How Long Does It Take to Apply for a New US Passport?
US passport is the zenith in the journey of a US citizen and getting it is, definitely not an easy process. Despite the difficulties that are strewn across the path towards getting a US passport, we can find more and more applicants going for it. Why? Is it that much important? Of course, Yes!
With this Passport, international travels will be much easy and stress free. Is this not convenient for businessmen, professionals and for any category of people who are frequently flying in and out of the US?
Get a US Passport as soon as you have become a US citizen
Becoming a citizen of the US is possible only with a green card status. So applying for a US passport begins with the process of becoming a permanent resident and then a citizen. From green card holder to US citizen and to US passport holder.
USCIS instructs its applicants to apply for a passport as soon as they have got their citizenship certificates. This is because travels may be unplanned and may happen all of a sudden. So having a passport ready in hand will not spoil any of our travel plans.
Applying for a US passport
The process of application varies for adult applicants and minors. One thing that is common to both is that the application should be submitted in person only as they are first time applicants.
Adult applicants should complete Form DS-11 as per the specified instructions. Documents for proof of their citizenship status, identification documents (photocopy), passport sized photo (one number) and the current fee should accompany the passport application.
Minor applicants should also complete Form DS-11 as per the specified instructions. Documents for evidence of their citizenship status, existing relationship between child and parent(s), identification of parents (photocopy), parental consent, current fee and passport sized photo (one number) should be attached along with the passport application. In case the child is under the care of a guardian, then it is essential that proof of their citizenship status and identification documents should be attached with the application.
Filling up the application form will be easy if the applicants stick to the given instructions. This can be done online or in hand but the entire application package should be submitted in person only. Contrary to other applications, this one should not be signed until and unless, the applicants are asked to do so in the presence of an Acceptance Agent. SSN number is essential and should be provided on the application.
Where to submit it?
Once the application has been completed without any errors and all the needed documents have been attached, applicants should send it a local Passport Application Acceptance Facility. In case the applicant is applying outside the US for a US passport, then he/she should consult the nearest Embassy or Consulate for instructions. Also if an applicant wants to get a US passport at the earliest – to get a foreign visa within 4 weeks or the international travel is planned in less than 2 weeks, then he/she can schedule an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency.
How long to wait before getting a US passport?
Routine applications are processed within 4-6 weeks (approximately only) of filing in the application. For expedited services, it is about 2-3 weeks from the date of submitting the passport application.
Keeping track of applications
Within 5 to 7 days of submitting the application, applicants can keep track of the same online. This is only for routine processing as applications that are under expedite processing can be tracked earlier.