US Visa Processing & Appointment Wait Times to Increase for Indians – US Embassy

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The United States of America has lifted travel restrictions on fully vaccinated travelers from India to the US on November 8th 2021. This would mean that pending visa applications to travel to the USA will finally move along but it also means that visa applicants seeking to travel to the USA will face longer processing times & appointment wait times. The US Embassy located in India said there would be significantly longer wait times for some non-immigrant visa categories. After nearly 18 months, the USA has decided to lift travel restrictions to fully-vaccinated travelers from other countries.

During the pandemic, only US citizens and immigrant visa holders were allowed to travel in & out of the USA except for emergency cases while following strict Covid-19 safety protocols. This trend of longer wait times for visa processing once countries open their gates to travelers from other countries. Since the USA lifted the travel ban on 8th November, approximately 30 lakh Indian citizens with valid US visas will be able to travel to the USA with proof of vaccination under the new international air travel policy.

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The US Embassy emphasizes that the new international air travel policy is to facilitate legitimate travel to boost the growth of bilateral ties between the 2 countries. Appointment wait times are slated to increase as the US State Department is on the bounce back from interruptions caused due to Covid-19, especially for non-immigrant visa categories as they seek to improve the number of staff & keep safety as the priority for applicants.

Foreign national air travelers must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and travelers must provide proof of vaccination status before boarding their flights to fly to the USA. The US Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has determined that the vaccines accepted for purpose of entry into the USA will include those approved by the FDA or authorized by FDA along with vaccines listed under Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Both vaccines being manufactured in India – Covishield & COVAXIN which have been the 2 most widely used vaccines in India are on the WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL). This means any US visa holder who has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by either the Covishield or COVAXIN vaccines can travel to the USA. While Covishield had secured EUL from WHO long ago, COVAXIN was only recently added to the WHO EUL on the eve of Diwali. The CDC considers people as fully vaccinated 2 weeks after they have been administered the 2nd dose in a 2-dose vaccine series or 2 weeks after being administered a single-dose vaccine.

Travelers to the USA will need to provide proof of documentation of a pre-departure negative viral test of a sample collected within 72 hours before boarding to travel to the US – this applies to all travelers and includes US Citizens, Permanent Residents & Foreign Nationals according to the CDC and the US Embassy.

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Posted in US

USA Issues Its First ‘X’ Gender Passport

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Last week, the Federal Government of the United States of America issued its first passport with the gender marked as ‘X’ – a landmark for the people who do not wish to be identified as male or female. The US Government states this is only the first step in its plan to more widely recognize people who don’t identify as non-binary genders and hopes to offer the option more broadly from 2022 onwards.

The U.S. government announced the news of adding a 3rd gender for non-binary, intersex, & gender non-conforming citizens; the US government also mentioned that the update in its systems would require time to be updated. Now, citizens of USA will be allowed to select their own gender out of the 3 choices without having to provide a medical certificate to prove their gender if it did not match the identification on other documents.

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U.S. Special Diplomatic Envoy for LGBTQ+ rights, Jessica Stern stated that the decision to add a 3rd ‘X’ gender brings the government in line with the current reality of there being a wider spectrum of human sex characteristics & identification than reflected by the previously existing 2 gender designations. Jessica Stern also mentioned the step is a big move in acknowledging rights of the LGBTQ+ community as when individuals obtain identity documents that reflect & recognize their true identity can live with greater dignity & respect while holding their heads held high.

USA joins a list of more than dozen countries who have added the option for 3rd gender to their official travel documents in an effort to help people travel while maintaining their own identity & be safer for it. Dana Zzyym, 63, an intersex activist from Fort Collins, Colorado, had been in a legal battle with the US State Department to obtain a passport that did not require them to select the male or female gender. Dana Zzyym became the first US citizen to receive a passport with the gender marked ‘X’, they said “it was thrilling to finally get the passport, the goal was to help the next generation of intersex people win recognition as full citizens with rights, rather than travel the globe.”

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In other news, the United States of America is also planning to re-open all its land borders to allow non-essential travel for fully vaccinated individuals. Its neighbouring countries, Mexico & Canada have urged the US to re-open its borders and ease travel restrictions as there were a lot of families & individuals who couldn’t travel to meet their family on the other side of the border. The new rules, to be announced Wednesday, will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the U.S. regardless of the reason for travel starting in early November, when a similar easing of restrictions is set to kick in for air travel into the country.

