With the busy holiday travel season right around the corner, the U.S. Department of State is encouraging U.S. citizens to apply for or renew their U.S. passports now if making plans for winter travel. The DOS is currently experiencing lower average passport processing times than it will once the winter season arrives.
Applicants traveling in more than three weeks may apply at a passport acceptance facility, such as a post office, library or a clerk of court. Routine service averages a four- to five-week turnaround, while expedited service averages two to three weeks. Expedited service does require an additional $60 fee.
Passport agencies and centers offer passport services to U.S. citizens traveling in less than two weeks or to U.S. citizens who require a new U.S. passport for a foreign visa within four weeks. Applicants must call ahead to the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778 in order to schedule an appointment. Applicants must pay the $60 expedite fee in addition to application fees. Evidence of travel, such as an itinerary, is also required when applying at a passport agency or center.
It’s also important to note that some countries have enforced a new rule that requires a traveler’s passport to have six or more months of validity in order to travel to that country. The rule change has most recently occurred in the European Union’s Schengen area, affecting more than 25 European countries such as Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain.
You can learn more information on this rule from our blog at https://berardiimmigrationlaw.com/immigration-blog/new-passport-validity-rule-ruin-vacation.
For additional information on passport applications and renewals, please visit www.Travel.State.Gov.
Remember, Berardi Immigration Law always helps you cross the border with confidence! If you or someone you know has questions regarding U.S. immigration law, please contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.