The demand for passports, whether new or renewals is in its all-time high.
In most cases, applying for new passports take six to eight weeks. But what happens if you realize that your passport is almost expiring and you have to make international travel? Well, you can apply for an expedited passport, which takes two to eight weeks to process.
If you are traveling in the next two to three weeks, make an appointment at a passport center or agency to apply for an expedited passport. Currently, there are over 25 regional passport centers in the country.
For starters, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative of 2007 requires everyone traveling to the United States to show valid passports or approved documentation to enter the country. The law includes crossing the border by water or land from Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
In the past, only a driver’s license was required to re-enter the country from these countries. Due to the changes in the law, U.S department of state-issued over 18 million passports the same year. At that time, this was the highest number ever. However, this record will be broken, considering that those passports are up for renewal and new passport application this year.
Here are the five key takeaways that can show you how to get a new passport and avoid last minute travel headaches.
- Don’t Wait for Last Minute to Renew Your Passport
Well, this is easier said than done. In most cases, you will know your travel plans and that you need to renew your passport before your next trip.
However, most people wait for the last minute to renew the passport and get it expedited. Yes, you may have some few months before it expires. But do you know, you can get yourself in a tough situation.
The United States passports are only valid for ten years. However, most countries in the world will not accept a passport with less than 6 months of validity. If possible, start the passport renewal process at least nine months before the expiry date.
- Get Yourself a Passport with Extra Pages if You Are a Frequent Traveler
Do you love spending time traveling from one country to the other? If yes, it will be helpful for you to apply for the 52-pages passport book than the ordinary 28-pages. Unfortunately, most people don’t know that this is always an option.
Well, most passport pages can only hold four stamps, which equals to two countries, entry and exit. You see, having many pages will satisfy your needs if you’re constantly traveling.
- Understand the Importance of Having Two or More Passports
Do you know that it’s possible to have two or more valid passports? Yes, Paul Manafort, former President Trump’s campaign director has three valid US passports.
If you love travelling abroad, you should consider getting a second passport. But why? Some countries tend to reject passports that have visa stamps from specific other countries. Multiple passports are also essential if you are continuously applying for visas.
- Determine Whether You Need a Travel Visa
A lot of people get to the airport only to be turned back because they don’t have or they forgot their visa at home.
Therefore, before leaving for a specific destination, assess whether you need a travel visa. The good thing is, you can easily obtain your visa online.
Ensure you’re fully prepared as some of these requirements are likely to be confusing.
- Ensure Your Kids Have a Valid Passport
The implementation of REAL ID policy gives parents a reason to obtain passports for their kids. When applying for a kid’s passport, it is important to note that they expire early. Unlike your passport, your kid’s passport will only be valid for 5 years.
During the application process, kids at the age of 15 years and below have different terms for applying for a passport. Ideally, parents have to provide identification documents that recognize them as legal parents. Further, guardians in a two-parent home must appear in person alongside the child to apply for a passport. If not, a notarized statement of consent from the absentee parent must be available. Single parents should also appear in person. A proof of legal guardianship, whether a court order or birth certificate should be available for the process to continue.