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US Passport Processing Times Extended Again

State Department has made attempts to alert the public that they should expect unusually long delays in getting their applications and renewals approved and their actual, physical passports issued.

In light of what it is calling “unprecedented demand,” the U.S. State Department tweeted an update Friday regarding the prolonged periods people are having to wait for their passports to arrive.

Wait times, it wrote, are now typically taking 10 to 13 weeks from the time an application is received (not including mailing time, which could tack on a couple of weeks to the process). Even expedited processing, for which you’ll pay an extra $60, is currently averaging seven to nine weeks.

And, things are getting worse instead of better. This week’s update indicates increased delays since the State Department’s previous advisory, issued in late February, which stated that standard processing was typically taking anywhere from eight to 11 weeks, while expedited service was averaging five to seven weeks.

According to CNN, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that the agency is, "getting 500,000 applications a week for passports." That’s somewhere between 30 and 40 percent more applications than this time last year, Blinken told a House Appropriations subcommittee during a budget hearing. “Historically, the demand’s been cyclical, the busy season is kind of March to late summer. Basically, it’s full-time now,” he explained.

The pilot program for a new online passport renewal platform, established in 2022, was shut down in early February, due to bugs in the system that need to be fixed before it can be made available to the wider public. The State Secretary said the program has been halted, “to make sure that we can fine-tune it and improve it before we roll it out in a bigger way.” He added, “We expect that 65 percent of renewal customers for passports will be able to do so online once this program is fully up and running,”


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