Processing times for U.S. passports continue to rise as summer travel season approaches, according to the most recent update from the U.S. State Department.

Key Point:

  • The volume of applications the State Department has received has “outpaced the records set by last year’s volumes by more than 30%,” the State Department reported.
  • The Department is advising applicants to apply at least four to six months before planned travel.
  • Routine services are now taking 10 to 13 weeks (increased from eight to 11 weeks) from the day an application is submitted to the day the new passport is received.
  • Expedited services are now taking seven to nine weeks (increased from five to seven weeks) from the day an application is submitted to the day the applicant receives the new passport.
  • Urgent travel appointments and in-person services at passport agencies or centers cannot be guaranteed. More information on specific passport center’s services can be found on the Passport Agency and Center page.

Additional Information: Mailing times are not included in processing time estimates; processing times begin the day the Department receives the application. It may take an additional two to four weeks from the day the application is mailed for the status of the application to state “In Process.” Some applications may be further delayed because the State Department requests additional information. Applicants must respond to such requests in order for processing to resume. Additional details regarding the request for more information can be found here.

BAL Analysis: Passport processing times are expected to continue to increase as the State Department expects this to be its “busiest summer travel season on record.” As passports are in “unprecedented demand,” U.S. citizens intending to travel abroad and in need of a new passport should renew their passport as soon as possible to reduce the chances of travel delays and complications. Passports must generally be valid for at least six months to enter a foreign country. Employers and employees should continue to consult their BAL professional before planning international travel.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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