The flight to Chicago to Istanbul only four days away My brother was beginning to get anxious. In March he had paid an additional $60 to get the expedited renewal of his passport. In return, the State Department promised it would send the new passport to him one week prior to the date of his departure.
Dustin attempted to make an emergency appointment with the Chicago Passport Agency to get an emergency passport but there was no available time two weeks prior to Memorial Day.
“I don’t know if I’m going to make it,” I received a text message from him in a state of panic.
A cancellation would be disastrous. Dustin was planning to travel to Nepal, Indonesia and Western Europe during the holiday of Illinois State University, where he is an art graduate student. Dustin couldn’t afford to skip his flight.
Dustin’s problems are all too typical.
“Thousands of travelers — maybe tens of thousands — will be in a similar situation this summer,” says David Alwadish, CEO of ItsEasy.Com, a service that offers passports and visas.
Prior to the outbreak it was possible to visit the passport office in person, and receive the same day service if you had a legitimate reason to do so according to Kent Webber, the senior manager of the intelligence Services and Products for Global Rescue. However, with the backlog currently there are no appointments in person which means you’ll need to make a phone call to at the State Department (877-487-2778) and set up an appointment with an agent for passports, in the event that you are able to get one.
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Officially it takes between 10 and 13 weeks to process passport applications, according to the State Department. But some travelers have said that their actual wait times to be closer to 15-18 weeks when you take the time for mailing into consideration. If you have a passport that is expedited the time range is 7 to 9 weeks. Dustin’s passport was at the Processing center located in Texas at the end of the week.
Forbes Lifestyle00:1401:12 Eight Essential Dining Districts For First-Time Manhattan Visitors It is it possible to get a passport in the last minute, and with no appointment slots available at the nearest passport office? What about my brother? Would he be able to go on his trip, or remain in Illinois during the rest of the summer? I’ll know the answer within a minute.
Here’s how to get a U.S. passport at the last minute.
What options do you have for the last-minute travel document?
If you’re an U.S. citizen looking for an identity card, there are four choices for obtaining the passport you need at the very least, it’s official.
Routine. This isn’t a last-minute alternative If you think of “last minute” in weeks instead of hours or days. Don’t laugh. In certain industries, like cruise lines or tours Last-minute can be measured in months because the majority of cruises are booked many years ahead. Visit the post office in order to get your regular passport sorted. Set aside at least 20 weeks for it to be processed.
Express. If you’re less than 20 weeks from your next trip then this is the right option for you. The cost is an additional $60 over the normal cost of a passport. It’s the State Department says it takes 7 to 9 weeks however, that’s not too optimistic. You can apply for your expedited passport at an acceptance center or speed up the renewal process by mail. The passport must be returned by the end of 10 weeks.
urgent. If you can show that you’re at least 14 calendar days away from your travel date and if you’re able to make an appointment in person, this option is available to you. You’ll need to schedule an appointment with the passport center or agency. You must schedule your appointment within five calendar days prior to the date of your international travel.
emergency. The State Department advises you to only use this option if you’re experiencing an “life-or-death emergency” that requires travel to another country in less than 72 hours. (Technically it is a “life-or-death” emergency is someone dying, in hospice, or suffering from an “life-threatening” illness. In reality the most desperate travelers are opting for an emergency passport, and arguing that the government by its inefficiency is creating an emergency. A passport for emergencies requires an appointment in person; passports are issued on the same day.
I’ve included information on the requirements for travel IDs in my complete guide to passports, paperwork and more on my website for advocacy on behalf of consumers.
There are ways to get a passport at the last minute.
The suspense is killing us!
In the worst of situations having to get a passport last minute can be stressful.
Jim Wasserman, a retired teacher from Atlanta was caught in a similar situation earlier in the year, after he had damaged his passport and required another one. Just a few days prior to the date of his trip to Portugal, he was able to make an appointment with the Dallas Passport Agency.
“We showed up for the appointment to a very crowded room filled with anxious people,” he recalls. “Some were scheduled to fly out that same day and were begging for some piece of government paper to let them travel.”
Wasserman recalls looking at weak travelers, aware that the government was unable to accommodate all their demands and was happy that he had the time. Even though the employee at the passport office took care of his passport application the applicant had to return within a couple of days, which is when he waited in a tense the line, hoping to obtain his government identification. Then, he got his ID.
It’s probably not a surprise however, the most difficult aspect in obtaining a last-minute passport is the stress it causes. It’s difficult to focus when you are looking at your upcoming departure date, and you are certain that you’ll be denied entry to board the plane without an ID card.
With the clock ticking down the date my brother’s departure I began to get worried for him.
