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Phone: (703) 903-1400 1600 International Drive Ste 600, McLean, VA 22102


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With more than 50 years of experience, CIBT and its subsidiaries have become the largest and most well established travel visa and passport company in the world. CIBT operates 31 offices in nine countries and has over 500 employees. Last year, CIBT and its subsidiaries assisted nearly one million people in obtaining the documents required for international travel to over 200 destinations.

 - Visas for all types of travel including business, tourist, work permits and more
 - Australian Electronic Visa (ETA)
 - US Electron System for Travel Authorizations (ESTA)
 - Passport renewals, new, child's and more
 - Document legalization
 - Translation services

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that CIBT, Inc meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

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Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Based on BBB files, this business has a BBB Rating of No Rating. The reason is as follows:

  • This business has no rating at this time because BBB file information is being reviewed and/or updated.

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

13 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 4 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 7
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 6
Total Closed Complaints 13

Additional Information

BBB file opened: January 30, 2012 Business started: 06/01/1989 in VA Business started locally: 06/01/1989 Business incorporated: 06/01/1989 in DE
Type of Entity


Business Management
Mr. John Donoghue, President / CEO Mr. William Garrahan, CFO Ms. Lesley Weller, VP On-Line Marketing
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. John Donoghue, President / CEO
Business Category

Passport & Visa Services

Method(s) of Payment
American Express, Discover, Master Card and Visa

Additional Locations

  • 1600 International Drive Ste 600

    McLean, VA 22102


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Complaint Detail(s)

8/4/2014 Problems with Product/Service
7/26/2014 Billing/Collection Issues
9/25/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
9/25/2013 Problems with Product/Service
6/18/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
6/14/2013 Problems with Product/Service
6/13/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: I called the office on Tuesday May 28th and again on Wednesday May 29th to request assistance. On Monday I spoke to *** who seemed helpful and emailed me a packet with instructions. *** told me a few of the forms I would need to provide, including a marriage certificate from my previous and current marriage because the passport is for my child and I needed to show why my name had changed. He then said all instructions would be in the email he sent. The email he sent did not mention the marriage certificates. After re-reading the packet I called customer service on May 29th and spoke to someone else. I do not know her name. I told her that I was very confused and I needed assistance. She said all I had to do was follow the instruction packet. She re-sent an email to me and read off the directions from a few sections of the packet, When I asked her if CIBT was registered with the US Passport Agency she replied that she did not know and would ask her manager. She did that and told me yes. She was very polite, but obviously new. I got off the phone feeling like an idiot because I could not understand what I was told were very simple instructions. So I re-read the instructions again and tried, unsuccessfully, to get them submitted so that CIBT could assist me and expedite the process. The packet does not specifically tell me to tell the person at the USPS that I am using an expediting service. I arrived with all of my forms and attempted to hand them to her. The USPS service employee told me it was not necessary and that she would ask only for them forms she needed. Her rudeness is not CIBT's fault. However, if CIBT representatives or the CIBT form had told me that I needed to tell the USPS employee I was using them I would have insisted. It does not state in the CIBT packet to tell them this. There is a small section that has one sentence that says I will mail both the sealed and unsealed envelopes. This sentence is buried in the bottom of the instructions. It is NOT clearly visible. The packet does NOT clearly state CIBT needs to submit the passport application for you. Only that they will get it returned more quickly than I could on my own. When I called on Wednesday May 29th and told the rep that I did not understand the packet and what to do with it, she should have told me more than reading from the instructions word by word. She should have made it clear that CIBT processes the application, not the USPS. I was very clear that I was confused and anxious regarding the application process through CIBT. I thought I submitted only the copies of the forms to CIBT by overnight mail. When I called back on Thursday May 30th to tell them I had completed my appointment and that the USPS had mailed my forms and I would mail the copies to them, I spoke to ******. ****** knows how to explain the program! She was very clear. I did not have to fully explain what happened before she stopped me and gave me full and easy to understand explanation of the process. I attempted to have the USPS give me the forms back but was unsuccessful. I again called CIBT told a different rep what happened, this rep blamed me for not being able to fully understand the instructions that were emailed to me. I told her that was why I called her office and requested help. I apologized for my rude tone and told her I knew it was not her fault. I had her cancel my order. I requested a manager to call me. She told me that ***** was unavailable and that she would give her a message to call me. It is Thursday night and I have not received a call. At this point I do not believe that there is anything they can do to help my situation. I would NOT recommend CIBT to anyone due to the inability of the majority of their customer service/sales reps to do anything more than tell the prospective client to read the forms. If you do not understand the form they provide then you cannot accurately complete the process. There obviously is NO do-over when it comes to submitting a passport application. Now we may miss our vacation to Mexico and lose a few thousand dollars. VERY SAD!!!

Desired Settlement: I would like for the company to apologize. It would be even better if they could adjust the instruction process and better train their staff to do something besides read off the same list of instructions that they give prospective clients. Besides ****** they seemed very rushed and poorly trained. Their business leaves no room for errors at the time of submission of the passport. The lack of instruction provided to me, upon request, could leave me wasting my hard earned money that was saved for vacation and leave me without a vacation.

Business Response: Hello,

This issue complaint was resolved directly with by our VP of Operations, **** ******** on June 7, 2013.  Please let me know if you have any questions of need me to provide additional information.



Consumer Response: [A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me. 


******** *******

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

5/11/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Was charged $39 more than the I was told I would be charged for a visa to ******. The extra charges were for: Money Order Fee $8 Passport Replacement Service $25 Photocopy Fee $6 I did not agree to these charged upfront and would have chosen a different visa service had they told me about these charges up front. I have contacted CIBT (DBA by e-mail and by telephone. I have received one phone call back (which a message was left for me) but no resolution to the overcharges.

Desired Settlement: $39 Credit card refund

Business Response:

Hello ****** Thank you for sending this email.  In response to the complaint that was filed, we refunded the customer and credited his account for $39.00 on 4/4/2013. The customer was notified of this credit. Please let me know if you need any additional information to resolve this issue. Best, ******  VP, Online Marketing1650 Tysons Boulevard, Suite 1350McLean, VA 22102 p.  ************ *** ******* ************

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

4/15/2013 Problems with Product/Service
3/5/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
12/11/2012 Billing/Collection Issues
11/2/2012 Billing/Collection Issues
8/22/2012 Problems with Product/Service