In today’s global economy, businesspeople would be wise to be prepared for unexpected international trips. After all, if opportunity knocks, you need to be able to answer – even if it’s knocking from half a world away!
But what if you need to take a last-minute business trip out of the country and you don’t have a passport? Fear not – these tips will help you cut down the normal 6 week processing time for a new passport application down to as little as 24 hours!
Step 1: Determine How You’ll Expedite
The first step in getting an emergency passport is determining how much time you have and what method of expediting is right for you. “Expedited processing” from the government takes about 3 weeks, so if your trip is truly last-minute it may not be an option.
For faster service, you can make an appointment at one of the country’s 24 Regional Passport Agency offices, as long as you’re planning to leave within the next 14 days or you’re leaving within the next four weeks but also need to get a travel visa before your trip. To make an appointment, call 1-877-487-2778.
If making an appointment, waiting and traveling to one of the passport agency locations isn’t convenient, you can also use a private passport expediting company. They meet with the State Department on your behalf to deliver your passport application.
Step 2: Gather Your Documents
If you’re applying for a new passport, you’ll need a passport photo, proof of identity, proof of citizenship (like a birth certificate or naturalization certificate) and a copy of your itinerary to get it rushed.
Since you’re going on a business trip, you also have the option of submitting a business letter on company letterhead explaining why you need an emergency passport instead of the itinerary. The business letter should state the dates you plan to travel, describe the nature of your business and be signed by someone other than you.
Step 3: Submit Your Application
If you’re using a passport agency, make sure you aren’t late for your appointment to submit your application. They won’t wait more than 15 minutes for you, and if you’re not there you’ll have to reschedule. If you’re using an expediting company, make sure you follow their instructions for submitting your application to the letter. Either way, it pays to double check and make sure you have all the documents you need before you submit your application. This will ensure your emergency passport application doesn’t get delayed.
Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.
Related Emergency Passport Articles