You elected representative can place a Congressional flag on your passport application to expedite.
Option #1 for a passport that you need in the last minute Contact your agent
If the traditional options do not work for you There are two alternative alternatives, according to experts.
“If you have been waiting a while and have an upcoming trip, you can reach out to your representative in Congress and ask for a congressional flag to expedite the passport,” says Julie Ann Hargett, a travel consultant and the CEO H Luxury Travel. H Luxury Travel. “This takes knowing someone and a little work to get it done quickly, but I have had numerous clients have success with this method — one just this week.”
So, what do you have to be aware of? Every congressional member has at minimum one liaison with the State Department and who handles urgent requests. Hargett can get in direct link directly to the office of her junior senator located in Alabama, Katie Britt. The staff have two employees who are in charge of advocacy for constituents that could be of assistance. Your travel experts will likely have the appropriate person in their speed dial, and especially in the present.
But the flags of Congress aren’t always effective in the last minute passport requirements, particularly when it’s the last minute.
Option 2 to get a passport in the last minute Call a passport agency
If you’re pressed to the minute of your departure, you’ll require an insider. A passport service can assist you to obtain a passport even if you’re from the nearest passport office.
However, it’s not as simpleor inexpensive.
For Dustin the situation was that there is no chance to navigate the usual channels. In the event of his flight being delayed, Turkey would be a catastrophe because he’d already reserved accommodations and activities. The trip was important to Dustin as it was a chance to spend time with family and friends, and to get inspiration for his artwork and sculptures.
“I know a guy,” I sent him a message to follow up.
Then I gave him the contact number that I had for Alwadish via ItsEasy.Com.
Dustin was only three business days left before his departure to Istanbul. Alwadish came up with a bold idea to obtain his passport. He would take Dustin an appointment at the Post Office in Bloomington to complete a renewal application. Then, he would send my son to Chicago O’Hare to deliver the envelope of courier in to the American Airlines cargo agent, hoping to be able to board his next trip from Chicago to New York.
Alwadish will then collect the parcel at LaGuardia Airport at midnight and then head into his home at New York and prepare the urgent application for his courier’s 7 a.m. submission to the passport office. The next day, he would take the passport, and FedEx the passport to Dustin.
However, would it really work?
“I was ready to give up”
It was discovered that Dustin had sent only one original copy of the birth certificate to State Department with his previous application. In the post office, the clerk advised him that the application could not be completed new application without a birth certificate, which was sent by the State Department with his previous lost passport application.
However, Alwadish discovered a way to work around. He arranged for a search of my brother’s files that cost an additional $150, yet allowed him to continue in the application.
“I was ready to give up,” Dustin said to me. “But then David got on the phone and talked them through it. He really knew his way around the bureaucracy.”
This wasn’t the only issue. When Dustin was greeted with a sigh at the counter of the airline in O’Hare the agent was unable to take his luggage in advance of the trip, telling him that the counter was already been shut.
“David got on the phone again and talked him into driving the parcel out to the plane,” Dustin recalls.
The last test was in the New York Passport Agency. Alwadish did not have a slot available on the same day, which was booked. He decided to move his customer up to the slot on the next day due to an earlier departure time.
Alwadish admits that he doubted that the strategy could be successful. If anyone on the road had been able to say “no,” it would have ruined Dustin’s passport application.
“There’s so much that could have gone wrong,” He declares. “The Bloomington post office could have stopped us. American Airlines could have refused to take the courier parcel on the right flight. But it all fell into place.”
In the afternoon of Friday just a few hours before Dustin’s flight — he was handed his new passport.
“David came through for me,” Dustin adds.
How can you stay clear of a passport issue at the last minute
The passport issue in America will likely be a problem for the rest of summer and perhaps even longer. Here’s how to prevent it:
Set a reminder for expiration. Many destinations require at least three months’ validity for your passport. Make a calendar reminder one year prior to the date your passport is due to expire and apply for an extension well in advance of when your passport is due to expire.
Allow yourself more duration. Even if average wait times fall however, you shouldn’t risk it. Include more than a month the estimated processing time so that you don’t have to wait in your mailbox for your passport. Don’t make plans for your trip abroad until you have the proper passport.
Make plans for a vacation in the country. If you’re waiting for an entry permit this summer and you’ve not planned your trip abroad yet Don’t. A passport agency might be able to assist you however it’s a risk. It’s better to wait until you have a passport in order to travel overseas.
If you employ an agency to help you with your passport and pay for it, you can expect to spend between $200 and $2,000 for a passport in just the right time. The passport shortage getting worse, a lot of companies have increased their rates to meet the demand. With a bit of planning you can cut out the unnecessary cost.