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Applying for U.S. Passport Services Abroad: Common Questions Answered

Renewing Expired Passport While Abroad

by Meaghann
(West Hollywood, CA)

Question: If I have plans to travel abroad but my passport will expire before I get back to the U.S., how should I handle the situation? If I submit before I travel, as I understand, I will no longer be able to travel until my new passport is received? If I am abroad, how do I reenter the country with an expired passport? May I pick one up at the embassy of the country I am traveling abroad to?

Expedited Passport Renewal in a Foreign Country

by Abby
(New Jersey)

Question: If I'm already in a foreign country and need to extend the validity of my passport, can I claim it lost and apply for one that has a 10-year validity?

My daughter is in Israel. Her flight home is on June 20. She is arranging to go on a program that goes beyond her passport's expiration date. The embassy will not give her a visa unless her passport is valid beyond the end point of the program (August of next year). The program will not enroll her on time (July, next month) unless she has a visa. If she comes home without the visa, (which we all want, because she has been there for a year and we, the family, would like to be together before she goes back) she will not be able to start the program on time.

1. Should she claim the passport is lost, and pay expedited fees to get it replaced PROVIDED that the new expiration date WILL BE 10 YEARS AS IT SHOULD FOR AN ADULT, or

2. try to renew her current passport. Or is that a bad idea, since it will take too long?

Answer: Expedited Service is not available at U.S. embassies and consulates in foreign countries although processing normally takes less time than it does when applying in the United States. In the case of Israel, processing of passport applications is currently taking 3 to 4 weeks.

The only way to get a passport faster is to prove a legitimate emergency. However, the passport that would be issued would be a limited-validity passport. That is, the passport would only have a validity of 1 year.

As far as we know, there is no way for your daughter to obtain a new, full-validity passport prior to her departure date.

Since we do not know the details of the program, it is difficult to make any recommendations. Your daughter can obtain a passport as fast as the same day after arriving in the United States by employing the services of a registered expediter. Maybe she could complete the process for the program she is interested in by either mailing her renewed passport via FedEx to the necessary embassy in Israel or completing the process through the country's embassy in the United States. Click the link below for more information about the expediting service.

Expedited Passport Renewal

Can a U.S. citizen apply for passport renewal by mail from Canada?

by Eddie
(Cambridge Ontario Canada)

Question: I'm an American citizen living in Canada. My U.S. passport expires this year. My question is can I still apply for renewal through mail without having to travel to the U.S. to renew it? will it be mailed to my home in Canada or does it have to be a U.S. address?

Answer: Eddie,

American Citizens living in Canada are eligible for passport renewal by mail. The renewed passport will be mailed to your address in Canada.

You may submit the application for renewal by mail only if you meet ALL of the following requirements:

* You are at least 18 years old; and

* Your most recent passport was issued when you were 16 years of age or older; and

* Your most recent passport was issued within the last 15 years; and

* Your most recent passport was not a limited-validity passport (i.e. it was issued for its full five-year or ten-year validity); and

* You can submit the passport with the application; and

* You are not requesting a change in the passport data, other than a name change and you submit original documentation to reflect a legal name change, such as a marriage certificate or a certificate of name change.

The DS-82 form is not correct where it states that passports may be renewed by mail only if the applicant is using a U.S. mailing address. In fact, an exception is made for residents of Canada.

For complete instructions, click the following link.

How to Renew a Passport

Can I renew my passport abroad and still keep my residence permit?

by Rachel
(London, England)

Question: I live and work in London, England. My US Passport expires in December and I need to start the renewal process. The problem is that I have a UK Residence Permit/Work Visa which is valid until next year. What is the best way to renew my passport, and will my UK work visa 'carry over' to my new passport?

I will be traveling back to Houston, Texas in late August for 2 weeks in case I need to go in person to the regional passport office.

Thanks for your help.

Answer: You can renew you passport during the two weeks you will be in Houston but there is no need for this. It will only consume your time and cost extra since you would need to expedite the process.

You can apply for a renewal through the U.S. Embassy in London. If you meet the criteria, the application and supporting documents can be sent via Royal Mail Special Delivery. For more information, click the link below.

U.S. Embassy in London - Passport Services

Concerning your UK work visa, you need to check with the issuing agency. Some countries allow you to just carry the old passport with the visa in it while others require you submit the new passport for a new stamp.

Renewing US passport while in the UK

by Tamara
(Chelmsford, Essex, UK)

Question: I am a US citizen living in the UK. I need to renew my US passport but have mobility problems so cannot get to the US embassy in London to do it in person.

Is it permissible for me to complete the online form and send it by post? Do I send it to a US or UK address for processing? Will they mail it back to my UK address?

