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If you’re an American citizen seeking to travel overseas this special edition about delays  in renewing U.S. passport is for you. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, an expedited passport  application got processed within 2-3 weeks and 6-8 weeks for regular applications. As of  Wednesday, July 14th, 2021, the U.S. State Department stated the wait for a passport will now be between 12-18 weeks, even if you paid for expedited processing. Unfortunately, this is part of  the ripple effects from the coronavirus pandemic that has caused severe disruptions to the  process of domestic issuance facilities and overseas embassies and consulates. Specifically, because vaccination rates across the nation are increasing and foreign travel restrictions are easing, we are covering this vital issue as well as provide steps you can take to ease your  concerns and anxiety about the passport renewal process. 

According to the U.S. State Department, they are working on increasing staff to address a  backlog of 1.5 million – 2 million applications. However, they cautioned not to expect an  immediate decrease in turnaround time. The backlog of passport requests means that applications  submitted now probably will not be processed until this Fall. Americans needing to apply for  passport renewal should do so at least six months ahead of when they plan to travel. Across the  nation anxious travelers have been contacting elected officials, scouring social media for tips on  how to get through to customer service agents, and in many cases, even fly to different states to  secure rare passport appointments. Given these conditions, what should you do if you’re  planning to travel overseas? 

  • First – apply early and anticipate an 18-week turnaround time – which includes 12 weeks  for processing and six more for mailing to and from the State Department. 
  • Second – if your passport is expired or if you are applying for the first time, don’t plan on  leaving the country for at least the next four and a half months. 
  • Third – passport agencies are no longer taking walk-ins unless you have a confirmed time  slot to be seen do not show up to their offices. Time slots are available to those  individuals with life and death emergencies and are traveling within 72 hours, they are  given by appointment only.  
  • Fourth – all in-person applicants will be required to provide a printed copy of their  confirmed appointment in order to be seen and walk away with their renewed passport. 
  • Fifth – in-person appointments are extremely limited and can only be made by calling the  National Passport Office at 877.487.2778 or visiting the online website

The U.S. State Department and Department of Homeland Security have taken steps to  ease issues related to Americans abroad with expired passports who are seeking to return home. At The Law Offices of Marjory Cajoux, we are working diligently to keep you informed of the  resources available during these difficult times. You can count on us to remain abreast of the  latest developments. We are ready and committed to inform, support, and serve you in the areas of immigration, real estate, estate, and business planning, as well as personal injury (WTC claims). 

Additional Resources: 

Update on U.S. Passport Operations 

For passport services abroad – Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate closest to you