As the pandemic abates and travel restrictions are lifted, more Bay Area residents are choosing to travel internationally. When you check your passport, though, you might be in for a nasty surprise–especially given the long hiatus from travel during Covid-19, your passport might well be expired.
That’s the situation I found myself in recently when a family member went to book international travel. We needed a renewed passport, and we needed it fast. That’s how I ended up using San Francisco’s Travel Visa Pro.
Given the high volume of applications, the State Department’s current processing period for priority passport applications has extended to an exorbitant 9 weeks. In our case, this timeline was simply not feasible. This led me to explore alternative options, ultimately leading me to the services of a passport expeditor.
With these services, you pay more for a hands-on renewal process. They’ll deliver your documents directly to the State Department, and shepherd your application through the agency.
The Choice: Travel Visa Pro
Based on my research, I chose Travel Visa Pro, a company conveniently located in San Francisco with a reputation for efficiency. With the flexibility of hand-delivering documents to their office or overnight shipping them from anywhere else in the Bay Area, their services seemed tailored to our pressing requirements.
The Process: Simple and Efficient
Starting the process was straightforward. Their website offers an easy sign-up process where you can select the desired speed of service. The more you’re willing to pay, the faster you can get your passport. Their fastest option allowed for delivery in about a week.
For our needs, I opted for the 5-week service, hopeful that this would be swift enough to get the passport in time for the trip. I overnighted the documents, including the expired passport, to their SF location.
Photo Submission and Excellent Customer Service
One standout feature that I found particularly useful was the ability to submit a digital photo that Travel Visa Pro would then edit and print to meet passport photo requirements. This saved us the hassle of scheduling a separate appointment for a passport photo, a feature that added significant convenience and time-saving to the whole process.
Once the necessary documents were prepared and sent to Travel Visa Pro, the waiting game began. During this period, I found myself with several questions and concerns, which led me to contact their customer service multiple times.
Travel Visa Pro assigned a dedicated person to our application, and I was always able to reach her with questions.
The Result: Surprisingly Swift
The biggest surprise, however, was the delivery. Despite opting for a 5-week service, the renewed passport arrived at our doorstep in just 2 weeks, neatly packaged in an overnight mailer. It was a moment of both relief and amazement, especially given the tight timelines we were working with.
Verdict: Worth the Investment
Yes, Travel Visa Pro’s expedited service does come at a higher price than the standard passport renewal process. In our case, it was about double the normal price.
However, in my experience, the speed, convenience, and outstanding customer service provided by Travel Visa Pro made the additional cost a worthwhile investment.
In these uncertain times, when typical passport processing times are significantly extended, Travel Visa Pro offers a valuable service for those who need to travel internationally on short notice. Given my positive experience with their service, I highly recommend Travel Visa Pro to anyone in a similar situation.