Answer: You may renew your passport by Courier/Mail in the United Kingdom if your most recent U.S. Passport is:

* Undamaged and can be submitted with your application;
* Was issued when you were aged 16 or older;
* Was issued within the last 15 years;
* Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change by U.S. Court Order or Marriage Certificate.

If the above statements do not apply to you, you must schedule an appointment and apply for the passport in person.

Here is a list of the documents you must send in order to renew your passport by mail in the UK.

1. Completed application form DS-82

2. Your most recent U.S. passport. It will be invalidated and returned to you.

3. One passport photo that is recent, 2x2 inches in size, full-face view with white or off-white background. Vending machine photographs and photographs printed on a home computer are unacceptable.

3. The application fee is $110.00. Accepted payment methods are: credit card (payment form), International Money Order to the exact U.S. dollar amount made payable to the "United States Disbursing Officer;" or Banker's Draft drawn in U.S. dollars only on a bank in the United States made payable to the "United States Disbursing Officer."

You also need to send the following two items if they apply to your situation.

* Foreign naturalization certificate: If you are naturalized as a citizen of a foreign country since your last passport was issued, provide a photocopy of your foreign naturalization certificate and a statement regarding your intentions when you naturalized (i.e. whether or not it was your intention to relinquish your U.S. citizenship when you were naturalized as a foreign citizen).

* Original Marriage Certificate or U.S. Court Order showing change of name.

Submit your passport application, along with all supporting documents and photos, only by using the Royal Mail "Special Delivery" service (available at any UK Post Office). Do not use the regular mail service. Your envelope should be addressed to:

Passport-by-Mail Service
American Citizen Services
U.S. Embassy
5 Upper Grosvenor Street
London, W1A 2LQ

To ensure the safe return of your passport, you should also enclose a pre-paid Special Delivery self-addressed return envelope that shows postage paid up to 500 grams. You should keep a record of your Special Delivery tracking number so you can track your passport's return to you.

An alternative means of delivery is the courier service, DX Secure.

Applications for full-validity passports are sent to the U.S. for printing. Processing time for a full validity (10 year for adult) U.S. passport is approximately 4 weeks.

How can a 16 years old renew a passport while in the UK?

by Afsana
(Woodside, NY)

Question: My daughter has a American Passport and now she is visiting the UK. But her passport is expiring soon; can she renew her passport while she is there?

Answer: Your daughter can visit the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate general in the United Kingdom in order to get a new passport. There are some special considerations since your daughter is only 16.

One, your daughter must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. If this is not possible, an adult third party can accompany your daughter and submit a notarized written statement or affidavit from both parents expressing consent for your daughter to obtain a passport. When the affidavit is from one parent only, the third party must also submit evidence that the parent has sole legal custody.

Two, your daughter must schedule an appointment with the U.S. Citizen services of the embassy. Passport services are by appointment only. If she is in England or Wales, she can schedule the appointment at the U.S. Embassy in London. If your daughter is in Northern Ireland, she can schedule an appointment at the U.S. Consulate General in Belfast. If is currently in Scotland, she can apply for a passport service at the U.S. Consulate in Edinburgh.

Three, she must complete the application form DS-11. However, she should ignore pages 1 and 2 since they apply to applicants in the United States. This is the same form used for first-time applicants since passports issued to minors cannot be renewed by mail.

Four, your daughter needs to submit evidence of United States citizenship, proof of identity and one passport photo. Note, your daughter should emphasize at the location she has her picture taken that they are for an American passport. Passport photos for a UK passport are a different size than those for an American passport. Her current passport will serve as evidence of citizenship and may be accepted as proof of identity.

Finally, your daughter needs to pay the fee of $135. This can be paid by cash (either dollars or UK sterling), credit card, International Money Order to the exact U.S. dollar amount made payable to the "United States Disbursing Officer" or Banker's Draft drawn in U.S. dollars only on a bank in the United States made payable to the "United States Disbursing Officer".

I live in France but I mailed my renewal application to Philadelphia.

by Patricia
(Languedias, France)

Question: I sent my expired U.S. Passport with the correct forms and a credit card consent to the National Passport Processing Center P. O. Box 90155 Philadelphia, PA last April 4th.

I made a mistake in that. It should have been sent to the Embassy in Paris as I live in France. I have NO passport now and I am concerned about the loss of my old one. Unfortunately I did not make a copy of my expired passport. HELP!!!

Please help. I've tried the Embassy in Paris and have been given the run around.

Answer: Try contacting the National Passport Information Center.

