How Long Does It Take To Get a Passport?

Getting a passport is important for anyone planning to travel internationally. However, many people wonder how long it takes to obtain a passport.

The general processing time for passport services provided by the Department of State is estimated to be around 10 to 13 weeks. This estimated time can vary depending on multiple factors, including the country of application and the number of applications received.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Passport?

The general processing time for passport services offered by The Department of State is between 10 to 13 weeks, depending on the number of applications received.

Below are the passport service available at The Department of State and their duration.

  1. Routine Passport Service

Processing Time: 10-13 weeks

Additional requirements/fees: None

  1. Expedited Passport Service

Processing Time: 7-9 weeks Additional requirements/fees:

Additional fees and evidence of travel plans are required.

  1. Emergency Passport Service

Processing Time: Less than 2 weeks

Additional requirements/fees: Additional fees and evidence of travel plans are required.

Documents and applications must be hand-delivered to a regional passport agency.

It is important to note that these processing times are estimates and can be affected by various factors, as mentioned below.

Factors Affecting Processing Time

  1. Missing, incomplete, or incorrect documentation:

If any required documents are missing or incorrect, the applicant will be informed by mail and advised on how to resolve the issue. Failure to address the issue within 90 days may require reapplication and payment of appropriate fees.

  1. Holiday Travel Rushes

During peak vacation seasons, such as summer and winter breaks, there is typically a surge in passport applications, leading to longer processing times.

  1. Natural Disasters

Sudden increases in relief workers and affected family members traveling to disaster-stricken areas can cause delays in passport processing.

  1. International Events

Major events like the Olympics or festivals can create a significant spike in demand for passports, leading to processing delays.

  1. Inclement Weather

Severe weather conditions can lead to temporary closures of passport processing centers, impacting processing times.

  1. Power Outages

Passport processing centers rely on power for operations. Extended power outages can halt the processing of applications until the issue is resolved.

  1. Temporary processing center closings

Maintenance or remodeling of passport processing centers can result in closures, causing delays in processing.

  1. Places to Get a Passport

The location where you submit your passport application can also affect processing time. Mailed applications can take up to 13 weeks for standard processing or up to 9 weeks for expedited service. To expedite the process, citizens can apply at a regional agency, provided they have evidence of a departure date within two weeks or a visa requirement within four weeks.

  1. Types of Passport Service

The time it takes to get a passport renewed is generally the same as getting a new passport. However, renewals and minor modifications like name changes can often be processed via mail, eliminating the need for in-person visits. Applying for a new passport, on the other hand, requires an in-person appointment, which can add additional time.

Are There Instant Passports?

No, there are no passports that can be obtained instantly. The process of issuing a passport involves several important steps to ensure the accuracy and security of the document. These steps include reviewing the application, verifying the submitted documents, and conducting necessary security checks. As a result, it takes time to complete these procedures and receive a valid passport.

However, the U.S. Department of State offers two types of appointments that can help expedite the passport application process in urgent situations. The first is the Life-or-Death Emergency Service, which caters to situations where immediate travel is required due to a serious illness, injury, or death of a family member abroad.

The second option is the Urgent Travel Service, which is for urgent international travel within 72 hours due to unforeseen circumstances.

To schedule an appointment for these services, you can call 1-877-487-2778. It’s important to note that these services do not charge an additional fee for the appointment, but they require proof of the emergency or urgency.

Easiest Passports to Get in the World

  1. Dominica

Dominica offers a fast and straightforward naturalization process, with the possibility of obtaining citizenship in as little as two months. The country provides options such as residence by investment, including real estate purchases or donations.

  1. Grenada

While not offering citizenship by descent, Grenada provides an easy pathway to pass down citizenship to future generations. Their citizenship by investment program allows individuals to obtain citizenship through a donation or the purchase of pre-approved properties.

  1. St. Lucia

St. Lucia offers a reputable citizenship-by-investment program with several investment routes. Options include a one-time donation to the government development fund or investments in pre-approved real estate or local businesses.

  1. Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda provide a family-friendly option for obtaining a passport. Their citizenship by investment program allows a spouse and up to two children to be included in the same investment, making it a cost-effective choice for families.

Cheapest Passports to Get in the World

The cheapest passport to obtain in the world is the citizenship by investment passport offered by St Lucia and Dominica in the Caribbean.

These countries offer a donation investment option, where a single applicant can obtain citizenship by donating $109,500 to the government.

Benefits of Owning a Passport

  1. International Travel

A passport allows you to explore different countries, experience diverse cultures, and create lifelong memories.

  1. Identification

A passport serves as a globally recognized form of identification, enabling you to access various services and facilities worldwide.

  1. Business Opportunities

For entrepreneurs and business professionals, a passport opens doors to international business ventures and networking opportunities.

  1. Education and Study Abroad

A passport is often a prerequisite for studying abroad, providing access to quality education and expanding horizons.

  1. Emergency Situations

In case of unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters or political unrest in your home country, a passport ensures you can quickly seek refuge in a foreign country.

Documents Required to Get a Passport

  1. Proof of Citizenship

This can be a birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or previous passport.

  1. Proof of Identity

A valid government-issued identification document such as a driver’s license or national ID card.

  1. Passport Application Form

This form, provided by the passport office or embassy, collects personal information and travel details.

  1. Passport Photos

You also need your recent color photos that meet the required size and quality.

  1. Application Fee

The required payment to cover the processing and issuance of the passport.


Wrap Up

The time it takes to obtain a passport can vary depending on factors such as the country of application, processing times, and document verification.

Although instant passports are not offered, applicants may expedite the process in certain circumstances to speed up the issuance of their passports.

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