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Bobcats without Borders

Don't Procrastinate on Your Passport Application

UC Merced Study Abroad Stories of Interest

Picture Perfect Passport 2021

Apply Now for a Passport Needed in 2022

You know about the pandemic. You probably heard that many people are traveling again. But have you heard about the delays in getting a passport lately?

It is now our recommendation that students hoping to go abroad in 2022 apply now if they will need a new passport.

How do you know if you need a new passport?

Here are some scenarios:

  • You have never had a passport
  • You have lost your passport
  • Your passport has already expired
  • Your passport is damaged
  • Your current passport expires less than six (6) months before you return from abroad

How long does passport processing take, anyway?

Under typical circumstances, once you are ready to submit with all of your requirements, routine service takes 4-6 weeks. Expedited service, for an extra $60, would typically take 2-3 weeks. However, these are not typical circumstances, and organized students are finding that it can easily take 17-19 weeks for routine service. This does not even begin to account for the time to acquire required documents (e.g. a birth certificate as proof of citizenship) or the wait time to schedule a passport application appointment; for some, this could stretch out to six (6) months.

Why so long?

The time to order and receive a birth certificate has generally been about 2 weeks. There do not seem to be any changes here.

The wait time to schedule an appointment is quite long; usually it would be 1-2 weeks (note: if you are eligible for a renewal, you may be able to skip this wait). The main reason seems to be that there has been some pent up demand for passports as citizens resume travel plans interrupted during the pandemic. Our office has received recent reports that some passport acceptance facility wait times are six (6) weeks now. If you live in an area with multiple passport acceptance facilities, call around for options and estimated wait times.

The reason for delays with passport processing itself seem to be due to pandemic-related physical distancing needs in processing facilities in addition to the high volume of new passport applications. The combination of these factors has drawn out the passport processing time once your application arrives at a processing facility.

Long story short?

Get your passport application appointment scheduled as soon as possible, get your documents in order, get your passport application sent out, and consider expediting if you need to meet a deadline.

Need to get started?

Visit to begin the passport application process.

Start Your Application

Ready to apply? Head over to the MyStudyAbroad Portal to begin your find your progam and being your application today.