If you’re looking to travel abroad anytime soon, you’ll have to be quite patient.
The time it takes to get an American passport will grow even longer, according to the Washington Post.
Applying for or renewing your passport already takes quite a long time. If you wait until the last minute, things can get out of hand quickly, and plans can fall apart. Unfortunately, you’ll now need to wait even longer for your passport services, and planning well in advance will become a given. The dreadful passport stories may soon become far more numerous and intense.
The State Department’s Passport Services agency reports that it will now take between six and eight weeks to process a new application. This is a significant increase on the previous four to six week waiting time that could be expected before May 31st. When asked by the Post for a reason, State Department officials indicated that a shortage of workers is causing this new delay. This could spell chaos for many Americans, as the last few years have seen a record number of passport applications. Over 21 million passports and passport cards were issued in both 2017 and 2018, but the number of government workers in the Passport Services agency has dropped by about 14% since the beginning of 2017. “To address high passport workload levels this summer, the Department is leveraging all available resources to ensure processing times do not rise further and that they return to lower levels by September,” one State Department official told the Post.
If you’re going to travel outside the US anytime soon, make sure you give them an eight-week window to get it done. If you are in a rush, you can pay them $60 to get your passport within two-three weeks.