I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.See all posts Frank Gogol
How Long Does it Take to Get a Passport?
Do you have some U.S. immigration-related questions? How to change a name on a passport? Perhaps you’re wondering – “How long does it take to get a passport?”. Wonder no more because we can help answer your question. Here you can find helpful information and tips about the U.S. passport. Confirm your eligibility, choose one of the four options, and apply for your passport. This is how you can do it.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Passport in 2021
You might have already renounced your Indian passport and now you need your U.S. passport. It’s important to know the answer to “how long does it take to get a passport?”, otherwise you might not be eligible to travel on an important trip. The answer in short is it depends on which process you follow.
The following four options have different processes and we’ll explain each for your convenience. This is how long you’ll wait for your passport.
Passport Processing Times in 2021 – 4 Options
The type of passport application you file depends on your needs. You can opt for the cheapest option if you don’t mind waiting for your immigration documentation. Or you could pay more to shorten the waiting period.
Please note the following people also need to pay an execution fee of $35:
- First-time applicants
- Applicants between ages 0 to 15 years
- Applicants replacing a lost passport
- Applicants applying for their first adult passport
All of the following 4 types of applications must pay an execution fee if they form part of the groups mentioned above. Look through these options to find the one you need.
Expedited Passport Services (1-12 Days)
We get it, you live a busy life at a fast pace. You can’t be held up by long waiting periods or drawn-out administration issues. Then an expedited passport service is your best option. The passport book fee (government fee) is $170 for adults and $140 for kids up to the ages of 15.
This does not yet include the expedited service fee, however. Expedited services could charge from $75-$275 and even more, depending on the type of service you select. The service helps speed up the process by handling much of the work themselves. They could even show up at a Regional Passport Agency on your behalf if you can’t do it. The service has little risk since it’s done by people who work with passport cases daily. However, it will require a total cost of $215-$470 depending on your type of application.
Regular Passport Processing by Mail (4-8 Weeks)
You can choose the normal route if you have time on your hands. You might be planning a trip abroad sometime in the future, but you don’t need a passport soon. Use the regular passport processing method. You might wait longer but you’ll pay less. It costs $110 for adults and $80 for children (aged 0-15), just remember that execution fee of $35 (if applicable) which you need to pay to a passport acceptance agent.
This is your cheapest option but it requires time and your personal effort. Unlike an expedited service, you need to do all the groundwork yourself and run any risks of mistakes on your application documents. Use the U.S. Postal Service to ship your documents to and from the passport agency.
Expedited Passport Processing by Mail (2-3 Weeks)
Maybe you would like to save money and speed up the process. You could apply for an expedited passport process yourself at your nearest passport agency. It costs $170 for adults and $140 for kids up to the age of 15.
Also, remember that important execution fee if applicable. This is your best option if you don’t have any questions and don’t need the help of a professional. This will still help you get a passport at a good price within a relative timeframe if you need to go abroad soon. Once again, you don’t have someone to check your application. Make sure you removed any mistakes in your documents to get your passport as soon as possible.
Regional Passport Agencies (1-8 Business Days)
The exact time for an application at a Regional Passport Agency differs depending on how busy the agency is. You could perhaps wait even longer than the average estimate listed above if it is the case. It works the same way as an Indian passport application and it has some fees and waiting time.
This type of application costs the same as expedited passport processing at $170 per adult and $140 per child (aged 15 and below). It also needs an execution fee of $35 if applicable. This is a great option if you live near a Regional Passport Agency. Just make sure you get an appointment long enough before your trip.
You also need confirmation from the agency that states they’ll produce your passport before your trip. Provide your travel tickets (possibly an itinerary as well) as proof of your intended trip abroad. You won’t have any major risks as long as you know your application is correct and you include all required application documents and fees.
3 Tips for Getting an Expedited Passport
How long does it take to get a passport? It depends on which type of application you submit. But we may be able to help you get results faster in any application by simply following these tips.
Use the State Department Passport Wizard
The State Department Passport Wizard offers you help on how to complete your application. It provides you with the correct form and also informs you about the required documents for your situation. This helps you remove any errors caused by ineligible handwritten forms. Untidy handwriting is one of the leading errors found on application forms.
Make Sure You Submit to the Right Place
Government departments have specific channels for every type of application. Just like you would apply for an Indian infant passport, you need to make sure you send your application to the correct center or else you’ll add more waiting time. Send it to the closest Regional Passport Agency. Not every state has its own agency. Make sure you make and attend your appointment at the correct center.
Use the Best Option for How Much Time You Have
You can choose your best option as provided in the information listed earlier. But it’s important to understand the nature of your needs to determine the best option available. Ask that important question to yourself. How long does it take to get a passport? Do you have little time left before an important trip? Then use the application method that takes the least amount of time. Do you have time on your hands? Do you live close to a Regional Passport Agency? Then go apply at the agency yourself at the cheapest available price.