Almost Out of Blank Visa Pages in Your Passport Book? Here's How to Fix That
January 1, 2016, The U.S. Department of State no longer issues
additional visa pages. This service has been discontinued to enhance the
security of U.S. Passports and to adhere to international passport
standards. Applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must apply for a passport renewal by mail or, in the case of a passport issued to a minor, obtain a new passport. Frequent travelers can apply for 52-page passports instead
of the regular 24 pages for no additional cost.
A Google search of "travel every country in the world" returns over
600,000 results. You'll find articles on everything from being the
youngest American to travel every country in the world to tips on how
you can visit every country yourself in five years. You'll see stories
about lessons learned, challenges faced, goals met, and records broken.
This growing trend to see all 196 countries of the world has seen an
explosion in the last three years. All those countries equal a whole
lot of passport pages. If you're among these international frequent
travelers, you've no doubt run out of room in your passport to meet the
entry requirements of some countries.
There are countries with restrictions that may not allow entry
without a certain number of blank visa pages in your passport. The
number of pages, and if they need to be consecutive or not, is
determined by each country. Check the country's requirements before
purchasing your air travel tickets. Even though you may be making plans
to travel only to one country, if it requires four consecutive blank
pages in your passport book for entry and you only have three, you
could be denied entry. Moreover, many airlines, in an effort to avoid
these situations for travelers, will not allow passengers without the
required number of blank pages to board the plane to a particular
Two Ways to Get More Pages for Your Passport Book
Standard passport books come with 24
pages, of which 17 of those are blank and dedicated to visas and
entry/exit stamps for the countries you travel to and through. One way
to handle the small number of pages is to request a 52-page passport
book when you apply for your passport in the first place. The other
option is to add pages to your valid passport in packets of 24 blank
If you're one of those adventurous travelers burning through
blank passport pages, you know up front that you'll need the maximum
number of pages. When you submit your application for a new passport with Form DS-11
or a renewal with Form DS-82
check the '52 page' box at the top of the application. You aren't
guaranteed the larger passport book simply by requesting it, but every
effort will be made to honor your request. Your larger 52-page passport
book will yield you 43 blank visa pages.
Maybe you didn't get your larger passport book, or maybe you
didn't order one and are churning through countries faster than
expected; not to worry. You can order more pages for your passport book
if your passport is still valid and if you can submit your passport
book to have the pages added. Many countries won't let you enter with
less than six months validity left in your passport book, so if you
don't have at least a year of validity left, it's probably best just to
order a new one.
When adding pages to your passport book
makes the most sense to your situation, fill out Form DS-4085 and
submit it with your current passport and the $82 fee to add pages. You
can add one or two 24-page packets for the same price, so you may as
well get two. When you submit your passport request by mail, you will
want to be sure to use a secure Tyvek envelope and choose a traceable
delivery method. Your U.S. passport is a hot commodity in the travel
world and you should make every effort to protect it.
How to Get Your Passport Book Pages Back Fast
If you're in a hurry, you can schedule a face-to-face
appointment at a Passport Agency or Acceptance Center. Sometimes those
appointments may be hard to come by depending on where you live, so if
you have travel plans within two weeks or need a foreign visa within
four weeks, you may be better off using the services of a passport expeditor
. You can have your passport in hand in as little as a few days, maybe even overnight if it's a real emergency.
Be sure to choose a registered passport expeditor
who has a reputation of reliability, is highly recommended, and is in
good standing with the Better Business Bureau. Registered passport
expeditors can take advantage of an allotment of daily expedited
applications from the U.S. Department of State and can get your request
through faster than you could yourself. You may hand deliver everything
to the expeditor's office if there is one close by, or overnight it if
necessary. The faster you need it, the greater the cost, naturally.
How many countries did you get through before you had to add pages to your passport book?
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