Frequently Asked Questions
Nomadic is comprised of a team of leading passport, visa and travel document professionals with years of experience in consular services. We have combined their knowledge and expertise to create an industry-leading travel document management program.
Nomadic provides cost-effective and reliable consular services for all types of visas and document legalizations.
Client service and traveler experience:
- Single point of contact for traveler to work with through the visa process;
- Pricing transparency and cost containment;
- Ease of obtaining personalized requirements and placing visa orders; and
- Compliance tool assessment to ensure the correct visa is obtained.
Working with Nomadic will ease the stress of preparing for international travel. Our experts provide guidance and support during the entire application process, ensuring you know when a visa is required and what type of visa to apply for. Our team is knowledgeable, driven and passionate about customer service.
International travel requirements are more complex today than ever before, and are constantly changing. Failure to comply with these requirements can have significant consequences; passengers may be denied boarding or travelers may be detained by border officers if they arrive at a destination country without the correct documentation. Companies can face serious penalties if employees travel for work or business with incorrect visas or documentation.
Nomadic's online solution provides compliance assessments in advance to ensure you apply for the correct visas, and will ensure that you understand the visa requirements and application process. You will receive personal guidance and support from the moment you submit your request until your case is completed.
In most cases, you can apply for your own visa yourself if you have sufficient time to research the procedures, stand in line for long periods of time both to submit the application and later to collect the passport, and deal with the consulate to resolve any questions or issues that might arise. If you are handling an application for another person, you may be able to do this on your own, though some consulates will only allow the traveler to apply themselves or through a registered party.
Therefore, whether you can apply for someone else depends on the requirements of the consulate. Working with Nomadic is a cost effective and time saving way to handle passport and visa applications; when you use our service, you will receive personal guidance and support throughout the entire process.
It is important to know that minor children, even babies, must have a passport to travel internationally. Visa requirements also apply to minor children, though the application procedures, fees and required documents can be different from adults and may vary depending on the age of the minor. For example, it is common that a copy of the minor’s birth certificate, copies of parents’ ID, and parental letters of consent may be required from one or both parents, and one or both parents may need to sign the application form. When submitting your request for service to Nomadic, please be sure to include information such as the age of the child and who will be accompanying the child during travel.
Some countries require a copy of the itinerary or hotel confirmation as part of the application process, even though they do not make any assurances that the processing will be completed or the visa issued by the anticipated departure date. The best option is to request an itinerary for the desired travel dates without purchasing a ticket; this is possible from most airlines or a travel agent may be able to assist.
In some cases, booking might be necessary but it is generally possible to book a refundable ticket or hotel - just make sure you are fully aware of the cancelation policy. If it is unavoidable to purchase tickets or pay other travel expenses in advance, at least make sure you have understood the visa requirements and typical processing times and plan accordingly. Some visas can take weeks or even months to obtain – processing times vary greatly and cannot be guaranteed.
Most countries require visitors to have a passport that is valid for a minimum of six months beyond the intended period of stay. There are exceptions, for example some countries only officially require three months validity beyond stay, but airlines often enforce the strictest international guidelines to protect themselves against any liability. An airline may deny a passenger from boarding if their passport does not have at least six months validity remaining beyond their return ticket. To avoid any possible issues entering your destination or boarding your flight, it is important to make sure your passport will be valid for at least six months beyond the end of your trip.
There may be plenty of blank space in your passport, but unlike regular arrival stamps, visas can only be stamped on a completely blank visa page. Even if a page has only one small stamp, it cannot be used for a visa; this is also true for visas stamped upon arrival. Many countries require two or more blank pages, and some countries require blank pages to be adjacent (two pages facing each other so that visa and stamps are placed together.) Some countries may not require a visa for entry, but still require one or more fully blank visa pages to stamp entry stamps upon arrival. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you have several fully blank pages and know what is required for your destination. Please keep in mind that endorsement pages in the back of a passport are not for visas or entry stamps.
Even if a page has been marked with only one small stamp, it cannot be used for a visa – the page must be entirely blank. Some countries may require two or more adjacent blank pages. The US State Department no longer issues visa page inserts for US Passports; if a passport has too few remaining blank visa pages it is now possible to apply for a renewal. US citizens who are frequent travelers should select the ‘52 Page Book (Non-Standard)’ when completing the passport application form. Citizens of other countries should find out whether they can apply to have pages added to their passport. If not, we recommend renewing the passport when most or all visa pages have been used.
Yes. If you are applying for a visa, with very few exceptions, the original passport is required. This is because the visa will be stamped or affixed inside the passport on one of the blank visa pages. There are some countries that will accept a photocopy of the passport and issue the visa as a loose-leaf document, and some countries have an electronic process and do not require the original passport. When this is the case, Nomadic will clearly explain this in our instructions and will specify that only a copy of the passport information page is required. In most cases, the original, signed passport must be submitted along with a visa application.
US citizens are permitted to hold a second valid US passport; citizens of other countries should find out whether they are eligible apply for a second passport. The advantage of a second valid passport is that one passport can be used for international travel and identification while the other passport has been submitted with a visa application. Travelers with a second valid passport must be careful to make sure they know which passport holds the correct, valid visa for every trip and must make sure they are carrying the right passport. Nomadic can process a second valid passport application for US citizens.
United States citizens can apply for a Passport (booklet) and a Passport Card at the same time for a small additional fee, by selecting this option on the passport application form. The US Passport Card is a travel document that can be used to enter the US from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry. The US Passport Card cannot be used for international air travel.
