Travel information on applying for and renewing your passport as well as tracking your application status and what to expect during the application and renewal process.
Important Travel Information
What to Expect:
- Mail delays are impacting when we receive passport applications for processing. Our processing times begin the day we receive your application, not the day you mail it.
- Routine service can take up to 18 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received. The 18-week timeframe includes up to 12 weeks for processing and up to 6 weeks for mailing times on the front and back end.
- Expedite service (for an additional $60) can take up to 12 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received. The 12-week timeframe includes up to 6 weeks for processing and up to 6 weeks for mailing times on the front and back end.
Processing times (up to 12 weeks for routine; up to 6 weeks for expedite) do not include mailing times. Mail times vary and delays have been significant. Plan ahead.
We suggest you:
- Send your application to us via trackable mail, so you can track your application before it enters our system. This can be done whether applying at an acceptance facility or by mail.
- Pay an extra $17.56 for 1-2 day delivery for the return of your completed passport.
You can check your status online using our Online Passport Status System. It may take up to 6 weeks from the day you apply until your application status is “In Process.” During these 6 weeks, your application is delivered to a mail facility, your payment is processed, and your application is scanned and sent to us. If your passport status update says “Not Available,” your application and supporting documents are safely on their way to us.
You can upgrade your application from routine processing to expedited processing for an additional $60. You may also choose to add a 1-2 delivery service of your completed passport book for an additional $17.56. One-to-two-day delivery is not available for passport cards. We only send cards via First Class Mail.
Call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 (1-888-874-7793 TDD/TTY) and ask to upgrade your application service type. You’ll need either your application number or your last name and date of birth, as well as your credit card to pay the $60 expedite fee.
Visa and entry requirement information for US Citizens traveling abroad. After clicking the button below, use the search bar on the left-hand side of the page to search for information by country.
Information on visas for Americans traveling abroad is so varied depending on the destination country that no list of FAQs can be helpful.
Please follow the above button link to look up specific information on the country you plan to travel to.
Pay special attention to every detail when making a visa application. One small error can cause a rejection.
Additionally, make sure that you have factored in the length of time for which the visa is granted into your travel plans.
It is always important to consult a travel expert if you are traveling in groups. This will ensure that every member’s visa is the same.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to register their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
S.T.E.P. Program FAQs
- You’ll receive the latest safety and security information for your destination country, so you can make informed decisions about your travel.
- The information you provide enables the U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in an emergency.
- Alerts from the U.S. Embassy about safety and security situations.
- Updates to the country’s Travel Advisory.
- Messages about U.S. embassy events and services, such as town hall meetings, voting information, federal benefits, and U.S. citizens’ legal obligations (taxes, selective service registration, etc.).
US Department of State
Provides comprehensive and up-to-date information regarding travel destinations around the globe, including entry requirements and restrictions.
US Dept of State FAQ's
How will U.S. citizen travelers be notified of changes to the Travel Advisory levels and receive new Alerts for a country?
The State Dept. will post updates to Travel Advisories and Alerts to travel.state.gov and send them to U.S. citizens who choose to receive updates by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP.state.gov). Some Travel Advisory updates may be sent out via social media. Follow us on Twitter (@travelgov) and Facebook (facebook.com/travelgov). Learn about more ways to stay connected.
How does the State Dept. determine the overall level for a country?
They consider many factors to determine the Travel Advisory level for each country, including crime, terrorist activity, civil unrest, health, natural disaster/weather, and current events. We clearly explain the reason for the Travel Advisory level and describe the safety and security concerns.
The information used to formulate Travel Advisories is collected from a range of sources, such as crime statistics and other information that is publicly available, information gathered from U.S. government sources, as well as assessments by our embassies and consulates. Travel Advisories also take into account decisions made to protect the security of U.S. government personnel overseas and ensure that U.S. citizens receive appropriate security information. This analysis is undertaken without regard to bilateral political or economic considerations. Travel Advisories represent our commitment to protect U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad by providing them important safety and security information.
I see that other countries provide different information to their citizens about the dangers of traveling to certain countries. Why is that?
The U.S. State Dept.’s mission and its priority is the safety of all U.S. citizens abroad. They provide an assessment about the conditions in any given location in the world based on the threat to U.S. citizens, without regard to other countries’ assessments for their citizens.
Links to Updated CDC Information
Up-to-date information on traveling during Covid-19, domestic and international. Travel recommendations from the CDC by destination. Tips to remain safe during different forms of travel.
Vaccine & Health Advice
Recommendations for persons who are fully vaccinated. Health notices. Updated information on new developments in health conditions globally. Interactive world map of health notices. Advice on medicines and vaccines per destination.
Covid-19 by Destination
Interactive map of Covid-19 notices per destination. Includes alphabetical list of countries linking to specific notices per country. Table of Level 1 through Level 4 risk assessments per country.
CDC Survival Guide
The CDC’s guide for safe and healthy travel. The guide provides consultation on steps to prepare you before you go on your trip, steps to take during your trips, and what to do when you return. There are many great links here to other important resources and information.