The American passport always ranks among the most powerful passports in the world, offering its holders a multiple benefits and global mobility. With its strong diplomatic ties, economic influence, and a commitment to international relations, the United States passport grants its citizens access to a wide range of countries without the need for pre-approved visas.
This document is highly regarded for its favorable visa-free travel agreements, providing American passport holders with the opportunity to explore many destinations across the globe, whether for business, leisure, or personal reasons. The American passport stands as a symbol of freedom, enabling its bearers to guide the world with ease and open doors to unmatched opportunities. In this article we shall discuss various aspects of U.S Passport, How to apply for a U.S Passport, U.S Passport Fee, Processing Time, Renewal and apply American Passport for a child.
What is an American Passport?
One of the many advantages of being a citizen of the United States is the ability to get an American passport. It’s less expensive and more useful proof of your US citizenship than a Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Nationality. A tourist with a U.S passport can visit more than 185 countries. You can travel without a visa and seek assistance from the local US embassy in cases of emergency. After becoming a citizen, you must apply for an American Passport.
What you must know before travelling?
Whether you already have a passport, make sure to verify the expiration date before you depart. It must be valid for up to 6 months after you come back home and have two or more blank pages. You should also verify your family members’ passports. The passport application or the renewal procedure might take several weeks. You should apply for a passport or have it renewed as soon as you know you will need to travel. On the state department’s travel website, look up the current processing time.
The US Department of State has 4800 passport acceptance centers around the country that may handle first-time passport applications. You may simply locate one by using the USPS finder for a list of passport-processing Post Office locations near you. There are various phases of applying for a passport during the application procedure, and you must be aware of all of them.
How to Apply for an American Passport?
You must apply for a new American passport in person at the U.S Post Office if you have never had a U.S. Passport, are 16 or younger, or are unable to renew a current passport by mail.
Passport applications for the first time must be presented in person to a passport processing center (e.g., U.S. Post Office). You’ll also need all of your critical paperwork and to-do lists on hand for the application.
1-You are applying for your first passport in the United States.
2-Your prior American passport was stolen, lost, or destroyed.
3-You are under the age of 16.
4-Your prior United States passport was granted when you were under the age of 16.
5-Your last passport was issued in the United States more than 15 years ago.
Note-You will not be able to apply for a US passport by mail or online if any of the above facts are true. You must submit your application in person at a specified place.
Easy Steps to Apply for an American Passport:
It is quite simple to apply for an American passport. If you just become a U.S citizen. You’ll be glad to know that passport applications are simpler to prepare, faster to complete. It is less costly than naturalization.
To begin, obtain Form DS-11 from the Department of State’s website. If you are a first-time applicant You should be sure to use Form DS-11. The applicants for passport renewal must use Form DS-82. On Form DS-11, you must submit your social security number.
Collect Citizenship Proof
Passport applicants must produce an original or certified hardcopy of one of the following papers when applying for the first time:
- American birth certificate
- Birth Certificate or Consular Report of Birth Overseas
- Naturalization Certificate
- Citizenship Certificate
You need a certified copy is any document that has the official granting authority’s seal or stamp. If you have misplaced this document, please consult the section below on Replacing Citizenship Documents. If you never got a citizenship paper, but feel you are a U.S. Citizen through a parent. You will most likely need to file a claim and obtain a Certificate of Citizenship.
What to do if you misplaced original citizenship documents?
If you have misplaced your original evidence of US citizenship. You must replace it before applying for a U.S passport.
Birth Certificate in the United States
Your request, processed by a local government entity, such as a county clerk. Fees and processing times are subject to change.
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) or birth certificate
A CRBA, usually issued shortly after birth. You can seek a duplicate from the United States Department of State. It will cost $50 and take four to eight weeks to complete.
Certificate of naturalization or citizenship
You must complete Form N-565, an application for a substitution. There is a $555 application cost, and you will have to await six to twelve months.
Provide ID Documents:
You must show the processing agent one of the following government-issued picture identity papers.
- A completely legal in state driver’s license or an upgraded driver’s license with a photo
- Naturalization Certificate
- Citizenship Certificate
- Employee identification from the government (city, county, state, or federal)
- ID from the United States military or a military dependant
- Foreign passport that is now valid
- Consular Matricula (Mexican Consular ID)
- Permanent Residency in the United States (Green Card)
- Trusted Traveler Identification (including valid Global Entry, FAST, SENTRI, and NEXUS cards)
- Native American tribe picture IDs and updated tribal cards
Obtain a Photo
One passport-style color image of oneself taken within six months of completing the DS-11 application is required. The color photograph should include:
- Size -should be 2″ x 2″
- Head height– of 1″ to 1 3/8″ from the top of your hair to the bottom of your chin.
