Month: June 2017

How to Go About Getting a Business Visa to Afghanistan

Kabul, like any world capital, is a thriving city that a lot of Americans find themselves locating to for work. In order to enter Afghanistan for business, travelers must provide a valid business visa as well as a passport. If potential work seekers or travelers fail to comply with the requirements, his/her passport will be confiscated. Also, he/she must pay a $100 fine. So, be sure you know what you need before you get a Business Visa to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan isn’t handing out business visas to just anyone. Applicants must prove their legitimacy for wanting to obtain the business visa.  As well as proving their employer and purpose for the trip. Due to the fact that employees must be secured prior to arriving in Kabul, most companies and agencies provide housing for their employees. There are many perks to choosing to work in Afghanistan. To begin, you must request the Afghanistan Business Visa Application Kit. The following sections will provide more specific requirements you will need to complete it correctly.

Afghanistan Business Visa Requirements

  • A valid passport and business visa are required for travel to Afghanistan.
  • Your passport must be signed by you and must be valid for 6 months beyond your stay in Afghanistan. U.S. Citizens need to have at least one-page blank for an Afghanistan visa stamp.
  • Please note the “amendment pages” in the back of the passport book are not suitable for Afghanistan visas. Citizens from Los Angeles must have 2 blank passport pages face to face for entry.
  • Two copies of the Afghanistan Visa Application Form, one signed and one copy. Download here: Afghanistan-Visa-Application-Form-English
  • 1 recent 2 x 2 passport type photograph. This means it must be in color, with the subject in a front view, no glasses, with a plain/white background. For more photo requirements click here. Another option is to upload this photo when you place your order.
  • You must provide a business cover letter. This consists of an original, signed a letter from the employer or sponsoring company in the US. It must be on company letterhead introducing you (the applicant for the visa) including a statement regarding your employment status or position in the company. Another requirement is to include the applicant’s passport number. If you are a government contractor it must be explicitly stated in the letter. Your letter must state your purpose of visit to Afghanistan and formally request the Afghanistan visa.
  • Detailed contact information in Afghanistan as well as stating who will be financially responsible for you (the applicant) while in the country.
  • Typically only single entry Afghanistan visas are granted at the end of this. If the applicant presents approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Afghanistan then they may receive a multiple entry visa.

Afghanistan Entry Visa Option

An Afghanistan Entry Visa is another option. The process is as follows:

  • You and/or your employer should write a formal letter explaining your situation and outline why you arrived in Afghanistan without a visa.
  • You will take this letter to the Consular Section at the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
  • The MFA will draft a letter to the Foreign Relations Department of the Ministry of Interior (MOI).
  • The General Police Office will then give you a letter addressed to the Border Police Office at Kabul International Airport. This process may take 2 weeks or more to complete.
  • Then you will bring this letter to the airport along with 2 passport sized photos to the Border Police Office. You will fill out forms and at this time you will pay the $100 fine.
  • This process only allows you to be in Afghanistan for 15 days. If you decide to stay longer you have two options. You can apply for a tourist visa or a multiple entry visa at the General Passport Office, Foreigners’ Visa Section.

In general, traveler’s are warned to expect inconsistencies in the Afghan entry/exit control process. It is far better to be over prepared in these types of situations. There are hefty visa expiration fines as well. If a visa expires, the traveler must pay $2 per day for the first month and $5 per day for the second month of overstaying their visa. After two months of this, the traveler must pay a $210 fine and is subject to deportation.

Business travel to Afghanistan can be very alluring to many American companies and employees. Afghanistan business opportunities are growing more every year, so protect your time and financial investments: make sure you apply for your business visas to Afghanistan early and accurately!

Five Countries Where U.S. Citizens Need a Travel Visa

One of the most important things to understand about traveling to another country is how long you will stay in the international destination. For an extended stay, you usually need a residency visa regardless of which country you’re traveling to.

However, many US citizens can travel to other countries on a short-term basis without a visa. Most popular travel destinations for vacations and tourists fall under this category. There are five countries you will need a travel visa to go there.

“Some” doesn’t mean “all”, though, particularly in this case. There are actually five popular countries where US citizens will need a travel visa before they depart.


If you’re going to be traveling to Brazil for any purpose, you’re going to need a travel visa. If you go without a visa, you will be immediately sent back to the US. You should get a proper visa application from the Brazilian Embassy BEFORE you depart for your trip.


If your trip will take you to mainland China, you’ll need to apply for what is called an entry visa through the Chinese Embassy or Consulate General before your trip. Generally speaking, you should do this at least one month before your trip because you will NOT be able to obtain one once you arrive.


If you’re traveling to India for any purpose, you need a travel visa as a US citizen. The good news is that if you’re staying less than 30 days, you can apply for an electronic travel authorization online and take care of everything before you go. If you’re going to be staying for longer than 180 days and are planning to work while in India, you need to register your residency at the Foreigners Regional Registration Office.


