We are here to help you prepare for international traveling because we want you to avoid any unexpected situations. When making your foreign plans, you have to make sure that you take everything into account, and the most important is to make sure that all your documents are up to date.
Planning your out-of-the-country trip can be frustrating because you want to take care of every single detail in order to prevent any stressful situations. But sometimes we are so caught in the small things that we forget to think about the most important ones, like the expiration date of our passport.
If you’ve just realized that your passport is expired, and you are in a hurry to apply for a new one, have no worries, as we will give you all the information you need in order to get a new one.
Take a new photo
Be careful when taking the photo for your passport because there are restrictions. That’s why it is best if it is taken by a professional. If you already have a photo, you have to make sure that it is in color and taken within the last six months. Also, you’re not allowed to use any filters in order to change your skin tone, the photo has to be as clear as possible.
Another important aspect is the background which has to be white or off-white, and if you usually wear glasses make sure you take them off for this photo. We know you are happy to get your new passport, but in the photo, you have to have a neutral expression (or a natural smile) and both eyes need to be open. Also, jewelry is allowed but you have to make sure that it doesn’t hide your face.
For children under 16 years their passport is valid for 5 years, and for adults who got their first passport after 16 years old, their passport is valid for 10 years. So, if your passport is not valid any longer you have to renew it in order to be able to travel.
It doesn’t matter if you are applying for the first time or just for renewal, the processing time is the same for both. It shouldn’t take longer than 4 to 6 weeks if you choose the Routine method and you have to pay the $110 application fee. If you are in a hurry and cannot wait that long, you can opt for the Expedited method.
With expedited processing, you will save yourself some time, but you have to pay $60 extra fee and you will get your passport in 2 to 3 weeks. There is another method, called Expedited at Agency but needs to be approved by the passport agency and it depends on each particular case. If you are lucky to get approved, you will only have to wait for a maximum of 8 days and the fees will be determined by the agency.
Life or death emergency
It’s possible to obtain your passport within 72 hours, but only if you’re required to travel outside the US due to serious illnesses, injuries or deaths in your immediate family.
If you think that you are in a similar situation, but not sure if you qualify, you can contact the National Passport Center for more information. You might be required to provide proof of the emergency situation like a death certificate, a signed letter from a hospital, etc.