A passport refers to a document of identification and travel which is accepted worldwide by all the governments. It is worth getting a passport, even if there is no planned upcoming travel as it is a verified record of your identity and you can save time if you ever require it in the future. For ventures into the USA, whether you are entering for the first time or returning, a passport is necessary from most of the countries. It is recommended that you acquire one through the government of the United States of America, rather than any commercial agency. You can get your passport renewed too, which is a comparatively easier process.
When can you request your USA passport?
You can request for a fresh passport only under the following circumstances:
- If it is your very first passport
- If your former passport has been lost or damaged
- If your former passport had been issued over 15 years back
- If your former name has been changed and there are no other legal supporting documents
- If it is for an adolescent who is under the age of 16
The candidate must be present in person at the time of application of the passport. For minors who are under the age of 14, both of the parents must also be present in person along with the child as the consent of both the parents is required.
Requirements to Get Passport in the USA
If you wish to apply for a USA passport, the following are the necessary items that you will need to present:
- An application form of DS-11.
- A proof of your citizenship of USA like a neutralization certificate, citizenship certificate, record of birth out of the country or a USA birth certificate.
- A photo ID or identity proof that has been issued by the government like an old passport, citizenship certificate, neutralization certificate, valid current military ID, Government ID or driver’s license.
- Colour passport photos: They should have been taken within the last 6 months with the current appearance and all facial features should be properly seen.
- Application fee payment in the form of a money order or check.
In case of a minor under 14 years of age, the parents must provide evidence of identity for the child. The parents must also provide proof mentioning their relationship to the child. If one of the parents fails to be present, they must submit a signed consent form.
The Process to Get Passport in the USA
In order to get yourself a fresh passport, there are certain processes that you should fulfill step by step. Here they are:
Step One: The first and foremost step is to collect the relevant USA government forms required for applying for a fresh passport. You can either get an application form from any post office in the USA or simply download the application form available online and then print it out. Follow the advice that is given by the government for printing for an acceptable application. You can visit any local facility which supports passport acceptance. It can be a post office, county court or even a library. Keep in mind that some facilities demand appointments to be made beforehand.
Step Two: After you receive the application form, start reading the given instructions on the 1st two pages. You can fill in the 3rd page using the information. Then read on to page 4 for more particulars on filling out the form.
Step Three: Next, you must gather proof about your citizenship in the USA in any of the abovementioned forms along with proof of identity.
Step Four: Get two photos of passport size for submission with your passport application form. You must be wearing normal clothes in the photos, not wear anything altering your appearance, and looking straight without smiling. Many of the facilities which accept passport forms also provide photos required for your passport for a particular fee.
Step Five: Preparation, execution and play of the application may change periodically. So, it is better to pay with whatever you have as payment. It is better to first check with a location that you will be applying to find the payments methods that are accepted, in order to gather money for the payment in that manner.
Step Six: Find the nearest location of the passport office, give in your form with passport photos along with the required fees. You may expect the arrival of your USA passport in 2 weeks to 2 months. You may rush the application of your passport by giving an extra fee.
Step Seven: Keep checking the status of your application after a week of the submission of your application online for an estimate of when it might arrive.
- If you happen to be older than 16 years, you have to pay a passport fee of $110 along with a plus fee of $35. The passport lays valid for 10 years in such cases.
- If you happen to be under 16 years of age, a passport fee of $80 has to be paid along with a plus fee of $35. In such cases, the fresh passport lays good only for 5 years.
- The renewal of a passport will cost you $110. And for expedited service, you will have to add in $60 more for every application.
The estimated time of arrival
After you have successfully filled in and submitted your application for a passport in the USA, it is wise for you to check online for the current estimates. Whether it is in person or by mail, here are the typical estimated time of arrival for the following services:
- Routine service – Approximately 4 to 6 weeks’ time
- Expedited service – Approximately 2 to 3 weeks’ time
- Expedited services at locations of agency – Total 8 days of business, based on any of the needs that follow:
- Traveling with 2 weeks’ time
- The immediate emergency of life and death
The government of the USA is there for you in your times of need. The processes take their time to complete before you can get your hands on your passport, however, for emergency situations, facilities are provided for the same. For any further questions, you must contact the Information Centre for passports of USA.