Russia actually has one of the more strict systems for admitting visitors into the country worldwide. In addition to the fact that US citizens will need a visa to enter the country in the first place, you also need to make sure that it does not expire before your trip is scheduled to end. If it does, you could potentially find yourself stranded in Russia for up to 20 days. Russian visas also require a sponsor, which could be a travel company, hotel or university or even a friend.


US citizens will also need a travel visa to enter Vietnam for any purpose. In addition to this, it is a requirement that you have at least six months remaining validity on your passport. Alternatively, you may also be able to use a written approval letter which you can get from your travel agency prior to your departure.

Vacation Destinations That Don’t Require a US Passport

If you’re looking for a tropical vacation in an exotic location, you don’t necessarily need a passport to get there. Although the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative of 2009 requires passengers to carry passports when traveling by air to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, there are several popular vacation options within this region that Americans can still visit without passport identification. US Customs and Border Protection confirms that you can visit any of these sunny hotspots with no more than a driver’s license. Or some with just a Passport card or a state ID card.

Puerto Rico

Like many of the vacation destinations on this list, Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States. Which significantly streamlines border customs operations. And like all of the vacation destinations on this list, it is home to a number of beautiful beaches. Less than three hours from Miami by plane, Puerto Rico stands at the crossroads. A crossroad between America and the Caribbean. This small island draws cultural influence from Spain, Africa, and Latin America.

U.S. Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands can be reached from Puerto Rico in minutes by plane. The US acquired the three main islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John as well as a scattering of smaller chain Isles in 1917. All told, these islands attract approximately 2.6 million visitors per year. Thanks to their exceptional weather and outstanding swimming and diving spots.

Northern Mariana Islands

Colonized by the Spaniard in the 16th century and the Japanese during WWII, the Micronesian islands of the Northern Marianas have been a US territory since 1994. These islands feature scenic lagoons that are filled with a diverse array of wildlife. Underwater thrill seekers love to dive the Grotto. An amazing limestone cavern that reaches depths of 70 feet. The Northern Mariana Islands are also perfect for history buffs who love its various war memorials and museums.


Much like the Northern Mariana Islands that border it to the north, Guam was a colony of Spain. It became occupied by Japan during WWII and is now a US territory. Popular features of this tropical island include the 400-foot cliff-side overlooking Two Lovers Point. Its view offers a scenic panorama of the Philippine Sea.

The Caribbean

While all air passengers must use a passport to return to the US from Caribbean nations such as Bermuda, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. Individuals who travel by sea can gain admittance back into the US using less expensive and more portable options such as a passport card or an enhanced driver’s license.

Trump Signals Support For the Privatization of Air Traffic Control

On Monday, June 5, President Donald J. Trump gave his endorsement to a new proposal. The proposal would be to privatize the air traffic control system in the US. During an event that took place in the East Room of the White House, President Trump signed both a memo and a letter. Both documents will go to Congress. It will outline a new variation on a proposal that has essentially been around for decades.

Mr. Trump indicates that he was taking bold moves to advance the massive infrastructure. A promise he made during his campaign months leading up to the 2016 Presidential election.

The New Plan

Under the new plan, air traffic control would totally detach from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This may occur in the next three years. Airplanes tracking, moving forward, will be with a series of sophisticated global positioning satellites. Something that Mr. Trump said would “dramatically improve”. Improve upon the current method of using radar and radio signals to accomplish the same goals. In theory, this would result in not only fewer delays at airports coast to coast; but also a safer and more efficient system in general. Savings generating from these lower operating costs would then theoretically be pass on to consumers. Customers, he implies will get to purchase cheaper tickets to fly. Though whether that actually happens is still up in the air.

Mr. Trump was very proud of the fact that the new proposal requires no taxpayer money whatsoever. Democrats and other opponents said that the new system would actually lead to increase costs for travelers. In addition, private businesses would save a significant amount of money and keep all of the profits for themselves. Opponents also argued that the new system would leave already underserved areas without mission-critical improvements. Improvements that will affect them way into the next decade and beyond.

Does Privatizing Air Traffic Control Good Or Bad?

Many of the principles in this plan were introduced as legislation in 2016 by Representative BillShuster of Pennsylvania. Mr. Shuster also serves as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. In fact, a large number of the core ideas have actually been hotly debated for several decades.

Supporters of the plan say that privatizing air traffic control would not only go a long way towards improving or replacing inefficient airports, but the increase competition would spawn innovation across the board. Those on the opposing side of the argument say that something as essential as air traffic control – and by association the safety of the millions of people who use planes to travel the country each year – should never be on the foundation of a privatize model. Further debate on this will be in the coming months.

It’s important to note that even Mr. Trump’s advisors admit that any action regarding this plan is still months away. This, despite the fact that Trump himself said in April that such a plan would be ready to institute by May at the latest.