or a credit card).

At your visit,

  • Arrive before in advance of your appointment time. Obviously, you will some need time to get through security and check in.
  • Go on and get through the security line, where you will need to show your identification and have your belongings briefly inspected.  You should know by know that absolutely no weapons are allowed in regional passport agencies.
  • Check in at the Information Desk. Provide your handy appointment confirmation number or Social Security Number to verify your appointment. From there, that Information Desk will then give you a number for service.
  • Simply sit and wait for your number to be called. When your number is called, you will be directed to one of the windows for service (yes, like the deli at the supermarket).

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Name Changes and Passports

  • Of course, a legal change in one’s name would result in some legal document changes accordingly. Here’s what you’ll need!
  • Your legal name, as listed on your current passport
  • Your current legal name, as listed on your legal name change document
  • Any other legal names you have previously used, like maiden names/previous names
  • The number and issue date of your current passport
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your height, hair color, and eye color
  • Your residential address
  • At least one contact phone number – may be your home, work, or mobile phone number
  • The name and address of someone who can be a contact in case of emergency

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Foto Failures

We all know how difficult it can be to master the art of the passport photo. Here are some quick “don’t do’s” in the hopes of helping you get it right.

1. Too light

Wash-out, over-exposure, and lightness are all caused by camera flash and other bright light sources such (like direct sunlight). Of course, these things all lead to light bouncing off of a person’s face or eyes, causing photo glare. Such issues problems can be easily fixed using a photo editing program (usually). However, to be safe, you should always ensure your flash is switched off for your photo shoot.

2. Sneaky Shadows

Deep facial shadows have a serious tendency to hide or contort facial features in photos. Of course, when applying for a passport, it is vital your face can be seen for identification purposes. As you may not know, passport fraud is still a prevalent problem in many countries around the world, which is why such strict rules have come into the forefront of international travel today. Remember to set the brightness and the contrast of your image for a balanced result.

3. Sizing issues

If your passport agency demands that your image is a standard size of 2×2 inches, it applies to the actual image area, and is not inclusive of that white border. A great deal of passport agencies require that the passport holder cuts off that white border prior to sending along that photograph.

4. Focus issues

Individuals commonly decide to take their own photographs for passport photos and as such, they misjudge the correct distance for capturing the image. The recommended distance is around three feet. A poor focus will result in a series of blurs and smudges. Try “sharpening” the image!

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Passport Fees Examined Pt. 2

Passport fees are nobody’s friend-but they are certainly unavoidable.

Find out the supposed cause of these curious charges here!

If you happen to be applying for your first time passport document, a replacement for a lost/stolen/damaged passport, or a passport for someone under the age of 15, you’re going to be forced to pay a Passport Execution Fee when you do apply for that pricey and prized little booklet.

The $25 Passport Execution Fee, as It’s called, is a fee set by the US State Department, but technically, that’s paid separately from your passport book fee.

The Passport Execution Fee is officially charged when you visit a Passport Acceptance Agent, typically found at large US Post Offices, Clerk of the Court offices, and other government facilities.

While these agents are not exactly employees of the US State Department, they are granted the power to review your passport application and identity documents as the first step in your passport application process

Next, once your documents have been formally reviewed, the acceptance agent will seal them into an official envelope for the subsequent processing.

This procedure (executing the passport) and this frustrating fee of $25 applies at every Passport Acceptance Agent across the country.

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Passport Pricing

Nobody enjoys the bureaucracy of the passport-obtaining process.

The long lines, planning ahead, and agency fees along the way make for an all around frustrating experience, if you’re caught off guard! Ever wondered why those pesky passport fees can seem to rack up pretty fast?

$110? What gives?

That 110 dollar amount is the current price of a a US passport for adults over the age of 16. The amount has actually been in place since it was originally set in July 2010. At that time, when the price was increased, the difference came out to $35 over the previous fee of $75.

The $110 charged for US passports is actually comprised of two separate fees. As such, the base fee for a passport book is actually considered to be $70, and there is an additional, second fee of $40 for a Passport Book Security Surcharge.

Amazingly, even this surcharge is further broken down into a $22 charge to (in order to cover the costs of meeting the increased demand for US passports), and an $18 Enhanced Border Security Fee-Well, when you put it that way…

Basically, if you examine the reality of this whole passport fee situation, the money tacked on to your transaction is really just going to the State Department pay for all the additional personnel they’ve been forced to hire in order to accommodate the surge of passport applications since 2006, and toward forward-thinking measures like the biometric chips and streamlined Automated Passport Control kiosks (which have made international travel safer and more efficient).

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Recovering from Passport Ruin!

Got a tear in that ol’ passport page? Did water get where it shouldn’t?

Fear not, weary travelers-here’s a a guide for getting your feet off the ground, and back to flying high in the friendly skies.

