US Passport Application Backlogs Jeopardise Summer Travel Plans

US Passport Application Backlogs Jeopardise Summer Travel Plans

Travel enthusiasts and adventurers are eagerly planning their long-awaited trips abroad. One essential document to travel overseas is to have a valid passport.

In recent months, the United States has been experiencing significant delays in passport processing. 

The backlog is attributed to a combination of factors, including the surge in passport applications, staffing challenges at passport agencies, and a pause of online processing this year.

As a result, the usual processing times have been considerably extended, causing frustration and inconvenience for many American travellers.

The US State Department says it is not expecting to reduce passport processing times to pre-pandemic levels until the end of the year.

“We are working hard to get back to our pre-pandemic processing times by the end of calendar year 2023,” a State Department spokesperson said. “We will update our website with the current processing times as we make progress towards this goal.”

The State Department says it is experiencing an unprecedented surge in demand for passports, receiving approximately 500,000 applications each week. 

If you're planning on securing a passport for a summer trip, you should be aware that the current processing time for new US passports is 11 to 13 weeks for routine processing and seven to nine weeks for expedited processing, which costs an additional $60.

Tips For Renewing US Passports

With a massive backlog of passport applications waiting to be processed, here are some tips to make sure your passport application process is as smooth as possible:

  • Check passport expiration dates before booking your trip. As a general rule, it can be smart to treat your passport as expired six months prior to its actual expiration date.
  • If possible, apply at least 9 months in advance of your planned departure date. 
  • Consider paying the expedited fee if your trip is within the next 5-6 months. Track your application by using the portal.
  • Consider paying for 1-2 day delivery for your new passport.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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And because of the pandemic, don’t forget to get your travel insurance, which will cover you for flight disruptions and pandemic related matters.

IaM can help with your visa application to Europe, the United States, the UK & other countries

If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or a visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.

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