Securing Passports and Visas

 

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I do not have a passport. How to I obtain one?

Please start this process early! Music Celebrations International will need a passport copy 120 days prior to departure.

  1. Obtain a passport application from your nearest U.S. Post Office or on the internet at www.travel.state.gov.
  2. Request a certified copy of your birth certificate (an original copy with a raised seal) from the County Clerk in your place of birth.
  3. Obtain two color “passport photos” which are no more than six months old and which measure 2×2 inches.
  4. Take the completed passport application to the passport office at a U.S. Post Office or Passport Agency together with the following items:
    1. Certified copy of your birth certificate;
    2. ONE (1) of the following: Driver’s License, Voter’s Registration Card, or Naturalization Certificate;
    3. Two (2) passport photos; and
    4. A check or money order as payment for the passport (the amount due is listed on the passport application.).

It may take up to eight (8) weeks to receive your passport. When it arrives, sign it and carry it with you at all times when traveling abroad.

Additional passport information:

  • If you need your passport immediately, please ask your local passport office for further information.
  • Passports are valid for ten (10) years, unless issued to persons under 18 years of age.
  • If you wish to have your passport sent to you by Express Mail, check with the passport office.
  • If your passport becomes lost or stolen, you must report it immediately:
    1. Inside the U.S. to the nearest passport office; or
    2. Outside the U.S. to the nearest U.S. Embassy.

 

I have a passport. Do I need to renew it?

If you already have a passport, it must be valid up to six months after the return of your trip. BE SURE TO CHECK THE EXPIRATION DATE!

  1. Pick up the application form at the nearest passport office or on the internet at www.travel.state.gov.
  2. Complete the form and mail it to the nearest passport issuing office together with: 1) your old passport 2) two (2) new passport photos; and 3) your check for renewal fees (indicated on the application). It will cost extra for the passport office to submit the renewal application for you.

Additional passport information:

  • If you need your passport immediately, please ask your local passport office for further information.
  • Passports are valid for ten (10) years, unless issued to persons under 18 years of age.
  • If you wish to have your passport sent to you by Express Mail, check with the passport office.
  • If your passport becomes lost or stolen, you must report it immediately:
    1. Inside the U.S. to the nearest passport office; or
    2. Outside the U.S. to the nearest U.S. Embassy.

 

Do I need a visa?

U.S. citizens do not need a visa when traveling to many countries; however, Australia, China and Brazil are examples of countries where a visa is required for U.S. citizens. If you are traveling to these countries, Music Celebrations International may include the cost of the VISA. Please check with your director.

Visas to China are not included with your tour cost. Individual visas will need to be acquired. While Music Celebrations will not be able to secure these for individuals on group tours to China, we will be able to assist you with locating the nearest visa office, and answering questions about the process.

Non-U.S. citizens must contact their Consulate General for information regarding visa requirements for countries they plan to visit.

  1. Visa applications can be obtained from the Consulate General or Embassy Office of the country from which the visa is required.
  2. Fill out the visa application and send it to the nearest Consulate General or Embassy Office indicated on the application along with:
  3. Your valid passport; and
  4. Check or money order for your passport to be returned with your visa stamp.

Note: It can take 6-8 weeks or more for your passport to be returned with your visa stamp. Express mail services can be used to expedite the process.

 

What happens when I arrive at customs and immigration?

When entering a foreign country, all non-citizens must go through customs and immigration. Upon arrival at a foreign airport, you will:

  1. Need to show your passport (and visa, if applicable);
  2. Proceed to your connecting flight or collect your luggage and proceed through the “nothing to declare” line; and
  3. Meet your Music Celebrations International Tour Manager outside of the customs area.

Non U.S. passport holders must verify travel documents needed in advance with embassy of country they wish to visit. Music Celebrations International only arranges group visas to China and Brazil.

When returning to the U.S., all U.S. citizens are generally allowed up to $800.00 worth of purchases duty-free. Duty will be charged on purchases exceeding $800.00. There are few exceptions to this, but for the purposes of your concert tour it is unlikely you will encounter these exceptions.

A few important ones to note, however, are limits on the amount of alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products you may include in your duty-free personal exemption.

Carry receipts to prove ownership of all items of significant value which were previously purchased or purchased while traveling.

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