Recovering from your Unrecoverable Passport

What you’ll need:

  • Citizenship proof–This means either birth certificate or an expired passport. It is worth noting that if your appearance has changed dramatically, an expired passport may not be accepted.
  • A Passport Application Form, also called a DS-11
  • A letter addressed to “US Department of State,” explaining how your passport came to be ripped, wet, torn, frayed, or otherwise compromised. Additionally, this letter must include your original signature in blue or black ink.
  • A copy of your driver’s license or another state-issued ID (both of the front and back pages)
  • A flight itinerary or another proof of your travel plans.
  • That unfortunately damaged passport replacement fee (…unfortunately)–You will need two checks, one of which should be made payable to “US Department of State” for $110 ($170 if you’re using that expedited service) and a second check for $25 for the Passport Acceptance Agent fee.

Ordering Options

Check out the estimated processing times for passport replacement applications below:

  • Regular service by mail=6-8 weeks
  • Expedited service by mail=2-3 weeks
  • Expedited service at a US Passport Agency=up to 8 business days
  • Expedited service from one of many registered passport expediting company=as little as 24 hours

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Boston Music Venues

Looking for a quick injection of musical culture during your Boston stay?

Are you the type who needs to pack it all in for your evening plans?

Look no further this city’s finest audible offerings-we’ve got you covered for all of your concert cravings.

Best Boston Venues

Brighton Music Hall (Brighton)

This venue is a great for high quality sound at a low cost. BMH boasts an amazing sound system to fill the high ceiling and fill acoustic spectrum.

Drinks are killer and stage accessibility is key, as this spot is a walk in, walk out kind of space. One of Brighton Music Hall’s strongest pros is the diversity of It’s performances, ranging from rap to rock and everything in between.

Wonder Bar

Located in the bustling, ever-hip Brighton Brighton, MA, this spot is your destination for all things hip-hop and soul. Enjoy an amazing array of dumpling delights downstairs before soaking up the humble main acts.

This joint is a single room but packs quite the sonic punch!

The Middle East Nightclub and Restaurant (Cambridge)

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of this venue to the Greater Boston music and culture scene!

The Downstairs is number one in terms of a high quality sound, but the Corner is an unforgettable music and dancing experience, from weekly belly dancing to monthly funk! The Middle East Upstairs is your rock stop for all things heavy!

The Royale (Boston)

This bustling club features some of the world’s most eclectic and popular music acts. During the week, go go dancers and a rather rowdy crowd atmosphere dominates the space.

The high ceilings and blistering bass make for an incredible listening experience and some dynamite drinks to boot.

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Passport Quick Tips!

Here’s the low down on some important passport information! With so much to grasp and so much
time to kill in the agency line, the challenge of obtaining or renewing a passport can seem daunting.
Have no fear, ePassportPhoto is here!

Passports, photos, and fees, oh my!

Passport fees for a classic ten-year passport are $135, if the passport holder is 16 years of age or over. The fee is a mere $105 for a five-year passport, if the subject is under 16.

In general passport renewal fees are $110 and you should be aware that some facilities accept payment via credit and debit cards. To be safe, be sure to call ahead and get some piece of mind.

The Passport Card, Unveiled!

At last, the State Department has developed a more economical alternative to the traditional passport, and it is simply referred to as the passport card. This card is not valid for any international air travel, but is intended for use in place of a passport for land and sea travel between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

This vital document contains an identification chip that can be read by a scanner from distances of up to 20 feet. These newfangled passport replacements run about $55 for adults and $40 for children. Not to worry-adults who already have a paper passport in their possession can pay just $30 for the passport card.

Application Season!

The State Department warns passport-seekers that they should expect their passport to be processed within four to six weeks.

As the application processing time varies greatly with passport agencies’ workloads at the respective sites, It’s generally advised to book at least two months in advance of any scheduled international travel!

PRO TIP: The spring and summer months are the busiest times for application, so the process, itself, may take even longer!

If you’re in a serious rush and you don’t live near one of the passport agencies, you may also want to consider utilizing a passport and visa expeditor!

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Passport First-Timers!

First-Time Passport Applications and You!

If It’s your very first time applying for a U.S. passport, you’ll be forced to apply in person at one of two locations:

A regional passport agency, or one of the thousands of facilities in the country that accept passport applications.

Yes, this absolutely includes courthouses and post offices!

Don’t be shy and be sure to find a facility or agency that meets your needs!

Here’s a quick list to know what you’ll need when you apply:

  • Citizenship proof – a birth certificate (government issued), a Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship, or even an expired U.S. passport.
  • ID (photo and signature) – this includes a previous U.S. passport, a Certificate of Naturalization, a valid driver’s license, or a valid government/military ID card. Oh, and be sure to include an 8 1/2 x 11 inch photocopy of this document!

Basic rules for your passport photos:

The photographs must be 2×2 inches with the subject’s head between 1 and 1 3/8 inches! Additionally, photographs must be a front view, full face, taken in simple attire (without a hat or dark glasses), and most importantly, with a plain white background.