Email: npicATstate.gov

How does one renew a US passport when living in Germany?

by Fariba
(Heidelberg, Germany)

Question: I live in Germany. What's the process for renewing my passport? Also, do I need to send my passport away, or do I simply apply for it and keep my current passport until the new one gets to me?

Answer: U.S. citizens who live abroad can visit the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in order to renew their passports. Following is information concerning American Citizen Services at the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany.


Gießener Str. 30
60435 Frankfurt am Main
Federal Republic of Germany

The consulate is closed on:

• German and American Holidays


Public Transport:

From the main train station (Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof) take the U5 going to Preungesheim, exit at the Gießener Straße stop.


Parking at Gießener Str. and Wetzlarer Str. is limited. A park-and-ride parking garage with 110 slots is located in Frankfurt-Preungesheim next to the exit from A 661 and the subway stop Preungesheim.


You must make an appointment. Click the link to access the online form.

Schedule Appointment at U.S. Consulate Frankfurt

Please note that:

If you cannot keep your appointment, please cancel it before making a new one. Failure to do so may result in delayed entry to the consulate facility on your new appointment date.



After-hours emergencies, please call (069) 7535-0 and ask to be connected to the consulate duty officer.

U.S. Consulates in Germany

List of U.S. Consulates in Germany

Can I renew my passport from the Bahamas?

Question: I am visiting the Bahamas and planning to return in June. My passport expires in May. Can I renew my passport from the Bahamas? I could have it sent to my daughter's. She will be visiting in April and can bring it to me then.

Answers: Yes, you can submit an application for a passport renewal at the U.S. Embassy in Nassau, Bahamas. Applications can be submitted in person by appointment or by mail.

The requirements for renewing a passport include a completed form DS-82, two recent passport photos and your current, undamaged passport.

For more information, click the link below.

Passport Services - U.S. Embassy in Bahamas

How do I renew my passport in Turkey and still keep my Turkey visa?

by Anderson
(Istanbul, Turkey)

Question: I live in Turkey and my passport will soon expire. I need to know if I can apply for a new passport in person at the US Consulate in Istanbul. I enter and leave the country on a tourism visa valid for 3 months. How will I leave the country if I surrender my old passport and do not have a visa stamped in my new passport?

Answer: Yes, you can apply for a passport renewal at the US consulate in Istanbul. You are not required to visit the consulate if you meet all the criteria for renewal by mail:

* You are at least 16 years old at the time of application; and
* Your most recent passport was issued when you were 16 years of age or older; and
* Your most recent passport was issued within the last 15 years; and
* Your most recent passport was issued for its full five- or ten-year validity; and
* You are able to submit the passport with this application; and
* You are not requesting a change in the passport data, other than a name change due to marriage.

Requirements to renew your passport include:

1. Completed form DS-82.
2. Current passport and photocopy of the same.
3. 1 passport photo.
4. Name change document if it applies.
5. Payment of $110 fee.

You can pay the $110 in cash or credit card if you visit the consulate personally. By mail, the only forms of payments are "Yurtiçi Döviz Çeki" or "Bloke Döviz Çeki" which are acquired at banks.

Your current passport will be returned to you along with the new one. You should use both passports when you travel until the visa expires.

In order to find the UPS office closest to you, please call 444-0033. Your passport will be sent to you via UPS to the return address you include on your original UPS package.

If you prefer to visit the consulate, location and hours are given below. You must make an appointment first.

American Citizen Service (ACS) hours for Istanbul:
ACS public hours: 08:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Monday through Thursdays by appointment. (closed during Fridays and during American and Turkish holidays)

İstinye Mah. Kaplıcalar Mevkii No.2 34460 İstinye, İstanbul
Phone: (90) (212) 335 9000

U.S. Consulate in Istanbul Appointment Service

How to renew offical passport while deployed in Iraq

by Derrick
(US Army Europe)

Question: I have an official passport (red) that will expire in Aug 2010. I am currently deployed to Iraq with the US Army. What form do I have to fill out to renew this passport? I know DS-82 is for renewal of the regular passports but is this for the official ones also?

Answer: Derrick,

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad partnered with the Department of Defense to set up a military passport agent program in Iraq. This program will allow US soldiers to apply for their US passports at three regional bases:

o Al Asad airbase in Anbar province
o Joint Base in Balad
o COB Adder in Tallil

With a military passport agent in place at three regional bases, service members in these areas no longer have to travel to the International Zone in order to obtain their U.S. passports. Service members can apply for their passports at the Staff Judge Advocate's offices at Al Asad, Balad and Tallil. This will shorten their time out of action and will make it more convenient for service members to obtain passports for mid-tour R&R.