By mid-January, even essential travelers seeking to enter the U.S., like truck drivers, will need to be fully vaccinated. The latest move follows last month’s announcement that the U.S. will end country-based travel bans for air travel, and instead require vaccination for foreign nationals seeking to enter by plane.

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Posted in US

Gender Selection Easier for US Passports, To Promote “Freedom & Dignity”

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The United States State Department has made gender selection easier for its citizens when applying for a passport. Earlier this year, the US State Department announced that US passport holders can finally decide & select their own gender. Previously, passport applicants had to provide a medical certificate as gender proof if they wished to mark a different gender on their passports than the one marked on their birth certificate.

This is a welcome move for US citizens who wished to select their own gender over having to choose one which they may not currently identify as.

The decision to let citizens select their gender on passports is part of the US President Joe Biden’s & his office’s efforts to support LGBTQI rights & freedom. Anthony Blinken, Secretary of State, announced this move in June. “The Department of State is committed to promoting the freedom, dignity and equality of all people — including LGBTQI+ persons,” Blinken said in a statement earlier this year. The decision is a step towards helping people express their identity with freedom & also maintaining dignity while doing so.

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One of the major goals of the US Department of State is to add a 3rd non-binary gender option on passports. The addition of a 3rd non-binary gender option would take time, the Secretary of State said as part of the statement while assuring the office of the President of the United States is committed to resolve issues with gender identity in order to help & enable LGBTQI+ individuals express themselves with more freedom & eliminating indignation.

A host of countries around the world already have a 3rd non-binary gender option for selection on their passports or national identity verification documents, few of these countries are India. Germany, Nepal, Argentina, Canada & Germany.  US President Biden has promised to LGBTQI+ rights a priority, rights that include foreign policy especially in acceptance of refugees from other countries.

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Mr, Blinken also said while the process of adding a 3rd non-binary option would take some time, the Federal Government of USA would be committed to ensuring a smooth travel experience for passport holders of all genders until the modification required are in place. The announcement was made on the last day of Pride Month in USA as part of which the State Department flew the ‘Progress’ flag to welcome intersex people as a key part of movement lobbying for LGBTQI+ rights & equality.

Posted in US

US Passport Application Form for Renewals

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American Passport is a travel document issued only to the citizens of United States of America by the Department of State U.S., US Passport confirms the Identity & nationality of the holder and facilitates the holder for International travel.

Passport Office     Passport Status     How to Get a Passport   Child Passport

Passport Renewal Fees     Passport Form    Baby Passport   Passport Tracking

Post Office Passport       Passport agency   Passport Prices   British Passport

Expedited Passport      Lost Passport         Passport Cost     Rush Passport

Renew Child Passport     Child Passport Application        Infant Passport

Eligibility:

Citizens of United States of America who are applying for Passport renewal, first they must check their eligibility

  • Applicant must be a US Citizen
  • Applicant’s age must be 16 years or above
  • Applicant must hold the Current/Most recent Passport

Required Documents:

Citizens of US who are applying for Passport renewal must submit the following documents

  • Completely filled DS-82 Application form
  • Current/Most recent US Passport

For more details on Documents required – https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/renew.html

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Process Applying for US Passport online:

Step 1: Visit the Official Passport website

Step 2: Check your eligibility

Step 3: After confirming the eligibility, fill the complete application form with correct details & take the print of the filled application form

Step 4: Attach 1 most recent Photo, Current/Most recent US Passport

Step 5: Pay the prescribed fees (fees can be paid by Credit card/Debit card/Certified Cheque/Money order)

Step 6: Lodge your application form personally at your nearest Passport Agency

For applying online- https://pptform.state.gov/

To download the application form – http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212241.pdf

Process Applying for US Passport in Person:

Step 1: Visit the nearest Passport office

Step 2: Take an Application form (DS-82)

Step 3: Fill the complete application form with correct details

Step 4: Attach 1 most recent Photo, Current/Most recent US Passport

Step 5: Pay the prescribed fees (fees can be paid by Credit card/Debit card/Certified Cheque/Money order)

Step 6: Lodge your application form personally at your nearest Passport Office.

For applying online-https://pptform.state.gov/

To download the application form- http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212241.pdf

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Passport Fees:

  • Passport Book – $110
  • Passport Card – $30
  • Passport Book & Card – $140

Mode of Payment:

Passport fees can be paid by Credit card or Debit Card or Certified cheque or Money order or Cash

To know more details on Passport fees – https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/fees.html

Lodging the Application Form:

Applicants after completing all the above formalities, Passport application form must be submitted personally at their nearest passport Agency or at nearest Passport Acceptance Facility.

