Today marks two full weeks since the government shutdown and there are still many federal services which are not available. The media is reporting that passport processing will not be impacted by the shutdown; however, some students have found that certain local offices are closed.
Students who plan on studying abroad during the spring semester of 2014 must have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the end date of the program. Having a valid passport well in advance is particularly important if a student visa is required. IES Abroad recommends the following four steps for those who need to renew or apply for a new passport:
- Do everything you can now to process your passport application or renewal. Read the passport agency website carefully to learn how to apply for a new or renewal passport.
- Be aware of processing times! You may need to expedite your passport.
- Learn how to expedite your passport. You may need to provide evidence or a reason for expediting in person at a Regional Passport Agency. Make sure to read the specific regional passport agency website for details. We suggest you expedite processing of your passport application if your program requires a visa. You should be able to use your visa application deadline as a reason for expediting processing of your passport application.
- Determine where you should apply for a passport. There are Passport Acceptance Facilities and Regional Passport Agencies where you can apply in person. Again, be aware of the processing times.
We wish you the best as you plan ahead for your term abroad!