Service members may contact the Consular Section of the US Embassy for more information at: baghdadacs@state.gov

Applying at the US Embassy

US soldiers can also apply at the Consular Section of the US Embassy in Baghdad located in the International Zone, at the New Embassy Compound on Al Kindi Street, (across from FOB Union III.)

Public Window Hours

Sunday to Thursday (by appointment only)
*8:00am - 12:00pm

*All US Holidays that fall on a Monday in the US are observed on a Sunday in Iraq. They are closed on most US and Iraqi holidays

By Telephone
From the US: 011-964-770-443-1286 or 301-985-8841 ext. 4888
From Iraq: 0770-443-1286 or 0760-030-4888

Service members may contact the Consular Section of the US Embassy for more information at: baghdadacs@state.gov

All U.S. passport applications are sent to the U.S. for processing, so travel plans should be made accordingly.

How do I renew my passport while working in Iraq?

by Lennis
(Tallil Air Base, Iraq)

Question: I am currently working in Iraq and it is possible that I will still be here through February when my passport will expire. Since I will be unable to send my current valid passport for renewal by mail, how do I get a new or renewed passport? Is it possible to renew it in person at the US Embassy at Sather Air Base in Baghdad?

Answers: That is exactly what you need to do. American citizens in Iraq should visit the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to apply for passport renewals. You need to take your current passport, photo ID, one passport photo, completed form DS-82 and payment for the application fee. The fee for renewal is $110. The Embassy accepts only U.S. dollars, Major Credit Cards, or U.S. Postal Service money orders payable to “U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq.”

All U.S. passport applications are processed in the United States. This takes takes at least two weeks, so you need to plan your travel accordingly.

Hours are from Sunday to Thursday: 08:00-12:00. One page of the Embassy websites says walk-ins are welcome while another states that an appointment is now required. Click the link below to schedule your appointment.

U.S. Embassy in Iraq - Passport Services

How do I renew my American passport in Russia?

by Clarence

Question: I live in Russia with my wife and daughter. My wife and daughter are naturally Russian citizens. I am waiting on my residence permit, but my U.S. Passport expires on January 29th. The residency process here is long and drawn out as one would expect. Nonetheless, I need to renew my passport.

Can I renew my passport by mail? I would prefer to renew it by mail as opposed to the expense of traveling to a far away office in Russia that will only add to the expense. Thank you for your time and efforts in answering my question.

Answer: In order to renew a United States passport in Russia, you need to schedule an appointment at a U.S. embassy or consulate. There are four locations where you can submit the application. Please select the one that is closest to you and click the link for further instructions.

U.S. Embassy in Moscow

U.S. Consulate General in Valdivostok

U.S. Consulate General in Yekaterinburg

Can I renew US Passport in Viet nam?

by The Thi Nguyen
(Viet nam)

Question: Hi! Sir/Madam:
My name The Nguyen, 80 years old. I retired and had been living in Vietnam for about 3 years. My current US Passport will expire soon. Can I renew my US Passport at the US embassy in Vietnam or do I have to go back to the US to renew it? I am sick and need the treatment in Vietnam. Please let me know ASAP. Thank you.
The Nguyen

Answer: American citizens can renew passports while abroad at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, even in Vietnam.

Applicants for U.S. passports should apply in person from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, except holidays at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi.

Applicants must bring one 2 inch x 2 inch (5 cm x 5 cm) photos on a white background (Polaroids are not acceptable) and evidence of U.S. citizenship, such as a previous passport or a Naturalization Certificate.

The adult passport renewal fee is US $110.00 for a ten-year adult passport and is payable in U.S. dollars or Vietnamese Dong in cash, or by the following credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. The Embassy does not accept checks.

The embassy forwards passport applications to the National Passport Information Center in the U.S. The National Passport Center will print the passport and send it back to the embassy. This process will take approximately two weeks, so you are strongly encouraged to apply for a passport well before any planned travel.


2nd Floor, Rose Garden Tower
170 Ngoc Khanh Street

Mailing address:

7 Lang Ha Street
Hanoi, Vietnam

How do I renew my passport in China?

by Robert
(Changchun, China)

Question: I am living and working in China as an English teacher. My passport expires next year. I am planning on staying on here as a teacher but I need to renew before then. I live in North East China and just need accurate information on what to do. I will travel to Beijing if i have to, but have been told that it may not be the case.

Thank you for any information you can provide.

Answer: You can apply for a passport renewal at the U.S. Consulate in Shenyang, China. The first step is to complete the online application form.