For more details on lodging your Passport application form –https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/where-to-apply.html

To know the address of the nearest Passport Acceptance Facility- https://iafdb.travel.state.gov/

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Tracking your Application Form:

Applicants after the successful submission of their Passport application forms, they can use this facility after 7-10 working days.

With the applicant’s Last name, Date of Birth & Social Security number, the applicant can use this facility to track the status of the Passport application form

To track your application Status – https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/application-status.html

US Passport Office     Passport Status     How to Get a Passport   Child Passport

Passport Renewal Fees     Passport Form    Baby Passport   Passport Tracking

Post Office Passport       Passport agency   Passport Prices   British Passport

Expedited Passport      Lost Passport         Passport Cost     Rush Passport

Renew Child Passport     Child Passport Application        Infant Passport

Posted in US

US Passport Application Form for Children

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American Passport is a travel document issued only to the citizens of United States of America by the Department of State U.S., US Passport confirms the Identity & nationality of the holder and facilitates the holder for International travel.

Passport Office     Passport Status     How to Get a Passport 

Passport Renewal Fees     Passport Form    Passport Tracking

Post Office Passport       Passport agency   Passport Prices   British Passport

Expedited Passport      Lost Passport         Passport Cost     Rush Passport

Eligibility:

Citizens of United States of America who are applying for Child Passport, first they must check their eligibility

  • Applicant must be a US Citizen
  • Applicant’s age must be below 16 years
  • Applicant must provide a Social Security number

Required Documents:

Citizens of US who are applying for Child Passport must submit the following Certificates

  • Completely filled DS-11 Passport Application form
  • Proof of US Citizenship (Original) – US Birth Certificate (Original)
  • Evidence of Parental Relationship – US Birth Certificate (Original)
  • Valid Photo Identification Proof
  • Parental Consent
  • 1 Photo (Most recent one)

For more details on Documents required- https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/under-16.html

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Process Applying for US Passport online:

Step 1: Visit the Official Passport website

Step 2: Check your eligibility

Step 3: After confirming the eligibility, fill the complete application form with correct details & take the print of the filled application form

Step 4: Attach 1 most recent Photo

Step 5: Attach the required documents

Step 6: Pay the prescribed fees (fees can be paid by Credit card/Debit card/Certified Cheque/Money order)

Step7: Lodge your application form personally at your nearest Passport Agency along with your Parents

For applying online- http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212239.pdf

To download the application form- http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212239.pdf

Note:

All the Applicants who are applying for US Passport for the first time, they have to submit the Application form in person

Process Applying for US Passport in Person:

Step 1: Visit the nearest Passport office

Step 2: Take an Application form (DS-11)

Step 3: Fill the complete application form with correct details

Step 4: Attach 1 most recent photo

Step 5: Attach the required documents

Step 6: Pay the prescribed fees (fees can be paid by Credit card/Debit card/Certified Cheque/Money order)

Step7: Lodge your application form personally at your nearest Passport Agency along with your Parents

For applying online- http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212239.pdf

To download the application form- http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212239.pdf

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Note:

All the Applicants who are applying for US Passport for the first time, they have to submit the Application form in person

Passport Fees:

  • Passport Book & Card – $95 + $25
  • Passport Book – $80 + $25
  • Passport Card – $15 + $25

Mode of Payment:

Passport fees can be paid by Credit card or Debit Card or Certified cheque or Money order or Cash

To know more details on Passport fees- https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/fees.html

Lodging the Application Form:

Applicants after completing all the above formalities, Passport application form must be submitted personally along with parents at their nearest passport Agency or at nearest Passport Acceptance Facility.

For more details on lodging your Passport application form- https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/where-to-apply.html

To know the address of the nearest Passport Acceptance Facility- https://iafdb.travel.state.gov/

Tracking your Application Form:

Applicants after the successful submission of their Passport application forms, they can use this facility after 7-10 working days.

