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Can I expedite a passport if I'm replacing a limited passport?

Question: Hi, my passport is limited because I lost my previous two. I was told that the person in charge of renewing my passport would make the decision whether I am to be given another year-long passport or a full-validity one.

I'm contracted to work abroad (in China) for another year, and I need to extend my work visa, but my current passport expires in February next year. I'll be home in the US for about a month in July/August. I'm hoping to expedite my passport so I can get another work visa for China during that month so I can leave on my scheduled date. Is this possible?

Also, the visa I'm hoping to get requires 6 months validity for my passport, which I will have on my old one if I were to apply now. Would you recommend me getting my visa in my current passport before I renew it, or would renewing my passport invalidate that visa?

Thank you!

Answer: Yes, you can expedite the replacement of your limited-validity passport. There are a few ways to do this since you will be in the U.S. for a month.

You can request expedited service when you mail the completed application form and other required documentation to the address on the form. This method takes 2 to 3 weeks to get your application processed so it is probably not the best option given the fact you also need to obtain a visa.

Another option is to visit the nearest regional passport agency. You first need to schedule an appointment by calling 1-877-487-2778. You can get your passport replaced the same day using this method. To locate the agency nearest you, click the link below.

Regional Passport Agency List

Finally, you can apply through a professional expediter if you cannot visit a regional agency in person. Expediters are registered with the regional agencies and have experience in obtaining passports quickly. To apply online for this service, click the link below.

Apply to Expedite Passport Replacement

Replacing your passport will not invalidate your visa. However, it would either require you to carry two passports (the old one with the visa and the new valid one) or apply for a request to have the visa transferred to your new passport. Applying for the China visa after you replace your passport would avoid this.

Note, professional expediters can obtain both your passport replacement and Chinese visa for you. The advantage is that you do not have to visit or send your documents to two different locations.

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