(CNN) — Some American citizens who live or travel abroad can be allowed to return to the United States if their passports are expired.
The US State Department issued a memo on December 28 that stated those who meet certain conditions will be allowed to return to their country of origin by March 30, 2022, in the event of expired passports.
There are a variety of situations that can be considered.
One reason is that there are some exceptions to the rule that not all expired US passport is valid as acceptable return document. This exemption is only applicable to American citizens currently in another country and is returning to the United States (not leaving the country and moving elsewhere) with passports that expired on or after January 1, 2020.
Furthermore, certain types of passports can be considered valid. The document that has expired must be an original passport with a 10-year validity, and there are exceptions for those under the age of 15 when they received their passport as they’re five-year passports.
The passports should be in original condition and kept in possession of the owner.
Americans who meet this requirement can return to the United States or a US territory up to the end of March 2022. The government allows short layovers because certain destinations do not offer direct flights back into the United States. The United States.
The second important piece of information about passports was announced this week.
On December 27, the cost for getting an updated US passport was increased by $20, rising from $110-$130 for a 10-year passport.
“The cost increase is essential to ensure that we continue to provide one of the safest documents of identity and travel around the globe,” the State Department tweeted.
One possible reason for this amnesty expiring is the slowing of renewals due to the pandemic. The State Department’s site recommends Americans anticipate the process to take between eight and eleven weeks. Still, individuals can pay a fee of $60 to speed up the procedure.
However, officials from the government admit that the wait times over the last two years have been more lengthy than the norm.
Rachel Arndt, deputy assistant secretary for passport services, spoke at a press conference in the summer of this year that it was not uncommon for the passport process to be as much as 18 weeks “and this includes the processing process, our initial intake internally of applications, as well as the mailing.” That was the case with renewal and first-time applicants.
She estimated that the number of passport applications was between 1.5 to 2 million uncompleted passport applications.
Americans living abroad, whose passports will expire on January 1, 2022, aren’t entirely in a bind. The citizens, along with those whose is passports have been lost or stolen, can request an urgent passport that will allow them to travel back home to the United States.
These documents, however, are valid only for one return trip to America. In the United States, people who obtain these passports must follow the normal procedure for obtaining an additional passport.
For more specific inquiries, the State Department advises Americans to contact the US consulate or embassy nearest to where they live for more specific questions. Americans who live overseas or plan to spend substantial time in foreign countries must sign up to STEP, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), to receive the most up-to-date travel alerts and security notifications.
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