Many overseas trips are postponed due to the belief that filling out the application process for a passport issued by the US government is difficult. The truth is however, that the application process is quite simple. Even if there are no plans to leave the country in the immediate future, is advisable to get a passport in case the need for travel overseas arises. Here are some tips that will help you getting a passport. Of course there could be some hassles; however these tips will ensure that if you follow the procedure carefully, it will be much smoother.
Finding the Application
The first place to visit is the website of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. All the information regarding the application of the passport is here. The print-out of the application form could be obtained from this site. In order to find the nearest passport office, you could just type in the address.
Submitting the Application
In case you are applying for a minor, applying for the first time, or got the passport more than 15 years ago, or have lost the current passport, the passport office is the place where you will need to submit the application. If you have the passport and in case it has not yet expired yet, (less than 15 years old) the application could be sent by mail too.
How long does it take?
If you are in a hurry to get the passport, you will need to plan and turn in the application quite soon. The passport office generally takes about four to six weeks to issue a passport. It is strongly recommended to plan ahead so that you get the passport before the deadline you have set up.
It is possible to expedite the passport application if you are in hurry. The passport will arrive in 2-3 weeks with this option. However, there is an additional fee of $60 to use the expedited passport service and also you need to pay the overnight shipping cost.
While filling the application, it is required to submit two photographs of the applicant. The passport department has some specifications for the photographs as well. It is a good idea to get the photographs taken by someone who understands the requirements needed.
If you are looking to submit the passport application through mail, it is required to fill the Form DS-82. Again, recommended to follow the instructions carefully and write all the information clearly. In addition to the form, you will also need to mail two photographs, the old passport and the documentation of name changes. The types of documents would depend on what you want to get done.
If you never had a passport or are doing the formalities on behalf of a minor, you will need to fill up the Form DS-11. Both the parents and the child are required to attend the office in case of the passport issuance of the minor. This form could not be submitted by mail. The documents required are passport, photographs; proof the US citizenship and the proof of identity.
It is quite convenient and beneficial to complete a US government passport application. No one knows when they would need to leave the country. It may seem to be one big bunch of information, however if the method is followed systematically, it is quite simple. If you need to get the passport, make sure that the planning is done well in advance so that you could get the passport well before. Your part is done once the passport application is completed, and you will be sent your passport once the official procedures from the office are done.