Breeze Through the Passport Backlog With This Unique App

Tejas Sandhu/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Tejas Sandhu/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images /

Traveling can be a great way to clear your mind and put your worries on pause. However, the process of renewing your passport can put a damper on your fun. If you’ve been looking for a service to help you expedite the process, we just might have the answer.

Culturess spoke with David Alwadish, founder of Passport & Visas Services. Here’s a peek inside our chat.

Culturess: What prompted you to start Passport & Visas Services?

David Alwadish: My father was an entrepreneur. He owned a group of auto schools in New York City. Computers weren’t widely available 40 years ago, so one of the things he did was go to the DMV for people. I used to work at his auto school and gravitated toward the paperwork side of the business. I really enjoyed renewing driver’s licenses, auto registrations, and getting license plates.

As I was graduating college, I saw a need to help busy people with DMV services. I knew I could help busy workers avoid wasting their time at the DMV. As luck would have it, while searching for rental space, I ended up getting license plates for the senior vice president of Rockefeller Center Renting. He just returned from an unsuccessful visit to the DMV.  He was so pleased that he kept his promise and found me an amazing space in Rockefeller Center. Passport & Visa Services was born. With virtually no money, I opened my first office in Rockefeller Center. I was the youngest tenant in Rockefeller Center’s history, servicing the tenants in the entire giant multi-building complex. After providing motor vehicle services for a while, people would often ask if I could renew their passports. Since the passport agency, coincidently, was right down the block, I handled my first passport application for someone. It was a success, and this sparked a whole industry.

Culturess: How has ItsEasy grown over the years?

David Alwadish: Fast forward 40 years, with offices in NYC and service centers in Boston, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Denver, along with additional processing centers located in key cities, Passport & Visa Services is one of the largest and most established passport and visa courier names in the business.

We provide some of the most advanced technology, including real-time order tracking, online chat services, automated email updating, up-to-date requirement changes, and the highest levels of digital security available.

We have a team of specialists who assist customers within a primary and extended-hours call center. In addition, Passport & Visa Services boasts an award-winning smartphone app that makes passport renewals a breeze, the ItsEasy Passport Renewal and Photo App.

Culturess: How does Passport & Visa Services work for those who are affected by the passport backlog?

David Alwadish: The ItsEasy Passport Renewal & Photo App helps prevent unexpected and costly 3- to 4-week delays caused by an application in “suspense” (when an application is on hold due to errors), by serving as a “passport insurance policy.” The ItsEasy team makes sure all required elements of the application, from the signature to the passport photo, are correct, follow governmental requirements, and are included prior to submission.

Customers can go on the ItsEasy Passport Renewal and Photo App or website, place an order, and the app/website will guide them to our simple, smart government questionnaire. Special ItsEasy technology then converts the questionnaire into the exact government-required barcoded application, which can be printed and signed.

Culturess: How much can customers expect to pay?

David Alwadish: Complimentary passport photos are included within the app service, which starts at $39.95 plus government-required passport book/card and/or expediting fees. The passport photo, which can be taken through the app, is instantly uploaded to the portal. Our experts review each application and photo by hand. If we find issues, we explain how to fix them.

Our app offers a renewal solution for individuals who have planned ahead and have time to wait 10 to 13 weeks (for the routine service) or up to 7 to 9 weeks (for the optional expedited service). These are the currently estimated government passport processing timeframes. These timeframes can change based on the volume of applications the government receives.

The ItsEasy app offers the government’s expedited renewals ($42.95 plus government fees) or routine renewals ($39.95 + gov. fees). With the app’s incorporation of the barcoded applications, processing time may be cut down.

Culturess: Are rush services available?

David Alwadish: You can opt for faster processing within 10 days. We offer rush services currently starting at $349. For in-person rush passport appointments, passport courier companies have been allocated a certain amount of appointment slots for urgent processing of applications, with proof of travel within 14 days.

Culturess: In your opinion, what’s the best feature customers should know about?

David Alwadish: Some of our passport courier competitors charge upwards of $300 in service fees for services that are free or already charged by the government, and for fewer services than what we provide with our $39.95+ ItsEasy app service. Passport & Visa Services’ best feature is the pricing for such a one-of-a-kind and time-saving adult passport renewal service. It is all-inclusive and high-tech, with 24/7/365 service. I’m very proud of our honesty when there is greed in the marketplace.

Another great feature is the world-class complimentary passport renewal reminder. I have companies that use my app to make sure everyone in their company gets a reminder one year in advance to avoid last-minute issues.

Culturess: What are your plans for the company over the next five years?

David Alwadish: We will continue evaluating our technology so that we’re always providing the most seamless experience for our customers. We are committed to maintaining our position as a trusted partner for travelers during challenging times, such as passport backlogs or changes in visa requirements. We’ll continue to focus on innovation, efficiency, and customer satisfaction as we grow and adapt to the ever-changing travel landscape.

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