A visa is official permission, granted by a country’s government, allowing a traveler to enter that country. Visas are most frequently stamped directly into a passport on one of the blank visa pages, though in some cases a visa may be issued electronically or as a loose-leaf document.
Whether a visa is required depends on a variety of factors, including the destination country, your citizenship, your purpose of travel and all activities planned during the visit, and how long you plan to stay in the country. The best course of action is to provide these basic details to Nomadic so that a professional visa consultant can evaluate your situation and provide a personalized response. If a visa is required you will receive detailed instructions and requirements; if a visa is not required you will receive information about entry into your destination country.
The processing time for visas can vary a great deal. Some countries offer rush and emergency services, and will issue visas as fast as 24 hours or even same-day. For some countries, or some types of visa, the processing time can be several weeks or even months. How long it will take to get your visa depends on a variety of factors including which country you are going to, your citizenship, and what type of visa is needed. The processing time also depends on whether you already have the necessary supporting materials, such as invitation letters or work permits, or if you need to obtain such documents. The best thing to do is contact Nomadic as soon as travel is planned.
When you provide your travel information to Nomadic you will receive information about the processing options, so that you know how urgently you must begin the application process and can set realistic expectations for when you may be able to travel. It is not recommended to book non-refundable tickets or hotels until all required visas have been issued.
With some few exceptions, you will simply gather and send the application materials to Nomadic and we will handle filing the application and all interactions with the consulate on your behalf. Under some circumstances a consulate may require the traveler to make a personal appearance, and in that case Nomadic will assist with the appointment and will provide detailed instructions. In general, it will not be necessary for the applicant to go anywhere as Nomadic will handle the application process.
Visa requirements vary depending on the destination country, consular jurisdiction and type and duration of visa among other factors. Typically, applicants will be required to submit the original, signed passport, signed visa application form, photos, and supporting materials that substantiate the purpose of journey such as an official invitation, business letter or itinerary. Each consulate has differing requirements and preferences; therefore, Nomadic provides our customers with personalized instructions based on their unique circumstances. This helps to ensure a smooth and successful application process and minimizes delays or issues while the application is under review at the consulate.
You might need multiple visas to travel to multiple countries. With few exceptions, entry requirements are per country. There are regions of the world where countries have entered into mutual agreements recognizing one visa that allows entry into all member countries, but this is not common (the Schengen Area in continental Europe is one example). Even for travel within these regions, the itinerary and travel plans determine which consulate can issue the visa. Therefore, it is important to notify Nomadic of every country that you will visit, (including transit countries), and the purpose of travel to each destination. Nomadic will then provide you with personalized instructions regarding the visas you will require or the entry requirements per destination on your itinerary.
Frequently Used Terms
Each embassy or consulate has authority over a geographical area, known as the consulate’s “jurisdiction”. Consulates have responsibility for assisting individuals who reside within their jurisdiction, which is why an applicant’s U.S. state of residence is important in determining where they must apply for a visa and specifics about the application process. Nomadic will provide all the necessary support for our customers residing in any jurisdiction.
Some consulates and the U.S. Passport Agency require a letter signed by the applicant authorizing Nomadic to file your application on your behalf or to collect your passport once the visa is issued. Nomadic will include this in our list of requirements when it is needed, and if any special phrase should be included in the letter we will provide detailed instructions. The letter of authorization is a simple statement, addressed to the specific Passport Agency or consulate, that the applicant authorizes Nomadic to file their application and communicate with the consulate on their behalf. A letter of authorization must always be signed by the applicant, and typically must be original, not a photocopy.
Duration of stay refers to the number of days a traveler will spend in a destination country. This is an important factor in determining whether a visa is required, and what type of visa is required. When a visa is issued, it is important to make note not just of the expiration date but also of the number of entries and duration of stay permitted.
Even for travelers who do not need a visa, there is always a limitation on the number of days the traveler may spend in a country per visit, and per set period of time. For example, it may be possible to visit a particular country without a visa for a up to 30 days per visit, for a total of 90 days within a 180-day period. The duration of stay applies whether the traveler requires a visa or not.
27 European countries have signed an agreement to allow free movement across each-others’ borders, known as the Schengen Agreement. These countries are: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Schengen visa is a short stay visa issued by any of these countries, which permits entry and travel within all of these countries subject to certain time limits.
Although the Schengen visa is valid for all of these countries, the visa must be issued by the appropriate consulate depending on many factors, including the traveler’s itinerary, purpose of visit to each destination and jurisdiction. The application procedures and requirements do vary depending on which consulate is processing the application, so it is important to contact Nomadic with the complete itinerary to receive the correct instructions and support for filing the application.
Document Legalization is an authentication process that enables a document to be recognized in a country other than where it was issued.
The process varies depending on the type of document, the issuing body (federal or state government, private entity, etc.) and the country where the document will be used. In general, this is a multiple-step process including notarization of the document, notary certification and authentication from the Secretary of State in the U.S. State where the document originates. Then, depending on where the document will be used, the local Secretary of State issues an Apostille or else the document must additionally be filed at the U.S. Department of State, and then finally can be filed for legalization at the consulate of the country where it will be used. If you have a document that requires legalization or Apostille, whether part of a visa application or for another purpose, Nomadic can assist with the entire process.
Some countries, along with the United States, are members of The Hague Legalization Convention. Among these countries US documents are considered legal by obtaining an Apostille, which is a certificate from the Secretary of State in the U.S. State where the document originates. This means that the document does not need to be processed through the U.S. Department of State in order to be submitted to the consulate of the country where it will be used. If you have a document that requires legalization or Apostille, whether part of a visa application or for another purpose, Nomadic can assist with the entire process.