No New US Passports Being Issued – Here’s How You Can Still Travel Abroad Amidst Covid-19

Posted on April 05, 2020
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US Stops New US Passports

In keeping with Social Distancing and in conjunction with the closing of all government offices to prevent the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, The US State Department has stopped issuing new US passports until further notice. All expedited services have been suspended as well. This is applicable to all new applications after March 20, 2020.

While the issuance of new US passports has been temporarily suspended, the State Department will issue passports under emergent conditions. The applicant will have to prove the nature of emergency to qualify for US passport until normal office hours are reinstated. 

International Travel During Covid-19

The following circumstances qualify for an emergency requirement of a US passport that is required for international travel:

  • Absolute need to travel internationally in the next 72 hour;
  • Serious illness, injuries or death of an immediate family member

While certain application centers are still operating on minimal staff and accepting applications for new US passports or renewals of expiring US passport, there is going to be significant delays in processing those. Applicants should not expect to receive them back in the usual three-week window.

US Passport Online Application

All applicants who filed for new US Passport before March 20, 2020 can still expect to receive it, although there are delays in releasing them from the facilities.

Do you need to apply for a US Passport for a Newborn Baby?

Here’s the process and all required documents

US Passport for Newborn

Process to Get a US Passport in an Emergency

If you are in need to get a new US passport or renew an old on due to an emergency, you will need the following list of documents:

  • Proof of nature of emergency
  • A death certificate (Translated in English), in case of a death in immediate family
  • A letter from the doctor (Translated in English) involved in case of a medical emergency
  • A copy of the international flight ticket
  • Travel itinerary
  • Lastly, the passport application with all the supporting documents required for a regular passport application.

The State Department had issued travel restrictions to all international destinations on March 27, 2020. Any need to travel abroad under these circumstances will be evaluated only on an emergency basis.

To Make an Appointment for a US Passport

Should you need an emergency appointment for services for a US Passport, this is what you need to do – 

  • Call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778, Monday-Friday between 8am and 5pm EDT or on Saturdays between 10am to 3 pm EDT
  • Any calls outside of these hours should go to 202-647-4000 
  • These hours are not applicable to Atlanta, Connecticut and New York where offices are closed until further notice.

For In-Person Services

In several states, post offices acted as passport application acceptance facilities. If you are looking to apply for a US passport in person, you have to call your local facility to confirm operation hours and process.

Renewals without Expedited Services

If you are looking to renew your US passport through regular process, without the expedited option, you can mail the renewal application and all the required supporting documents via regular mail. 

Renew your US Passport!

Here’s everything you need to know about the process and required documents

Renew US Passport

Do not mail the expedited fee with this renewal form.

Stay tuned to this page for all updates regarding your US Passport

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