How to Get Your Passport
When is the last time you thought about the status of your passport? Did you know that most destinations require that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your departure date? After all, all islands in the Caribbean (with the exception of Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix) require a passport to visit!
We know that the idea of renewing or getting your very first passport can seem daunting, but don’t worry; we are here to help! Whether you are a first-timer or just needing to update your current passport, we have broken down the details into easily digestible bullet-points whether you apply for your passport online, through the mail or at a passport agency.
Getting Your First Passport?
You’ll notice you have the option to choose a passport book or card. What you need is the passport book, which is valid for all international travel, unlike the card. If you are an adult, the book will cost you $110. You will also be charged a $25 execution fee.
When it comes to processing your passport and determining how long you will have to wait to get it, you have several options:
- Standard Processing which takes about six weeks at no additional cost
- Expedited Processing ($60) which is about three weeks
- You may further request overnight delivery which will incur an additional charge of $20.66
- Expedited at Agency ($60) is for people who live near an agency and prefer to pick up their passport rather than have it mailed to them. For individuals choosing this option, they have to make an appointment and be able to provide proof of travel in two weeks. This option takes eight business days or less to complete, depending upon level of urgency to receive passport.
Looking to Renew Your Passport?
The process for renewing your passport is nearly identical to the instructions above; however, you won’t be required to pay an execution fee for any renewals.
A Note about Children Under 16 Years of Age
Those under 16 years of age will receive what is called a Limited Availability Passport ($80), which means that it is valid for less than ten years.
What Do I Need to Know about Passport Photo Requirements?
Your passport photo needs to meet the following criteria:
- Color photo
- Size: 2″x2″
- Printed on photo-quality paper
- Taken within the past six months and shows current appearance
- Plain white or off-white background
- There should be approximately between 1″ and 1 3/8″ from the bottom of your chin to the top of your head
- Taken in normal street attire
- No hats or uniforms unless mandated by your religion
- Keep your glasses and hearing devices on if you normally wear them
- No tinted glasses unless for medical reasons and if so, please provide proof
- If you normally wear a wig, please wear it in the photo
For more in-depth information or to get started with the application process, please visit travel.state.gov.
June 26, 2018
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