- An eye height– of 1 1/8″ to 1 3/8″ from the bottom of the photo.
- Wear a bare head– unless you are a member of a religious group that requires a headpiece (face must be visible)
- Background– make the background white or off-white.
- Printed on glossy paper– It should print on thin paper with a glossy appearance.
NOTE–It is recommended that you select a vendor that has been trained to take passport-style photos. This service is available at many retail pharmacy stores for a modest fee. You should also read the US Department of State’s passport photo rules.
Pay U.S. Passport Fees:
Adult applicants (age 16 and above) will pay a $110 application fee plus a $35 execution cost beginning in July 2020 for a basic passport book. In most cases, the application cost and the execution charge paid separately. Passport cards and applicants under the age of 16 are priced differently.
View the State Department’s Passport Fees website for further information on payment methods and a complete list of fees.
You must apply in person for a US passport and present your documentation to an acceptance agent. If you are in the US, you can submit Form DS-11, along with your supporting papers and payments, to a passport acceptance center. Post offices, public libraries, and other facilities are common passport agency locations. Check ahead of time because different businesses will take different types of payment, such as credit cards or money orders.
Make an appointment well in advance of any trip plans because normal procedures might take up to sixteen weeks from the time the passport issuing application is submitted. It can take up to twelve weeks for expedited service, which cost an extra $60.
U.S. Passport Fee?
The American Passport fees are liable to change, so keep checking this page for the most up-to-date information.
The fee varies depending on how fast you want your passport and the type of passport required. Passport expediting using a third-party hand, courier can take anything from 1-2 weeks to 8 weeks at least.
Note: You can check American Passport Fee 2023 by clicking HERE
U.S. Passport Processing Time?
In general, the DS-11 processing time is between 4 and 6 weeks. Expedited services are provided for individuals with more urgent travel schedules for an extra cost. The processing period for a passport can be decreased to 1 to 2 days.
How to Renew an American Passport?
You may usually renew your passport by mail once you’ve got your first one. The procedure will be shorter and smoother for you. You can also utilize Form DS-82, which is a separate application. All of the following claims regarding your current passport must be factually true to renew it by mail:
- Is it available for you to submit with your application?
- Granted, with your present name, or you may provide proof of a name change.
- Is it undamaged?
- Given to you when you were 16 years old or older?
- Was produced within the last 15 years
If any of the preceding claims are false, you must apply for a passport in person using Form DS-11.
Apply for an American Passport for a Child in the United States
Passports for minors (under the age of 18) in the United States are subject to additional regulations. All minors under the age of 16 must apply for a passport with two parents or guardians in person, using Form DS-11.
Children under the age of 16
Application Form DS-11 Both parents/guardians must authorize the issuing of the child’s passport. The parents/guardians present evidence of the parental figure when filing Form DS-11. The ideal method to achieve this is for both parents/guardians to apply for the passport in person with the youngster. There are well-defined standards for issuing authorization in situations where both parents unable to attend.
Furthermore, the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the kid seeking for a passport must produce a government. This also include picture ID as well as documents listing the parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
Utilize one of the following papers to show the parental relationship:
- U.S birth certificate
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Birth Certification
- Birth certificate from another country
- Adoption order
- Divorce/Custody Order
N O T E -In addition, Followings must provided by the parents/Guardians when a child under the age of 16 applies for an American passport in the United States:
- parental or guardian identification;
- evidence of parental relationship;
- parental permission
Children 16 or 17-year-olds
The American passport application criteria for children aged 16 and 17 are less. At least one parent or guardian must prove parent awareness and display a government-issued picture ID.
When submitting Form DS-11, it is preferable if the parent or legal guardian may accompany the child applicant. The parent or legal guardian will be asked to sign Form DS-11 by the agent or employee who accepts the application. Alternatively, the minor applicant may submit DS-11 together with a signed, notarized declaration from at least one parent or legal guardian consenting to the granting of a passport. A photocopy of the parent or guardian’s identification must include with the statement.
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In conclusion, the American passport holds significant importance in facilitating international travel and representing the identity and privileges of its holder. It serves as a gateway to explore the world, providing access to many countries and opportunities. The American passport grants its bearers the freedom to experience various cultures, engage in the global business enterprise, continue educational opportunities abroad, and foster international partnership.
However, it is crucial to recognize that possessing an U.S Passport comes with certain privileges and responsibilities, including respecting local customs and laws, and being mindful of the impact one’s actions may have on international relations. As a symbol of American citizenship and belonging, the passport represents the values of freedom, democracy, and opportunity that the United States embodies. It is a document that not only enables travel, but also serves as a reminder of the privileges and responsibilities that come with being an American citizen in the global community.