After you have entered the requested information, the wizard generates a PDF file form with a two-dimensional (2D) barcode. You then have to print out the form and submit it to the American Citizen Services Unit of the consulate during regular public hours (from 1:00pm to 4:00pm, Monday through Thursday).

There is a data center at the American Citizen Services section of the consulate that American citizens can use to complete and print out the application form at the Consulate.

You need to submit the following:

* Current passport
* 1 recent 2x2’ (5x5 cm) photo
* Passport application form (If your present passport was valid for 10 years, complete form DS-82. If your present passport was only valid for 5 years, complete but do not sign form DS-11
* Passport fee

For more information, click the link below.

U.S. Consulate in Shenyang, China

How can I renew my passport from South Korea?

Question: I am currently living in South Korea and working as an English teacher. My passport expires in March next year, but I will be back in the U.S. for a one-month visit in January.

I am also planning to travel to India for 10 days in February. I need a new passport in order to apply for an Indian visa.

How can I get my passport renewed while I'm in Korea? Is it possible to renew it by mail from here AND have my new passport back before my trip home in January?

Thank you!

Answer: You do not need to wait until your return to the U.S. nor mail your application for a passport renewal to the United States. In fact, applying to get a passport in only one month while in the States may require you to pay the additional expedited service fee.

You can renew your passport through the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea. There is an online appointment service. If you live closer to Busan, the U.S. Embassy sends representatives there on a bi-monthly basis.

Applications are sent to the United States for processing. According to the embassy website, it takes approximately 2-3 weeks for your passport to be renewed.

To begin the process, click the link below.

Passport Renewal at U.S. Embassy in Seoul

Should my son apply for a new passport or for a renewal?

by Kris
(Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)

Question: My son's passport was issued at sixteen, now expired at 21; does he have to apply for a new one instead of renewing? If he has to apply in person, is there somewhere in Grand Forks N.D. that he can do this? We live in Canada, and that is the closest place. Does he have to have photos done here before he goes?

Answer: Passports issued to applicants age 16 and up are valid for 10 years. From the information you sent, I can only assume that the passport was issued when your son was 15 or it is not expired yet.

Passports issued to minors age 15 and younger cannot be renewed by mail. If this is the case, then your son would have to apply in person. He can do this at the U.S. Consulate in Calgary. The Winnipeg Consulate does not offer passport services to U.S. citizens so you have to schedule an appointment at the U.S. Consulate in Calgary.

U.S. Consulate in Calgary

All adults seeking to re-enter the U.S. must present a valid passport when crossing the border. If your son's passport is, in fact, expired, he will not be able to enter the United States until a new passport is issued. The expiration date can be found on the data page of the passport.

Can I renew the passport if I cannot find the father?

Question: We came to Egypt when my ex-husband asked me and after I arrived, he disappeared. Now I want to renew my son's passport but I do not know where the father is. Also, I know that if I find him he won't renew the passport because he wants me to live in Egypt with the kids.

Now what can I do? I am an American by birth and so are my kids. He took the citizenship from me after marriage. I need an answer. I cannot live in Egypt and I cannot apply for schools because I have no money. What can I do now? I need help urgently.

Answer: If your son is an American citizen, then you can visit the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate general in Egypt. They can provide you with instructions on what the requirements are to get a passport for your son. For more information, click the link below.

U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt

How do I renew a passport that will expire while I am away?

by Jennifer

Question: I plan on being abroad when my passport is set to expire. How far in advance can I renew my passport? Or do I have to fly back to the US in order to renew it and then fly out again?

Answer: You can renew your passport whenever you wish. However, you will lose the remaining validity in it. If you request the renewal more than 1 year prior to the expiration date, then you should include a letter as to why you are submitting the application so early.

One thing you need to consider is the remaining validity in relation to your destination. While some countries such as Mexico and Canada allow visitors to enter up to the date of expiration, many other do not. European countries that are party to the Schengen Agreement require at least 3 months validity beyond your stay. Many countries in Africa, Asia, Middle East and South America require at least 6 months validity. If your passport does not have sufficient validity, you will not be allowed to embark. You are encouraged to check the foreign entry requirements for your planned destination.

If your passport will expire while you are away due to an extended stay, you can renew your passport at the nearest
U.S. embassy or consulate general.

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

1. How can you get a passport when you're in a hurry?
2. What exactly does a passport expediter do?
3. Are passport expediting services legitimate?
4. How can I identify a reliable passport expeditor?
5. Is expedited passport service worth it?

Get answers to these questions and more in our Ultimate U.S. Traveler's Guide to Passport Expediters.

You can also visit our library of articles about passport expediting.

In a Hurry? Get Reliable Expedited Passport Courier Service:Expedite My U.S.Passport Now!
About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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