It was a big headline this past week, as the United States re-opened its borders to accept vaccinated foreign travelers — many of whom looked toward reuniting with their families that have been sealed out of the country during the pandemic. But what if there was something that could make the process a little easier? Thankfully, there is something, and it couldn’t come at a better time. An unsung hero for many that have already started to reconnect, Atlys, a new travel app, condenses the visa application process to just a few minutes!

Created by Mohak Nahta, an immigrant from India staying in the U.S. on a work visa, this breakthrough app revolutionizes travel, removes confusion and fear, and cuts through the current bureaucratic process in 10 minutes or less. Atlas has quickly become a solution for millions of families who have been unable to reconnect after 8+ months apart. Some notable ways that Atlas can help:

  • The Atlys App starts its simplified process with a few easy questions. Once answered the app processes all the paperwork, payments, and other required documents for international travelers to over 190 countries.

  • Atlys guides users through each step—beginning from the comfort of your couch to the comfort of your seat in the airplane, bringing the Visa application and COVID health requirement processes from an average of 13 hours to under a few minutes.  

  • Any documents, including Visas, that Atlys provides are issued directly by the respective governments. Atlys integrates only with the official sources and can vouch for the authenticity of any documents obtained.

We also had a brief Q&A with Atlys’s founder, Mohak Nahta to discuss the company and how it came about — as well as his background and what he hopes Atlas can do for families in the coming years.

Q&A with Founder Mohak Nahta

Q: Hi Mohak, and thank you for taking the time to provide deeper insight into Atlys. To get started, can you share your story and background?

A: I grew up in India and came to the US for my undergraduate studies a few years ago. Having been raised in India, I was born with what is sometimes called a ‘weak’ passport. After my undergrad, I joined Pinterest, where I spent four years as a software engineer. During undergraduate school and my time at Pinterest, I traveled a lot, which only made me realize how challenging international travel is; even looking to go internationally for a few days, required going through hours of endless paperwork.

Q: How was Atlys created?

A: Atlys was born as a solution to the problems I experienced, first-hand. s. Before COVID, I went to Europe three times in about 6 months, and for each occasion I  had to apply for a new visa. Every time, it took me more than 12 hours to do the same work. I built Atlys as a tool to solve my problems.

Q: What was the biggest obstacle you faced while creating Atlys, and how did you overcome it?

A: The biggest obstacle initially was COVID-19 since travel was non-existent when Atlys launched. We always had conviction in the idea, and we kept talking to customers. Usually, customers often tell you their problems, and we realized that they were struggling with COVID visas’ – a type of visa you need to travel to many countries. We quickly built support for it, and COVID-19 turned into our most significant opportunity and growth driver. 

Q: 2020 was undoubtedly a difficult year for many, as we struggled with the pandemic and so many yearned to get back home. Can you break down how much easier the Atlys app can be for helping those returning to their home, and what the process is like?

A: There are many families we have spoken with who have found Atlys because of their struggles getting home. [One example is] Vik, an Atlys customer, who worked in Texas and came to the US from India about 10 years ago with his wife. In 2020, Vik’s father, who was living in India, succumbed to COVID. While he had to rush back to take care of his grieving mother, his wife was 36 weeks pregnant. Because of the travel bans, he was unable to come back. On top of that, his employer gave him an ultimatum to show him to work. Like Vik, many immigrants cannot be in the country legally, without an active job.

The only way for Vik to come back was to do some complex paperwork, so he used Atlys, and in under 200 seconds was able to submit the proper documentation. In 2 days, he got approval to come back to the United States anytime.   

Vik is one of the many people who have used Atlys to return to loved ones, tend to family emergencies or even go for their first vacation in years.

Q: Are the Atlys app and its services free to use?

A: The app is free to download, but there’s a service fee. We offer many free tools and guides to travelers, however such as this, this, or this.

Q: What are some of your long-term goals for Atlys?

A: Our mission is to enable every person on earth to travel freely. To achieve that, we are building the tools that lets anyone travel freely – an SSO for travel. One access point to get everything from visas, to foreign exchange, travel insurance, and even checking into hotels.