General Passport and Visa Information

Frequently Asked Questions for U.S. and Canadian Residents


Where can missionaries find answers to specific questions concerning the visa instructions for a certain country?

Missionaries can visit the Select Mission Location page and choose the appropriate country.

Is it acceptable for missionaries to bring their visa documents to the Missionary Travel Office?

The travel office prefers to receive all visa documents via mail. Missionaries who are concerned about sending their passport through the mail are welcome to send it through certified mail or overnight courier so that it is traceable.

How can missionaries verify that the Missionary Travel Office received their documents?

Missionaries who would like verification that the Missionary Travel Office received their documents can send their documents using a traceable delivery service such as Federal Express, UPS, or overnight U.S. mail.

For missionaries who have some of their visa documents but not all, is it acceptable to mail some now and then mail the rest later?

Missionaries should hold all paperwork until they have everything completed, at which point they can send the documents to the travel office. The travel office cannot process the visa if any of the paperwork is missing. Some instructions do indicate to send the paperwork in at different times. In those cases, missionaries should follow those instructions.

If missionaries don't turn in their visa documents on time, will they be delayed?

Possibly. If there are changes to the assigned MTC arrival date, the new information will come through missionaries' priesthood leaders at the appropriate time. Missionaries should not call the travel office.

Who can answer immunization questions?

Immunization questions can be answered by calling 801-240-6454.  Please call Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. MST.

Where or how should missionaries get a priesthood ordination certificate?

Unless otherwise noted in the instructions, missionaries should see their bishop or ward clerk, who will print a new copy. Missionaries should ask for this document as early as possible, and they should follow up with their ward clerk until they obtain it.

Where can missionaries find a notary public?

Notaries public are available at most banks and some post offices. Missionaries should check their local telephone book yellow pages or equivalent online directories.

What is an apostille?

An apostille is an authentication (usually a separate piece of paper with the state seal on it) placed on a document for use by a foreign government.

Where can missionaries obtain a certified copy of their birth certificate?

Certified copies of a birth certificate can be requested from the state or county where the missionary was born. Missionaries should search the Internet using the keywords "certified birth certificate" and the county and state where they were born.

What if missionaries cannot meet the Missionary Travel Office deadlines on visa requirements?

Missionaries in this situation could possibly be delayed. Missionaries who are facing any major challenges in this regard can discuss their issues with the Missionary Travel Office at 801-240-5111.

Will missionaries get their birth certificate back?

In some cases the birth certificate will be returned. Each visa requirement differs.

Can a temple certificate be used as a marriage certificate?

No, missionary couples must obtain a certified marriage certificate or license issued by the county clerk’s office in the county where they were married.

What should missionaries do if some of the personal information on the visa application is incorrect?

Missionaries should call the Missionary Travel Office and speak to the missionary visa agent for instructions. 801-240-5111.

What if missionaries have misplaced (cannot find) the visa information packet they received from the Missionary Travel Office?

Missionaries in this situation should call the Missionary Travel Office to have a replacement sent. 801-240-5111 or 1-800-537-3537.

How can missionaries obtain a police clearance letter?

Missionaries should go to their local police or sheriff’s office and bring a photo ID with them. Missionaries should check their visa instruction sheet for specific instructions. For most countries, this document needs to be in letter form on police department letterhead stating that the missionary has no criminal record, and the document must be notarized by a notary public. Most police or sheriff’s offices have a notary public available.

How can missionaries obtain a notarized copy of their document?

Missionaries can look for local notary services in the phone book or online. Many banks provide notary service.

If a photocopy of a document is required, missionaries will need to take their original document, a photocopy of the document, and a valid ID (such as a driver's license or passport). The following statement is usually attached to the notarized document: I certify that the preceding or attached document is a true, exact, complete, and unaltered photocopy from the original document

If a missionary's state requires an affidavit, copy certificate, or signature on the document, this is just fine. Missionaries should follow their state’s notary laws. The notary will be familiar with these laws.


Passport Questions

What is the difference between a passport and visa?

A passport is an official document issued by a government, certifying the holder’s identity and citizenship. A visa authorizes a person to be in the country that he or she is traveling to. A visa is usually a stamp or sticker placed in the passport.

What if missionaries already have a passport but they are not wearing missionary attire in the photo?

Missionaries in this situation need not be concerned. The passport is still acceptable. Missionaries need to make sure the expiration date is beyond 6 months from the release date of their mission. If their passport will expire while they are on their mission, they should apply for a new passport as soon as possible.

Do missionaries need to send their actual passport to the Missionary Travel Office?

Missionaries are asked to please read their instruction sheet carefully. If they are asked to send their passport, then, yes, they must send their actual passport to the Missionary Travel Office.

What is the issuing authority on the passport?

Missionaries should look for the words “issuing authority” or “issued by” or “U.S. Department of State” listed on the passport ID page.

What if missionaries did not expedite their passport application?

Missionaries should call the passport agency to expedite it after the application has been made. The telephone number is 1-877-487-2778. Missionaries may need to call the number several times in order to get through during peak hours.

What should missionaries put for a travel date and occupation on the passport application?

Missionaries who are attending the Provo MTC should put the date they will enter the MTC. If missionaries are attending an international MTC, they should put three weeks from the date they apply for their passport. For “occupation,” missionaries should enter “student” or their last occupation before their mission, whichever is applicable.

What if missionaries didn’t sign their middle name on their passport. Is that OK?

That is not a problem. Missionaries should not cross anything out and re-sign, nor should they double-sign their name. Missionaries must be sure to sign their visa paperwork the same as they signed their passport.

Where can missionaries obtain passport or visa photos?

It is recommended that missionaries use a professional passport photo service to ensure that their photo meets all the requirements. Most post offices, copy centers, drugstores, or grocery stores that have a photo center can take passport-type photos. Missionaries can search online using words like “passport photos” to locate a company that provides passport photos. No photocopies or homemade photos of any kind will be accepted. 


Other Questions


If missionaries have not yet received anything from their mission or mission president, when will they receive a letter from him with more specific details about their mission?

Not all mission presidents send a letter to the missionary beforehand. This is each president's personal decision. If missionaries have not received a letter yet, most likely their mission president does not send anything. The Missionary Department has worked closely with all mission presidents to make sure the items in missionaries' call packets are correct for their mission.

What is the Missionary Travel Office fax number?

801-240-5115.

What is the address for the Missionary Travel Office?

Missionary Travel
50 E North Temple St, 14th Floor
Salt Lake City, UT 84150

How can missionaries obtain their mission's office address, phone number, or email address?

Missionaries should refer to their mission call packet that they received with their mission call. The address and phone information should be located in the Mail Service section.

How do missionaries obtain a “born abroad” certificate?

Missionaries in need of this certificate should visit the following website: travel.state.gov/law/family_issues/birth/birth_593.html


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