Visa – Get Them Easy

English: Turkey Visa Stamp

Traveling abroad?  You have a passport, right?  Will you need a Visa?  Read on for super easy help in some of the most commonly visited countries that require a Visa for US Passport holders.  We will also hit on some of the highlights of these great Visa requiring countries.

In general, here is what you need to get a VISA which normally appears as an endorsement (fancy talk for a stamp) in your passport book:

  1. Your Passport which must remain valid for 6 months AFTER your trip
  2. Specific Country Visa Application
  3. Recent, additional passport photograph
  4. Travel Itinerary/Invoice with Itinerary

Visa for Turkey

Are you visiting Turkey as a port of call on a cruise?  The ship will help you get your Visa prior to getting off in Turkey.  Larger ships normally call in Kusadasi  and smaller ships in Izmir.  It is not critical to get a Visa in advance.  Both of these ports provide access to Ephesus where you can visit the Roman Ruins, visit the both the House of the Virgin Mary, and the Church of Saint John.  Flying into Turkey for a land trip?  Pre-cruise stay?  You can just get one in the airport as this is the standard procedure.

Visa for China

You must determine if you need a single, double, or multiple entry Visa.  This depends upon your itinerary.  The documentation required for a China Visa are very straightforward.  Most US passport holder arrive in China in one of two ways:

1) Hong Kong for a cruise

2) Beijing or Shanghai for a land tour (with a potential Yangtze river cruise.)

Beijing is the city where you can walk on a section of the Great Wall; while, Shanghai is a modern city where East meets West.  Xian is home to the Terra Cotta Warriors.

Visa for Brazil

Brazil is a little tricky in that they require the most information from US passport holders.  Plus requirements are different based upon your State.  Note: if you are staying in someone’s home or attending a trade show/conference, then there are additional requirements.

  1. Proof of Funds – complete bank statements for  three months showing transactions (for Florida residents)
  2. Proof of present address
  3. Yellow Fever International Certificate of Vaccination record – IF you have been to certain countries and/or you will visit certain parts of Brazil

Where are you going in Brazil?  Land tour? Cruise? You can experience the sites of Rio and ascend Sugar loaf Mountain, visit the Iguacu Falls, or take a trip on the Amazon River.

Visa for Russia

Arriving in St. Petersburg, Russia on a Baltic Sea Cruise?  Please inquire if you have questions about obtaining a Visa for

Sample Russian Visa Documents

Sample Russian Visa Documents (Photo credit: hollaBackpackers)

Russia for arrival by air.  There is so much to see that most cruise lines offer an overnight/two-day port call when calling on St Petersburg, Russia.


Have you heard the rumor, “This ship won’t let me go ashore if I didn’t book the tour with them.”  Really, they have no right to keep you aboard as long as you have your blanket visa (more on that later.)

St. Petersburg, Russia is different from other port calls in that you need to:

1) be escorted by a state sanctioned tour guide, and

2) need to have a tourist visa.  The solution to getting a great tour with great value is not complicated.

You will have your blanket Visa with all suggested third party tours…more later ( I already said that but I’m making you wait just one more time.)

To depart your ship in St. Petersburg, every cruise passenger is expected to present these four (4) documents:

  1. Your valid Passport.  Your identity will be checked, it will be stamped usually on the last page, and then returned to you.
  2. Russian Migration Card.  A Russian Migration Card is a 2-part document provided by the transportation company bringing the passenger to Russia. In your case it is your cruise line, but it could also be an airline or train. Please fill in both parts, sign them before disembarking.
  3. Shore Excursions Provider’s Tour Ticket – proof of having a prepaid, confirmed space in a guided shore excursions program.   This tour ticket will have the local operator’s name and will serve as your blanket Visa.
  4. A photocopy of the photo and signature page of your passport.  This is just a precautionary measure. In case there is a power failure at the port terminal the Immigration Department and computers may not work. In other words this copy may, or may not, be required, so do not present it until asked.)

Here are some of the incredible sites and incredible things including:

  1. Catherine’s Palace The grand Baroque style palace was built for the wife of Peter The Great. It exceeds all the other palaces with its gigantic size, the stunning facade of the palace extends for almost 1000 feet.
  2. Peter and Paul Fortress Built in 1703, by Peter the Great to protect his new capital, it never saw battle and became a prison for politically harmful people.
  3. Hermitage The former residential Winter Palace of the Romanov rulers, today houses one of the world’s most prestigious museums where the rooms rival the art within them.
  4. Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood It sports a fantastic ornate “Russian-style” exterior of traditional colorful onion domes, ceramic tiles and colored glazed bricks.
  5. Canal Cruise St. Petersburg is also called “the Venice of the North.”
  6. Metro Ride Visit the magnificent “palaces of the People” as the Metro used to be called during the Soviet Union years.
  7. Lunches – would included lunches with Champagne and Vodka be good?
  8. Ballet – A great option in the evening of your overnight in port


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