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Announcements : U.S. Passport Processing Delays

Announcement: U.S. Passport Processing Delays

The U.S. Department of State has updated their passport processing timeline estimates. Currently the routine processing of passport applications is estimated to take up to 14 weeks and expedited processing ($60 extra) can take up to 10 weeks. These estimates are much longer than usual and the Department of State recommends applying up to six months in advance of your planned travel to ensure that your passport is processed in time. If you have submitted a passport application recently, you can check on the status here.

If your passport is not issued in a timely manner, this may also impact your ability to apply for a visa (where applicable) and could jeopardize your ability to study away. If you have plans to study off-campus in the next 12 months and you need to apply for or renew your passport please start this process immediately. Given the very tight timeline for those planning to study away in January-Term 2022 or Spring semester 2022, our office recommends applying for expedited processing (and paying to ship your passport priority to the processing center and to have it returned via priority mail). If you are plan to apply this fall to study off campus during Summer 2022, Fall 2022, January-Term 2023 or Spring 2023, we likewise recommend you get started with your passport application (new or renewal) now.

If you are in the process of renewing/obtaining your passport, you recently sent off your application and/or renewal materials [e.g. the last 30 days or so], or if you have not started this process yet, you are responsible for communicating this information to your program provider. They are in the best position to advise as to whether your timing will impact the timeline for your visa application, which is a separate process that requires you to have a valid passport and can take anywhere from 3-8 weeks (if applicable). If your program is no longer a viable option based on timeline, please contact our office ASAP. You may need to consider a domestic option for next spring as visa processing times are also very delayed.

It is always good practice to look at the information on your passport to ensure that all the information on it is correct. A passport issued with a data error (e.g., name, sex, or place of birth) or printing error (e.g., data is missing on the biographical page, discoloration, crooked printing, etc.) can be corrected at no charge if the passport is still valid. However, there are significant delays to do this as well. These cases are treated as “expedited,” but new processing still takes up to 10 weeks.

Please note that your passport should remain valid for at least six months beyond your intended return date. If you are an international student, you should also follow this passport validity rule and make plans to renew your passport either in your home country or in the United States before you plan to study away. Please also check processing times in your respective country/embassy for passport renewals if necessary.

You can also check out this resource from our partner IES about passport processing delays and what it means for students planning to study away this spring (2022). 

Updated 10/12/2021