U.S. Passport Backlog Might Mean a 4-Month Wait


In case you have plans to travel internationally within the coming months, it’s time to open that desk, protected, or shoebox and test the expiration in your U.S. passport. If it’s nonetheless legitimate, terrific, take pleasure in your journey. But when that passport is previous its expiration date and also you need to journey quickly, time could also be operating out. As a result of a passport backlog that’s within the hundreds of thousands, renewing your passport might take as much as 4 months.



Like plenty of issues in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, passport places of work (aka the State Division’s Bureau of Consular Affairs places of work) closed. Throughout the nation, until it was a life-or-death emergency, passport and visa operations got here to a halt. Whereas these places of work are reopening, the method has not been a quick one.

In a current U.S. Department of State briefing, deputy assistant secretary for passport companies Rachel Arndt informed reporters that because of the closures and the next demand for worldwide journey, delays are appreciable.

“…Presently our wait time for each new and renewal routine passport purposes will be as much as 18 weeks, and that features our processing time, the preliminary inside consumption of the purposes, and mailing,” stated Arndt.

Wish to pay an additional $60 to expedite your passport utility? It’ll prevent a while, however not plenty of it. Arndt stated the wait instances on expedited purposes are presently as much as 12 weeks. She additionally stated the present passport backlog was important—“someplace within the vary of one million and a half to 2 million purposes.”

In the event you do have pressing journey plans inside 72 hours, there are some appointments accessible for U.S. vacationers. Nonetheless, these appointments are extraordinarily restricted. And whereas some third-party reserving companies are providing appointments, Arndt says the division just isn’t affiliated with any reserving companies and will not honor these appointments.

With extra international locations opening by the day—together with Canada in mid-August—the urge to journey internationally is rising. In the event you’ve acquired that urge, however want a passport, you’ll need to get to a transfer on. If not, you’ll be able to all the time take into account alternate travel plans within the U.S..

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