The State Department is anticipating a surge in passport demand this year and officials hope to avoid delays for Americans who may not get their passports renewed in time for upcoming travel. The department is expecting more than 17 million new passports and renewals this year, about 1.5 million more than 2015.
The Department plans to avoid being overwhelmed like it has in the past and is urging Americans with passports expiring any time in 2016 to renew as soon as possible.
There will be greater numbers of first time applicants expected this year as some states have set stricter standards for driver licenses and other identity cards, leaving residents without those improved forms of I.D. by Jan. 22, 2018 to provide an alternative, approved form of identification, such as a passport.
Another reason to renew soon is that many countries are now enforcing a requirement for at least six months’ validity on a U.S. passport. Calls to the State Department have increased from Americans denied entry at foreign airports and borders because their passport had less than 6 months to go before expiration.
If you have a U.S. passport expiring any time in 2016 and prefer to avoid the wait and frustration of large backlogs, renew it now! First time passport seekers must submit the application in person at a designated post office, court or other agency, and pay a fee of $135. Renewals take about six weeks and can be submitted by mail for a fee of $110.
If you have questions on immigrating to the United States, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!