The US imposes passport restrictions in this time of emergency


The US imposes passport restrictions in this time of emergency

In a latest development, the US has now stopped issuing new passports, so as to stop the spread of Coronavirus. The US will not issue new passports unless it is a life-or-death emergency, those with a qualified emergency, and there is a need to travel within 72 hours. The State Department has advised American citizens to avoid any international travel during this time.

However, according to the State Department, those applications that were received on or before March 19, 2020, will get duly processed. Emergencies for passport application include serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths affecting a parent, child, sibling, aunt, uncle, spouse, etc. You must be able to furnish proof of emergency, for example, a death certificate in the event of someone’s death. A letter signed by the hospital or a medical professional would also be valid. All documents must be in English, and proof of travel/itinerary (airline ticket), must be presented.

It is important to note that an expedited service for passport renewal or new passport if applied for before March 20, 2020, will get processed for the extra fee, but it will not be so for applications filed after March 20. Delays must be expected given the unusual circumstances.

Also, concerned citizens can check with their local facility to confirm if they are open for operations. As of now, passport facilities, such as post officers, clerks of court, and libraries could still be accepting in-person applications. But once again, you are being advised to check with them.

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