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Passports and Visas
Passports, Visas, Customs

The articles in this section of ThereArePlaces  are designed  to help you understand passports, visas, the US Customs Service and the services that the Consular Offices of the U.S. Embassy can provide you while traveling internationally.

Click one of the  travel planning  articles on the right to begin exploring the  resources we have created  on Passport, Visas, Customs and US Consular Services abroad.

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Travel Tips: Travel Documents and Procedures

Passport ins and outs  If you need to apply for or renew your passport, this is the place to start.  We cover procedures, fees, expediting the process, and other information that will be useful when filing your paperwork.

New Travel Document Requirements for U.S.Travelers in the Western Hemisphere  Rules governing entry to the United States by all travelers  in the Western Hemisphere have changed.  See our article for the details

Some facts you need to know about clearing Customs  When you return to the U.S. from wherever, the taxman will be waiting for you.  No, not the IRS, the U.S. Customs Service.  Here's an overview of what you need to know before you go.

Visas   You know how you think certain people should not be allowed to visit our country?  Well residents of other countries may feel the same way about you visiting their country and require you to have a visa (not the credit card) before you will be allowed to enter. We describe what a visa is, how to apply, and where to find out if you need a visa to enter a country you would like to visit.

Passport Cards   A new travel document created to assist U.S. citizens with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requirements.  The card is similar to a passport, but good only for land travel in the countries covered by the WHTI.  If you want to drive to Mexico or Canada and do not have a passport, this may be the right document for you.

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Good to know

U.S. Consuls help Americans abroad   The U.S. Consuls at the American Embassies around the world provide a variety of official services to American travelers.  Learn how the U.S. Consulate can assist you when the going gets tough.

What to do if you lose your passport  First, relax.  While not the end of the world this can be a logistical nightmare if you don't know what to do.  Here's what you need to do and what to expect.

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Might be of interest

Copy your passport's  Identification Pages  Your passport contains two pages that contain critical information linking you to the passport system. A copy of these pages can help to expedite replacement if you should lose your passport.

Take good care of your passport  Your passport is the key that unlocks the door to travel.  Losing it can leave you in travel limbo.  Our recommendations for passport management can help keep this most important travel document safe from loss or theft.

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