With the applicant’s Last name, Date of Birth & Social Security number, the applicant can use this facility to track the status of the Passport application form

To track your application Status – https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/application-status.html

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Collecting your Passport:

After the successful submission of your passport application form along with photo & required documents, you will get your Passport approximately within 6 weeks (Including Passport mailing time)

To know more details – https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/processing-times.html

Passport Office     Passport Status     How to Get a Passport 

Passport Renewal Fees     Passport Form    Passport Tracking

Post Office Passport       Passport agency   Passport Prices   British Passport Application

Expedited Passport      Lost Passport         Passport Cost     Fast Passport

Posted in US

US Passport Application Form for Adults

US Passport Application Form for First Time Adults:

American Passport is a travel document issued only to the citizens of United States of America by the Department of State U.S., US Passport confirms the Identity & nationality of the holder and facilitates the holder for International travel.

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Child Passport                     Baby Passport                   Child Passport Application  

Renew My Passport          Renew Your Passport     Renew Child Passport   

Passport Renewal Cost    Passport Renewal Fees  Renew Expired Passport

American Passport Renewal        British Passport Application

Eligibility:

Citizens of United States of America who are applying for First Time Adult Passport, first they must check their eligibility

  • Applicant must be a US Citizen
  • Applicant’s age must be 16 years or above
  • Applicant must have a valid Identification Proof

Required Documents:

Citizens of US who are applying for Passport must submit the following Certificates

  • Completely filled DS-11 Passport Application form
  • Proof of US Citizenship (Original)
  • Present Identification Proof
  • 1 Photo (Most recent one)

For more details on Documents required – https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/first-time.html#step3

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Process  Applying for US Passport online:

Step 1: Visit the Official Passport website

Step 2: Check your eligibility

Step 3: After confirming the eligibility, fill the complete application form with correct details & take the print of the filled application form

Step 4: Attach 1 most recent Photo

Step 5: Attach the required documents

Step 6: Pay the prescribed fees (fees can be paid by Credit card/Debit card/Certified Cheque/Money order)

Step7: Lodge your application form personally at your nearest Passport Agency

For applying online – http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212239.pdf

To download the application form – http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212239.pdf

Note:

All the Applicants who are applying for US Passport for the first time, they have to submit the Application form in person

Process Applying for US Passport in Person:

Step 1: Visit the nearest Passport office

Step 2: Take an Application form (DS-11)

Step 3: Fill the complete application form with correct details

Step 4: Attach 1 most recent photo

Step 5: Attach the required documents

Step 6: Pay the prescribed fees (fees can be paid by Credit card/Debit card/Certified Cheque/Money order)

Step7: Lodge your application form personally at your nearest Passport Office

For applying online – http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212239.pdf

To download the application form – http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212239.pdf

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Note:

All the Applicants who are applying for US Passport for the first time, they have to submit the Application form in person

Passport Fees:

  • Passport Book & Card – $140 + $25
  • Passport Book – $110 + $25

Mode of Payment:

Passport fees can be paid by Credit card or Debit Card or Certified cheque or Money order or Cash

To know more details on Passport fees – https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/fees.html

Lodging the Application Form:

Applicants after completing all the above formalities, Passport application form must be submitted personally at their nearest passport Agency or at nearest Passport Acceptance Facility.

For more details on lodging your Passport application form – https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/where-to-apply.html

To know the address of the nearest Passport Acceptance Facility – https://iafdb.travel.state.gov/

Tracking your Application Form:

Applicants after the successful submission of their Passport application forms, they can use this facility after 7-10 working days.

With the applicant’s Last name, Date of Birth & Social Security number, the applicant can use this facility to track the status of the Passport application form

To track your application Status- https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/application-status.html

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Collecting your Passport:

After the successful submission of your passport application form along with photo & required documents, you will get your Passport approximately within 6 weeks (Including Passport mailing time)

To know more details – https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/processing-times.html

US Child Passport                     US Baby Passport                   US Child Passport Application  

Renew My Passport          Renew Your Passport     Renew Child Passport   

Passport Renewal Cost    Passport Renewal Fees  Renew Expired Passport

US Passport Renewal        British Passport

Posted in US

Process for Applying US Passport

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Process for Applying First Time Adult US Passport:

American Passport is a travel document issued only to the citizens of United States of America by the Department of State U.S., US Passport confirms the Identity & nationality of the holder and facilitates the holder for International travel. U.S Department of State is issuing Biometric Passports since August 2007. Citizens of US who reside in United States & overseas can apply Passport by following these simple steps

Step 1: Eligibility

Step 2: Application Form & Filling the Application Form

Step 3: Required Documents

Step 4: Passport size Photos & Photo requirements

Step 5: Passport Fees & Mode of Payment

Step 6: Check List for Lodging the Application Form

Step 7: Lodging the Application Form

Step 8: Tracking Your Application Form

Step 9: Collecting your Passport

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Step 1- Eligibility:

  • Applicant must be a US Citizen
  • Applicant’s age must be 16 years or above
  • Applicant must have a valid Identification Proof

Note: Applicants who are applying for US Passport, first they must check their eligibility for applying Passport.

