Department of State Suspends Issuance of New U.S. Passports
In its stated efforts to minimize the risks of Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has stopped issuing passports to new applicants except in the “life-or-death” cases. In its statement, DOS has encouraged applicants to avoid international travel if possible, while acknowledging that passports would still be issued for emergency situations.
Examples of said “life-or-death” situations include, but are not limited to, serious illness, trauma or death of a close relative. Applicants are expected to travel within three days from the application date and submit proof of a qualifying “life-or-death” situation. Applications may only be submitted using in-person service at designated post offices after making an online appointment.
U.S. citizens with existing passports may continue to renew. However, DOS’ two- to-three weeks expedited service was suspended beginning on March 19. DOS has also stated that all applications for expedited passport service received on or before March 19 are intended to be processed within the envisaged timeframe.
Nevertheless, it is still possible to apply in-person for a U.S. passport at some locations. Regardless, applicants should expect significant delays receiving renewed passports given nationwide “shelter-in-place” protocols.
Contact us today for more information regarding how interruptions to U.S. immigration processes affect your business or your family.