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Important Travel Rules and Documents

Posted December 1, 2011 - 10:08pm by travel and vacations

Up-to-date information on the requirements for entering any country can be found at the website for the Bureau of Consular Affairs in the State Department.

The website address is http://travel.state.gov/travel/travel_1744.html.

The rules vary from nation to nation, and they often change, sometimes with little or no notice. When travelers who are residents of the U.S. but not citizens enter another country, the documentation they need depends on both the country whose citizenship they claim and the country they are visiting.

If an airline or cruise ship transports a passenger who does not have the documentation required to enter a country, the airline or cruise line is subject to a fine and must provide return transportation to the passenger.

You the traveler bear the ultimate responsibility for determining and meeting the requirements.

Depending on the country visited, you may need to provide Proof of Citizenship, a Passport, a Visa, and/or a Tourist Card.

Proof of Citizenship

Those traveling on business may need additional documents. Travelers to Canada should also carry proof of citizenship, which is legally required. Depending on your citizenship and destination Acceptable proofs of citizenship include:

1) A valid passport.

2) For those born in the United States, a birth certificate that is certified with the registrar's signature and with a raised, impressed, embossed or multicolored seal along with a state or government issued photo identification card (driver license).

Children 17 and under who are U.S. or Canadian citizens are only required to have proof of citizenship, excluding picture identification. Hospital issued birth certificates are NOT acceptable.

3) For those born abroad, a certificate of naturalization. A driver license, social security card, voting card or draft registration card is not proof of citizenship. A valid passport is always the best proof of citizenship and travelers who possess one should use it. You the traveler bear the ultimate responsibility for determining and meeting the requirements.

Passports

Many countries require foreign visitors to have a valid passport in order to enter the country. Applications for U.S. Passports are available at thousands of post offices and state and federal court buildings, as well as at passport agencies.

For more information, visit the U.S. State Department website at... http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport 1738.html.

Visas

Some countries require visas; some do not. A visa is an endorsement or stamp or separate paper placed in a passport by officials of a foreign government. It specifies the conditions under which the traveler may enter the country. There are different types of visas for different purposes and periods (tourist visa, visitor, student visa, business visa, transit visa).

Tourist Cards

Some countries accept a tourist card for entry instead of requiring a passport.

Minors under 18 NOT traveling with BOTH parents require consent to travel. We strongly advise all single, divorcees and grandparents that you obtain a notarized statement from the court or the other parent(s) giving you authorization to travel outside the united States with these children, (even if you have been awarded custody).

Due to always changing immigration and territory laws, it is your responsibility to check with the National Tourist Office or Embassy of the country in which you are traveling to.

Airline Tickets

When your cruise fare includes air transportation, the cruise line decides the air carrier and flight times. The exact flight times, flight numbers and the airline carrier are generally not available until 15 days prior to your cruise. We do not have access to this information until the cruise line arranges your air itinerary and mails the cruise documents to our offices.

If you accept the airline tickets as issued, you are treated as a priority customer by the airlines, and your flight schedule is monitored by the ship; and if the flight is delayed, the ship may delay its departure. However, if you make any changes to the original airline tickets, you are on your own. The cruise line can't keep track of changes in your flight arrangements and the cruise line will not be responsible for delays, cancelled flights, etc..

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