Step 2- Application Form:

US Citizens can get the Passport Application form in 2 ways

  • Applicant can apply online by visiting the official website
  • Applicant can download the application form by visiting the official website

For applying online click here: (http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212239.pdf)

To download the application form click here: (http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212239.pdf)

Note:

All the Applicants who are applying for US Passport for the first time, they have to submit the Application form in person

Process for Filling the Application Form online:

Step 1: Visit the Official Passport website

Step 2: Check your eligibility

Step 3: After confirming the eligibility, fill the complete application form with correct details & take the print of the filled application form

Step 4: Attach 1 most recent Photo

Step 5: Attach the required documents

Step 6: Pay the prescribed fees (fees can be paid by Credit card/Debit card/Certified Cheque/Money order)

Step 7: Lodge you application form personally at your nearest Passport Agency

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Process for Filling the Application Form normally:

Step 1: Visit a nearest Passport office

Step 2: Take an Application form (DS-11)

Step 3: Fill the complete application form with correct details

Step 4: Attach 1 most recent photo

Step 5: Attach the required documents

Step 6: Pay the prescribed fees (fees can be paid by Credit card/Debit card/Certified Cheque/Money order)

Step 7: Lodge you application form personally at your nearest Passport Office

Step 3- Required Documents:

Citizens of US who are applying for Passport must submit the following Certificates

  • Completely filled DS-11Passport Application form
  • Proof of US Citizenship (Original)
  • Present Identification Proof
  • 1 Photo (Most recent one)

Note: Applicants who are applying for Passport can show the following certificates for proof of US Citizenship

  • Certified U.S Birth Certificate
  • Citizenship certificate
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Consular Report of Birth/Birth Certificate

Note:

  • All the above required documents to be submitted with the Passport application form must be original (Photocopies will not be accepted)

Note: Applicants who are applying for Passport can show the following certificates for Identification Proof

  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Citizenship certificate
  • Valid Driving License
  • Current Military ID
  • Employee ID Card (for Govt Employees)

For more details on Documents required click here: (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/first-time.html#step3)

Step 4-Passport size Photos & Photo requirements:

Applicants Photo is more important for security reasons & if the applicant’s photo does not reach the requirements prescribed by the US Passport office, application may not be forwarded. Applicants who are applying Passport they must submit 1 photo which meets the following requirements.

  • Photos 2 X 2 size (51mm X 51 mm)
  • Photo must be less than six months old
  • Photos should be with good quality & colour gloss prints
  • Photos should be clear, sharp & in focus

To know more details on Photo specifications click here: (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/photos/photos.html)

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Step 5- Passport Fees & Mode of Payment:

Passport Fees:

  • Passport Book & Card – $140 + $25
  • Passport Book – $110 + $25

Passport fees can be paid by Credit card or Debit Card or Certified cheque or Money order or Cash

To know more details on Passport fees click here: (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/fees.html)

Step 6- Check List for Lodging the Application Form:

  • Completely filled DS-11 Passport application form
  • Original documents required for applying passport
  • 1 most recent photo
  • Photo copy of Identification proof
  • Passport fees receipt

Step 7- Lodging the Application Form:

Applicants after completing all the above formalities, Passport application form must be submitted personally at their nearest passport Agency or at nearest Passport acceptance Facility.

Note: All type of First time applicants must submit their Passport application form in person

For more details on lodging your Passport application form click here: (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/where-to-apply.html)

To know the address of the nearest Passport Acceptance Facility click here: (https://iafdb.travel.state.gov/)

Step 8- Tracking your Application Form:

Applicants after the successful submission of their Passport application forms, they can use this facility after 7-10 working days.

With the applicant’s Last name, Date of Birth & Social Security number, applicant can use this facility to track the status of the Passport application form

To track your application Status click here: (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/application-status.html)

Step 9- Collecting your Passport:

After the successful submission of your passport application form along with photo & required documents you will get your Passport approximately within 6 weeks (Including Passport mailing time)

To know more details click here: (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/processing-times.html)

Posted in US