How Long to Get a Passport

How Quickly Can You Get a Passport?

How long to get a passport? When you’re getting ready for international travel, it’s crucial to understand what documents and visas you’ll need and how long it takes to get them.

How Long to Get a Passport

Even if you’re new to traveling abroad or a seasoned explorer, applying for a new passport or renewing an old one might take longer or need more paperwork than you expected.

Here’s a helpful guide to understanding how long it takes to get your passport, how to make the application process faster, and what might cause your passport application to be denied.

How Long to Get a Passport?

If you choose the in-person option at a post office to apply for your US passport, the processing time will depend on the service you choose.

Usually, regular processing takes 6 to 8 weeks and expedited processing takes just 2 to 3 weeks.

However, it is important to note that the processing times can differ depending on the demand and other factors, so make sure to check the processing time on the US Department of State website before applying.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that these timeframes are just approximations and not absolute promises. 

In cases of high seasons or when there is a high demand, processing times may be longer.

If you need your passport right away, some options are more expensive but are faster.

To remain on track of passport processing times and possible delays, you should check the US Department of State’s official website.

You can also contact your nearest post office or passport acceptance facility to get detailed information about processing time in your area.

How Can I Speed Up my Passport Application?

If you need a passport urgently, you have options to speed up the process:

1. Fast Track or Online Premium Services

You can pay extra for these services in case you are concerned that the standard processing time is not fast enough.

2. Check your Passport Status over the Phone

Contact 877-487-2778 to learn more about your passport’s status. 

The customer service representatives are available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET from Monday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. 

3. Fee Waiver Eligibility

Your household income must be 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or below to be eligible for a fee waiver. 

These guidelines are set up every year by the Secretary in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services.

4. Book an Appointment

Before you go to the passport center for an urgent passport application, you should call them to make an appointment. Visit this website for your appointment reservation.

Note that you are not eligible to travel during the time your renewal application is being processed. 

It is equally important to make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months after the date of your planned international travels.

Can I Pay for Shipping Back and for a Quicker Delivery?

How long to get a passport

You can pay for faster delivery and return shipping by choosing the shipment options for your passport:

1. Delivery to us

If you are mailing your application to the State Department, you can use Priority Mail Express for faster shipping. The price varies depending on the place you live.

2. Return to you

If you need your passport to be sent back to you as quickly as possible, it costs $19.53 for 1-2 day delivery. It simply means that you will receive your passport within 1-2 days of sending it to the embassy.

You should pay the fee for the passport with your check or money order which should be made out to the U.S. Department of State. Not sending a return envelope with prepaid postage is not a good idea.

Remembering that your passport and supporting documents might be delivered separately. 

The passport card will be sent to you via First Class Mail if you are renewing it. This is not the expedited 1-2 day delivery service.

In case you get a letter or email that requires you to submit more documents for the completion of the application process, ensure you respond as soon as possible.

If you fail to submit the required document on time, your passport application might get delayed. 

Follow the instructions as given in the letter or email, and visit the “How to Respond to a Letter or Email” page on the website of the State Department for more help.

What Can Cause a Passport to be Denied?

Here are some reasons why your passport application might be denied:

1. If there’s a valid, unsealed federal warrant of arrest against you

2. If there’s a federal or state criminal court order affecting your ability to travel

3. If you’re on parole or probation and not allowed to leave the US or the jurisdiction of the court

4. If there’s a request for extradition against you

Special issuance passports, like official, diplomatic, service, or no-fee regular passports, are only for official US government business.

You can’t use them for personal travel except when entering or leaving the country where you’re assigned.

When verifying passports online, usually, people have to upload a picture of their passport’s data page.

The data is then checked against their application and other documents, and the picture is examined for any signs of tampering or forgery.

If you’re waiting for your passport and it hasn’t arrived after two weeks since your application status changed to “Mailed,” you can call the National Passport Information Center at (877) 487-2778 for assistance.

Passport Application Procedures for Minors and Lost/Stolen Passports

If you are under 16 years old, you are a first-time applicant, or your passport is lost or stolen, you have to apply in person – no mailing option available. 

You should book an appointment at a local acceptance site, such as a post office or a library. Some places are to be booked, others aren’t.

After you have done the on-person application, be ready for the longer processing time than the renewal of passports.

If you are in a hurry, you can pay $60 for expedited processing and wait a few weeks.

Make sure to bring all your application materials with you, including proof of US citizenship for new passports. 

Do not forget to get your birth certificate from your parents’ garage if you need it. This is especially important if your international trip is coming up in a few days.

Obtaining a passport can be quite a lengthy process, but if you have to hurry you can find ways to speed up the process.

There are standard processing, expedited services, and even special issuance passports for official government business, which are all useful for different people.

Keep in mind that while waiting, it is important to have your travel documents ready and your papers up-to-date.

Therefore, even if you have a dream of a vacation or an official business trip, patience and planning can enable you to prepare your passport for your next adventure.

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