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

When You Don’t Need a Passport!

A useful question to ask before venturing on your next getaway might seem like an obvious one-

Do I need a passport for this trip?

As you already know, passports are required for all international air travel and for most land or sea travel as well. We want you to know, however, that there are a few exceptions:

Cruisin’

  • U.S. citizens who are on cruise ships that begin and end at the exact same port in the U.S. will simply be required to show proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate and a government-issued photo ID.

Children Can Chill!

  •  Children 16 and under arriving by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or even the Caribbean may present proof of citizenship like a birth certificate.

Adults Are Alright!

  • Adults can utilize a simpler passport card may be used in place of a passport if you’re traveling by land or sea between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean. See below for more information on the passport card.

Pro Tip: Copies of birth certificates are acceptable if you are unable to bring your original one!

Additionally for adult cruise passengers, if the name on your birth certificate doesn’t match the one on your driver’s license, it’s definitely a wise decision to bring along documentation of your name change, including but not limited to a marriage certificate.

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

National Passport Information Center!

Brush up on how to get in touch with an awfully helpful and vital resource: The National Passport Information Center!

This incredibly useful program is available to answer any and all passport questions-as you may know by now, there’s plenty to be asked! 

Of course, If you’re outside of the United States, please be sure to contact the nearest embassy or consulate for all of your passport inquiries and needs!

  • Contact the service by phone!
  • Customer service representatives are available to assist during the following hours:
    Monday-Friday (8:00 am to 10:00 pm EST)
    Saturday (10:00 am to 3:00 pm EST)
  • The office closes on Federal Holidays, of course! Fear not-automated passport information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Contact the service by e-mail!
    • NPIC@state.gov
    • As with every proper customer service, most emails are answered within 24 hours.
    • If you are experiencing an emergency, be sure to contact the service via phone!
      • If you have a ?life or death” travel emergency occurring outside of normal business hours, be sure to call (202) 647-4000.
  • If you have a kind words for the service, or, more likely, something you’d like to see change, you can provide feedback online, via phone, or in person!

*See the resources below to do so!

  • Online: Complete a customer service form on the agency’s website!
  • Phone: 1-855-865-7755
  • Kiosk: Located conveniently at a passport agency or center!

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

Getting Your Documents and What You’re Entitled To!

Passport seekers and American citizens, alike, should know that The Privacy Act grants them the right to obtain records (copies) in your own name, and the name(s) of your children/incompetent person for whom you are the guardian, as well as records in the name of anybody who has gone through the process of authorizing you to obtain them!

There are some materials required to do so! Read below to find out:

  • The full birth name and any name changes of the individual whose records you request. If you are requesting on someone’s behalf, be sure to include your own name!
  • If you are requesting records about anyone other than yourself, evidence of legal authorization to do so will definitely be required!
  • The date/place of birth for individual whose records you are requesting!
  • Your current mailing address
  • Your current telephone number
  • Your current e-mail address
  • The timeline of the passport(s) being issue
  • The passport number of the person whose records you are seeking
  • A copy of both sides of your valid photo identification

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives

Musical Mugs!

If you wanna travel, you must participate in the passport photo shoot, no matter the fame!

Check out what worked for the musical icons below!

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!

  • Marvin’s background is white and the lighting is balanced
  • Both of Martin’s ears are exposed
  • Martin is centered and facing forward
  • Martin is not wearing any extraneous items

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  • Janis is not wearing any jewelry
  • Janis’ likeness has not changed drastically since her last passport photo
  • Janis is centered and forward facing, with both eyes clearly open
  • Janis’ image is high contrast

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  • George is dead center
  • George is not wearing any hats
  • The background is completely white
  • The contrast is high, and the lighting is clear

Transgender Rights and Passports

As a global push towards a broader extension of basic human rights reaches the transgender community and the ongoing struggle for political and social equality.

Recently, a woman traveling from India to the United States had her passport revoked on a return trip because her passport lists her gender as transgender, and her US visa application, which showed her gender as female, didn’t match it!

These decisions regarding self-representation and identity have been central to recent election cycles, political campaigns, and legislative happenings. Turbulent tides threaten to further marginalize certain already alienated groups of citizens and travelers alike-The Unites States is presented with a question of confronting such policies, as several other nations committed to doing.

As it turns out, India is one of several nations (including Australia) which allow citizens to identify themselves as an option outside of male or female on their passports and other official government identification forms.

The US State Department requires that passport applicants report their gender as either male or female and as such, there is no option to show one’s gender as transgender, bigender, agender, etc…

However, the heavily scrutinized department has provided clear procedures for changing the gender listed on the passport for individuals who are in the process of transitioning from one gender to another, or who have even previously had medical gender reassignments.

Take your photos like a pro and be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!