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Passport Processing Times in the US Have Returned to Pre-Pandemic Levels

By Casey January 3, 2024 (Updated January 3, 2024) 2 min. read

The processing times for U.S. passports have significantly reduced, now at their quickest pace since before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This positive development translates to a faster path for international travel for those holding U.S. passports.

What Are the Processing Time Changes for US Passports?

Effective December 18, 2023, the updated processing times for passports are as follows:

  1. Routine Service: Currently, it takes 6-8 weeks, a notable improvement from the previous duration of 7-10 weeks.
  2. Expedited Service: Now shortened to 2-3 weeks, down from the earlier timeframe of 3-5 weeks. Please be aware that this service incurs an additional $60 fee.

How Did the United States Speed Up Processing Time?

The enhanced efficiency in passport processing is largely attributed to the committed efforts of passport agency staff who have gone above and beyond by putting in extra hours to meet the varying demand for passports. Noteworthy is the fact that an unprecedented 24 million passports were issued in the U.S. from October 2022 to September 2023.

It’s essential to recognize that passport processing times undergo regular changes throughout the year in response to shifting demand. Typically, the period from late winter to summer witnesses a surge in passport applications. To take advantage of potentially quicker processing times, the State Department advises applying during the slower season, generally spanning from October to December. This proactive approach can result in a more streamlined and efficient passport application experience.

Who Are the Faster Processing Times Beneficial For?

The faster processing times are significantly beneficial for:

Do You Need Help Applying for a US Passport in 2024?

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