Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Get Your Passport Ready for a Trip Abroad (USA Passport)


If you are going to plan a trip abroad, you really cannot think of leaving home without a passport. If you do not have one then this is a good time to apply for a new passport. You really do not have to wait till you have made the plans to travel abroad because by that time you will have a lot on your mind. Moreover, why would you want to pay an additional amount for an expedite process that you can avoid by planning ahead of time?

How to apply for a new passport

If you are a first time applicant you will have to apply in person for a new passport. The US government has laid out different rules and regulations to follow for individuals who need a new passport based on certain distinctions. There are different regulations for individuals who are minors under the age of 16 years and again different for those who are minors between the age of 16 years and 17 years. Also there are separate requirements for Diplomatic passports or no-fee and regular passports too. If you are an individual who need to apply for a new passport from outside the country you need to meet separate requirements. 

For an adult who wants a new passport you must complete the following steps

1. Complete Form DS-11, which is an application for a new passport
2. Submit in person a completely filled out Form DS-11
3. Present evidence of your being a US citizen
4. Submit identification
5. Submit a copy of the required identification document(s) that you have presented
6. Pay the pertinent fees 
7. Submit a passport size photo

You can find all details of the aforementioned steps in travel.state.gov/passport 

For a child passport you must:

1. Fill out Form DS-11
2. Submit the form DS-11 in person
3. Submit evidence of the child’s US citizenship
4. Submit pertinent document(s) to prove relation between child and parent(s) or Guardian(s)
5. Present an identity proof of the parent(s) or guardian(s)
6. Submit a copy of the identity proof presented in Step 5
7. Present consent from parent(s)
8. Meet the fees applicable
9. Submit a single passport size photo

Usually, all routine applications take about 4-6 weeks to process from the time you have made the application while expedited services require about 2-3 weeks from the time of application. They even offer a door-to-door delivery service if you request for an overnight delivery and have made payment for both ways. Once you have made the application, you could always check the status of your passport online on their website. The passport office in US has several other options for individuals who want to travel internationally in a very short time but have not yet applied for a passport or need a passport for a foreign VISA. 

How to renew a US passport

You may opt for passport renewal either by mail or in person depending on the requirements.

To renew by mail your most recent passport must be:

Undamaged and in a suitable condition to be submitted along with your renewal application
Issued to you while you were 16 years of age or older
Issued to you in the last 15 years
Issued to you with your name exactly the same as your last passport or you can provide legal supporting document(s) for a change in name. The document(s) may be either original or a licensed copy of the document issued by the government or your marriage certificate that can be submitted as evidence of your legal change of name abiding by federal law or the law of the state.

If you cannot meet any of the aforementioned criteria, you must apply for a passport renewal in person. 


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