How to Get a U.S. Passport Overseas
American citizens can get the same full passport services outside of
the United States, through the Overseas Passport Issuance Program. If you are living or traveling outside the
United States and can claim a right to U.S. citizenship
, you can apply for a passport at any U.S. embassy or consulate
. This service applies to emergency, limited-validity and full-validity passports.
To apply for a full-validity passport, you'll need to go to the
Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy or a nearby U.S. Consulate.
Consulates are the ones who issue passports and handle other minor
diplomatic issues. You'll need to bring the same documentation as if
you were applying from within the United States: a completed
application, a recent passport-sized photo, an acceptable
identification document, a copy of the ID, and the processing fee. Both
parents need to appear and submit evidence of parent/child relationship
when applying for a minor's passport.
The consulate will accept your application, supporting
documents and fees, and enter your application into the electronic
American Citizen Services system. The consulate will also clear your
name through Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS) to verify that
you do not pose a risk that disqualifies you from receiving a U.S.
passport. The consulate will then authorize the passport and submit the
application and information to a domestic passport center.
After your application data has been processed and your
passport has been printed within the United States, it is sent to the
consulate via express courier. If the postal system or a delivery
system in your country of residence has been vetted, your passport may
be mailed to you. If not, you will have to go pick it up in person.
Processing takes only 2-3 weeks when applying at an embassy or
consulate without the need to pay the expedite service fee.
Emergency replacement passports
that have limited validity can be processed and printed at U.S.
Consular offices for emergency travel. They contain 12 pages, do not
have an embedded electronic chip with identifying information, and are
limited to anywhere from direct immediate return to up to one year of
issuance, depending on the circumstances. The expectation is that when
your emergency travel ends, you turn the limited-validity passport in
with your application for a new full-validity passport.
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