International Travel Guide

Last modified by Catherine Scallen on August 15th, 2018 at 10:52 pm.
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This looks pretty old, ask if it’s still current!

Team SkyVerge is a global one, with teammates representing from all over the world. We’re technically a US company, however, so our international teammates will find themselves visiting the US for work-related travel (conferences, SkyTrips, etc) from time to time. Tips and tricks for international travel can be found here.

Don’t leave home without…

  1. Your passport! Make sure it’s valid for at least 6 more months before you travel–some customs will give you a hard time about this.
  2. A travel visa or waiver.
  3. A letter explaining the purpose of your visit.
  4. The hotel or apartment address and contact info

Visas

Almost every country needs a visa or waiver to travel to the US. (Canadian passport holders do not need either, just bring your passport and government issued ID.)
Check here to see if you’ll need a visa or a waiver. DM Catherine for any questions–visas can certainly be confusing.
 

Visa Waiver Program

Some countries participate in the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) — check if yours is one here. If so, you can apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) within 3 days of travel.

 

Trusted Traveler Programs

Customs can be…a real drag. You can pretty much anticipate a slow moving process every time, but trusted traveler programs exist to help speed it up a bit. Canadians are eligible for NEXUS, and other staff should look into whether or not they qualify for Global Entry. If you do plan to take advantage of either of these programs–plan ahead! They can take quite a bit of time (plan for several weeks, if not months) to get. These memberships are covered by SkyVerge, so please use your Amex to cover the application fee : )
 
Remember, you still need a visa or waiver! Programs like Global Entry and NEXUS just help speed up the customs process upon arrival at your destination.
 

Invitation Letter

We’ll provide you with a letter each time you travel to the US for work — letting customs know that you’re here for a conference or a company retreat–which is covered under your visa or waiver. Catherine will draft up a new one for you each time–reach out to her as soon as you know you’ll be visiting!
 

Pre Trip

Look for a pre-trip email from Catherine a few weeks out from the conference and/or company retreat. It will have details specific to that particular gathering (where we’re meeting, address for hotel, arrival times, etc.)
In addition, we’ll create new slack channels for each event, such as #wooconf or #skytrip. The channel is a great place to keep team members up to date on your arrival and any event-related questions the whole group could benefit from knowing.

 

SIM Cards

The US and Canada have not quite embraced the beauty of data-heavy temporary SIM cards yet, so options are a bit limited.
If visiting both Canada and the US in the same trip–Public Mobile with its US Roaming Add On is a good option.
Roam Mobility is another option–available for all international travelers and provides you with a permanent US phone number and SIM card (as long as you schedule a plan at least once a year). This means you don’t need to sign up for a new service every time you visit the States – you just schedule your plan before hand and pop in the SIM on your flight. Roam Mobility also has a Canadian roaming service with similar features to the US service and provides roaming across Canada. NOTE: Roam plans are text/talk focused, and not very data heavy.
 
Another good option is the T-mobile pay as you go plan, but beware that you will lose your phone number if the service is not re-loaded for 90 days. This also means that your SIM expires after 90 days, since many carriers don’t allow you to register SIMs on different numbers.
Shout out to Tam for some additional ideas:
 
  • Related to Roam Mobility–it’s a data-only SIM with pretty decent prices.
  • Consider coupling this with one of the free VOIP phone number apps (Fongo is a good option for Canadians) for team trips such as SkyTrip.
  • Offers a 10GB data-only plan for $50/month with no contract in Canada
  • Note that this option is only available in certain cities, and you’ll need to check your device’s compatibility (which you can do here.)
  • Also note that they are in the process of updating their LTE network, so some older phones won’t get LTE until the network is updated in that area.
  • You can check on status of LTE network upgrades here
Tam is all over this stuff, so reach out to her directly with more questions!