Passports and Visas
A valid passport is required when traveling internationally. We work hard to keep the information on this page up-to-date, but requirements vary per country and can change at any time for reasons beyond the control of Westcoast Connection. It is the responsibility of the traveler to verify appropriate documentation.
Expiration—Many countries require that your passport be valid for 6 months beyond your dates of travel. If you are traveling on one of our programs, please ensure your passport meets these expiration requirements.
Passports for U.S. Residents
It may take up to six weeks to get your passport. Applicants are required to bring two official passport photos and a birth certificate. A parent must show their own ID in the form of a license or passport.
For more information on the passport process, click here.
For expedited passports, you can contact American Passport, a private company, at 800.455.5166 or visit the “Expedite a Passport” page of the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Website.
Passports for Canadian Residents
Applications for passports can be picked up at any post office, travel agency, or passport office. Applicants will be required to bring proof of citizenship in the form of a birth certificate and two official passport photos.
For more information, click here.
Visa Information for American and Canadian Citizens
Some Westcoast Connection programs require a visa for entry or other specific instructions. More detailed information will be included in your specific pre-trip information package. For the most up-to-date visa requirements for your destination, see the following:
U.S. Citizens – click here.
Canadian Citizens – click here.
Travelers From Outside the U.S. & Canada
In addition to a passport, make sure all your travel documents are in order. Check if a visa is mandatory for travel from your country.
For visitors to the USA: You will need to receive approval using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) program under the Visa Waiver Program. Apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours in advance of your trip. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will now be unable to accept international travelers without ESTA approval or a valid visa or Green Card. If you have a U.S. or Canadian passport this is not applicable. The ESTA can be obtained by visiting the ESTA website.
For visitors to Canada: If travel is to the USA first and your trip enters Canada from the USA as some of our trips do, please see the information above re ESTA. Many countries are exempt from needing to obtain a visa to enter Canada via a land crossing. If however your program starts in Canada and you are required to fly into a Canadian airport, you must apply for a Canadian ‘Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA)’. This new requirement is for all travelers from countries other than the USA flying to Canada. For more information, visit the ETA website.
For visitors to destinations other than the USA and/or Canada: As regulations vary by country and may change at any time, check with your local government to determine if any further visa(s) are required.
Important information on some destinations
An Electronic Travel Authority Visa is required for travel to Australia and is valid for up to three months. We provide a form for all American and Canadian residents so that we can procure this visa for you. For more information on this type of visa, please click here.
South Africa Community Service 13 and 25 Day Programs
To enter South Africa, your passport must have two blank pages facing one another. If you travel often and no longer have this space available, you have to get a new passport, as this requirement is strictly enforced.
New regulations from the Republic of South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs have recently come into effect. Children under 18 traveling without a parent are required to produce an unabridged birth certificate, along with an affidavit from the parents confirming that they give permission for the chaperone to travel with the child. The traveler also needs copies of their parents’ passports and the contact information for the child’s parents.
This is in addition to any other required travel documents such as passports and/or visas. Travelers are invited to visit the Republic of South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs or to contact the South African High Commission at 202-272-7991 for more information.
Vietnam Community Service
To enter Vietnam, you will be required to complete an entry Visa prior to your arrival.
For US citizens: To enter Vietnam you will need a valid U.S. passport with at least 6 months validity remaining beyond the date of your departure. You will also need at least one blank page in your passport. To apply for your entry Visa, please click here.
For Canadian citizens: To enter Vietnam you will need a valid Canadian passport with at least 6 months remaining beyond the date of your departure to meet airline requirements. You will also need at least one blank page in your passport. To apply for your entry Visa, please click here.