Know Your Basic Passport Travel Requirements

The Process of Obtaining and Renewing a Passport

The world is presently connected in ways that previous generations would have never thought possible. Airplanes, cars, and trains give the average individual the ability to travel across international borders with ease. However, no matter which country you choose to visit, a passport will need to be presented and stamped upon entry at customs. The government has a completely streamlined process for someone seeking their first passport or to renew an existing passport.

The first step is knowing your destination. A simple passport card is required if your destination is in a neighboring country or territory, but a traditional passport book will be required for all other international travel. From there, an individual needs to fill out the application form online or at a designated facility. The items to present to the passport services are your birth certificate as proof of citizenship and a proof of residency such your drivers license. In addition, the most important component for the application is the attached photograph. It must have no obstructions, make the individual perfectly viable, and the photograph has to be less than 6 months old. Lastly, an application fee will be required. The price of passport services can change depending on the type of service requested and the speed you wish to have the process completed. 

There are many individuals who are applying for their first passport at any given moment, however there are also an equal number of individuals who seek passport renewal services. This could occur for one of two different reasons. The first, and more common reason, is the original passport may have simply expired. A passport is only valid for 15 years. However, an individual might need to update their name after getting married or divorced. The process is very similar to competing a first time application. It only requires updated paperwork, an updated photograph, and a fee for using the service. An individual can renew their passport by mail or in-person at a designated facility. 

The process of obtaining or renewing a passport can be stressful. The government does a complete check of each and every individual who submits an application. There is a possibility it could be rejected, but that shouldn't deter an individual from applying again. An individual may also realize they need a Visa to enter a specific country, especially if they seek an extended stay. A Visa can be easily obtained by visiting or mailing your passport and paperwork to the respective embassy of the country you wish to visit. The entire process could be done in a few weeks or take months.

There are an infinite number of cultures, languages, and landmarks to experience all across the world. A passport may seem like a hassle, expensive, or pointless endeavor on the surface. However, that single item can connect an individual with the rest of the world. The stamps and Visas it collects along the way are mementos of where a person has gone, and may help determine their next destination.