FX Excursions

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Rise in Summer Travel Sees Lengthy Passport Delays, Resulting in Jeopardized Travels

by Aoife O’Riordan

May 24, 2023

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eFlyer Lead

As more and more Americans return to international travel this summer, demand for renewed passports also increased. According to the U.S. Department of State, they are experiencing an “unprecedented demand seen so far in 2023.”

Typically taking a few weeks, the passport renewal process can now take up to 13 weeks. Expedited service, which costs at least $60, can take up to nine weeks, causing many travelers to worry if they’ll have their renewed passport in time for travel.

Back in March, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the creation of a task force to ease passport processing efforts. The U.S. Department of State also opened a satellite office to help process the large number of applications.

It’s expected a record number of passports will be issued in 2023, even surpassing last year’s staggering 22 million passports, a record of its own.

Also in March, Blinken revealed the Department received 500,000 applications a week for passports. Fears continue to rise as it’s expected even more applications a week will soon bombard the department.

Many travelers have already expressed frustration. Whether it’s an urgent international trip or a student studying abroad in a different country, many struggle to receive their renewed passport in time for planned trips.

That said, it’s still possible for travelers with urgent international travel to have applications “Expedited at Agency,” for travel within 14 calendar days. These urgent travels include “life-or-death emergency service,” should you need to travel in three business days in the event of the death, move to hospice or life-threatening illness or injury of a family member outside the country. For this application, appointments are required by calling 877 487 2778.

If you’re worried you won’t receive your renewed passport in time for a non-urgent trip, you can turn to third-party groups like RushMyPassport. The only downside is the price: $799 for same-week service and $599 for two-week service. RushMyPassport is a registered member in the State Department’s Hand-Carry Program and an AAA partner.

To avoid the possibility of not receiving your passport in time for your international trip, the U.S. Department of State urges travelers to apply as early as possible to avoid last-minute issues.

Have you applied for a renewed passport in the last five months? How long did it take for it to be renewed? Are you currently waiting for your passport to be renewed? Do you have concerns whether you’ll receive it in time before an international trip? Tell us your thoughts. Email us at [email protected]. Please include your full name and location.

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