Jet Setting For Business Or Pleasure – Your Passport Application Is Essential

by erin on January 4, 2011

More than 922 million globetrotters traveled around the world in 2008. This represents an upsurge from the previous year but in 2009, that number declined by 4% to 880 million. Top destinations include the U. S., European destinations like Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, China,Germany, Australia, Turkey and Austria. For Americans traveling abroad for business or pleasure, completing a passport application is critical to travel plans.

Forecasts by the World Tourism Organization predict yearly travel will escalate at the rate of 4%. Travel options have become specialized to meet traveler tastes. Business and leisure travel have become combined as well as splintered into custom tourist options. Culinary tourism, sports tourism, medical tourism, spiritual tourism, and other niches have emerged on travel menus.

Depending on the travel purpose and destination, people planning a trip abroad should conduct online research to find out about travel requirements. The U.S. Department of State has online information about virtually every destination in the world, along with entrance requirements including passports, visas and medical immunizations.

Prospective tourists must apply in person to receive an initial travel document. To renew travel identification, a person can apply in person or by mail. For those under age 16 or who obtained prior travel documentation before age 16, application in person is required. This is also the case for persons who have lost, damaged or experienced theft of their travel document and for those with a travel document issued over 15 years ago.

First time travelers seeking a passport book or card must complete Form DS-11. Less expensive than a book, the card is needed traveling across land or sea between the U. S. and Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean. People can complete Form DS-82 for renewals of the book or the card. Name changes, along with those correcting data or replacing travel documentation with limitations, will complete Form DS-5504.

For first time adult applicants, the process can take 4-6 weeks. Adults complete DS-11 with the exception of signing the document. The document can be completed online and printed out or the form can be printed and manually filled out. A person will not sign the document until in the presence of a processing agent. The document along with evidence of U. S. Citizenship, proper identification, copy of identification, two passport photos and payment is to be made in person at a processing facility.

Reputable facilities, agents, required fees and payment methods can be obtained from the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website or via its agents. As a processing facility, the U.S. Postal Service can accept applications and supporting documents and typically provides the required 2×2 inch head shots for a small fee. The photographs can be provided instantly, on site when submitting everything.

A variety of U.S. Government agencies provide travel information, guides and services to those traveling abroad. For travelers who need expedited processing, the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs will deliver international identification within 2 to 3 weeks from passport application to delivery for $60 and courier shipping cost. The service is available to first time applicants and those who are renewing international identification. When processing a passport for minors , you’ll find that there are different procedures and requirements. Applicants can track status online 5-7 days after documentation has been delivered. Country alerts and travel advisories can be found on the U.S. State Department website as well as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control.

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