The Wonderful (read: Terrible)World of Visas
Trip Start May 24, 2009
34Trip End Jul 20, 2009
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Egypt - $15 USD for Americans. Can be obtained at the airport on arrival in Egypt. Info here.
Jordan - Americans can be issued a visa on arrival at the airport in Amman. Info here.
United Arab Emirates - No visa required for American citizens. Info here.
India - Price depends on visa, but approximately $73 + shipping for 6-month visa. Info here.
Cambodia - $20, can apply for E-Visa. Info here.
Laos - $50 for Americans for 30 day visa. More info here.
Vietnam - $65 for normal service and $85 for expedited service. Must send with express mail envelope for return. More information is here.
China - Americans get really screwed and have to pay $130, while other nationals only pay $30. Can apply at local consulates (Houston in our case). More info here.
So that is the info that will hopefully help people out. Most of our visa information was obtained from the U.S. State Department's travel page, www.travel.state.gov, and through the web sites of the individual countries U.S. embassy and/or local consulate.
Couple of funny stories here:
For the Indian visa, they use a company to adjudicate the visas, it's called Travisa Outsourcing. So you apply online, and then you can either mail in your passport or bring it into the local office (in Houston in our case)
So it turns out that she mails it in, and i have to pay an extra $21 to get it overnighted (the only option) to me when it's all figured out (arrives Monday and I get it on Wednesday). So, crisis averted (I guess), but it was certainly a pain. There was also a point when I called to make sure that the passport had been received, and was told that they had no record of my application. Turns out there are multiple companies in Houston called Travisa (phew).
I feel like there are other stories too regarding visas, but I just can't think of them right now, sorry! That's enough for now.
The Vietnamese Embassy processed our visas VERY quickly. We overnighted our passports, chose expedited processing, and had it overnighted back (by USPS). I sent mine in on Monday afternoon, and had it back in hand at 8:00am Thursday. Pretty efficient! In hindsight I would have opted for the regular processing which was $20 cheaper.