We are all aware of the necessity of having a passport when planning of travelling abroad for holiday or work. However, the US Government has formulated strict rules pertaining to its passport services in order to keep a check on the terrorist attacks after the 9/11 incident. So, anyone who is planning to travel to and from the country needs to apply for a passport well ahead in advance in order to ensure a stress free travel experience and avoid last minute payment of extra fee hikes. This article provides a comprehensive and detailed explanation as to how long does it take to get a passport and how long does it take to renew it.
Application of first time passport
One needs to apply at the passport agency or post office through person or mail by filling up the DS-1 application form and submitting an identity proof, passport photo and payment.
How long does it take to get a passport for 1st time applicants?
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The time for attaining a passport after it has been applied depends on various factors like the number of passport applicants, the method of application and the type of service applied for. For instance, during the rush times of the year like the holiday season, the processing time for clearing a passport handover takes much longer due to a large number of applicants. On average, it takes around four to six weeks to get a passport when applied through normal services. On the other hand, the processing time of passport delivery for expedited services usually takes about 1-3 weeks’ time.
The types of passport application services
- Routine services
Applying directly at the passport office or mailing them documents takes around 6 weeks of official processing time after the form has been submitted. However, the actual time of arrival is usually less ranging from 2-4 weeks depending upon the rush and number of applications filed.
- Expedited services
The regional processing centers provide expedited passports when the applicants can show a booked ticket within two weeks of the date of application. One can opt for a two-way express delivery and get hold of a passport within three weeks’ time.
- Expedited services through agencies
There are several Government-approved agencies that provide passport on an urgent basis after the payment of certain fees. Applicants can get a passport for as early as eight days after the application form has been received by the passport office. However, some agencies even provide expedited passports through courier in as little as 48 hours’ time through the payment of extra fees of about $400 along with Government’s fees of $170.
Renewal of passport
As per the mandates of the US Government, people can renew their passport if the date of its expiration has not exceeded five years by filling up DS-82 form and paying a renewal fee of $110. Failing to do so will result in going through the cumbersome process of applying for a new passport. People can even apply for the renewal of passports through an online platform that speeds up the processing time as compared to applying it for the first time. Expediting a renewal passport will cost an added fee of $60 along with the regular fees.
How long does it take to renew a passport?
According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, it takes around 4-5 weeks of time to get a renewed passport through routine services. One can get it faster through expedited services in about 2-3 weeks’ time counting the mailing time. In reality, people have reported to having being received their renewed passports in as little as ten days’ time through routine services, that is even faster than expedited ones.
To track the arrival of a first time, renewal or expedited passport, one can check its status online at the Government’s official passport website.