Potential Stateside Travel Challenges For Passport Bros Seeking to go abroad
Updated: Jul 8
Obtaining a passport used to be a simple procedure for many Americans. However, as travel restrictions and the COVID-19 epidemic eased, there has been a sharp increase in demand for passports. As a consequence, processing passport applications at the U.S. State Department is suffering from never-before-seen delays.
As of March 24, 2023, the processing time for ordinary passport applications was 10 to 13 weeks, while the processing time for expedited applications was 7 to 9 weeks. That wait time, even with expedited processing, is considerable. The wait period may be considerably longer for those who submit applications by mail since it takes an extra four weeks for postal delivery. Travelers may have to wait a total of more than four months for the processing of a simple passport application.
There is a backlog in passport applications for a number of reasons. The epidemic led the State Department to scale down its passport processing operations, and as demand soars, they are having trouble filling vacant employees. Additionally, there are a lot more passport applications than normal, with weekly applications up to 40% greater than they were a year ago.
The congestion and delays are anticipated to become worse as summer approaches. This is the biggest travel season of the year, and as more people take advantage of the chance to travel internationally, demand for passports will only rise.
Travelers must deal with the effects of delays and congestion. In most cases, applicants must put in their existing passports, which means they may not be allowed to go abroad while their application is being processed. Furthermore, several nations have certain validity criteria for entrance. Passports often have expiry dates. For instance, a U.S. passport must be valid for at least 90 days after a traveler's anticipated date of departure from the Schengen Area in the European Union.
Many travel experts advise Americans wishing to go overseas to apply for their passports as early as feasible given these difficulties. If your passport expires in the first half of 2024, renew it right now to prevent any future issues.
Travelers may be able to get an expedited passport in an emergency within three business days. However, these alternatives are only accessible in certain situations, such as when a member of one's close family passes away or suffers from a terrible disease.
Overall, obtaining a passport is a need for traveling abroad, and due to the surge in demand, passengers must make advance plans and allow plenty of time for processing. Although the backlog and delays will gradually lessen, it's essential to take action quickly to prevent any needless complexities.
For further information on important updates on Passport Processing, be sure to regularly check the U.S. State Department website.
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