I have an international flight leaving early Tuesday morning. The visa agency has had my passport and application for more than 3 weeks, but due to problems with the photograph and embassy closures they will not be able to get my visa until Monday afternoon. The agency has offered to same-day deliver the visa as soon as they pick it up from the embassy. It's possible that if they can get my passport to FedEx or UPS by 3PM Monday, that it will arrive in the evening by 9PM. But should I call the airline and prepare for the possibility that my visa won't arrive in time? Or is it possible to arrange my visa to be sent to the layover airport (ORD) on Tuesday?

  • I called the airline (AA) and they said because it's an award flight (purchased with miles) that I can change the flight for free. But the only available flight at the same award price is a month away. I can change any time before the flight, so I'll wait until monday evening and hope my visa arrives. May 3, 2014 at 22:12
  • I can find the relevant postage delivery times from FedEx, UPS, and USPS, but there still remains the uncertainty of whether it will processed in time and delivered according to the carrier's guarantee. May 5, 2014 at 14:13
  • 1
    What ended up happening? Nov 16, 2014 at 16:29
  • The visa agency was kind enough to same-day deliver the passport at their own expense and it arrived on time the night before my flight. I figured in the worst case I would have to pay a penalty for changing the flight at the last minute. Nov 17, 2014 at 2:26
  • 1
    @pnuts Saudi Arabia Nov 25, 2014 at 7:18

1 Answer 1


It's up to you, not the airline, to have a valid visa for any countries you may be visiting.

You've not clarified which countries the missing visa is for, but a responsibility the airline DOES have is to ensure you have completed the required visa acquisition for any countries that they fly you to. As a result, if your missing visa is one of these, they're unlikely to want to risk flying you to said countries, even if you promise you'll get the visa at the layover airport (Chicago ORD).

It's generally pretty risky going to any country without a visa/onwards visa - and the US especially don't take kindly to even forgetting to fill out an ESTA for those who don't require visas :/

You COULD call the airline and see if they'll change your flight to give you more time to obtain said visa, but other than that, the airline is out of the equation here - it's between you and the visa company to get it sorted beforehand.

(I realise you've already had this flight and the visa did manage to arrive in time, but I wanted to clarify for future readers.)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.