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Bobcats without Borders

Five Interesting Passport Facts

UC Merced Study Abroad Stories of Interest

Passport Awareness Month banner

September = Passport Awareness Month!

September is a great time to start your passport application process if your passport has expired or will expire by November 2023. Here are five (5) passport facts you might not know:


While most USA passports issued to adults are valid 10 years before they expire, most countries—including popular study abroad destination countries—will not let you enter unless you have 3-6 months left on your passport prior to expiration. This essentially makes a 10-year passport a 9.5-year passport for many travelers.


While the USA has a strong passport (this is measured by the number of countries you can visit without applying for and receiving a visa before arrival), it is far from the strongest, in a tie with several other countries, the USA passport finds itself behind passports from a whopping 16 other countries.


People make mistakes with passports. Fully one in five passport applications will encounter an error. Watch out for incomplete passport applications, problematic photographs, mismatching names across documents, and the wrong form(s) of payment. You can track your passport after about a week after arrival at the designated passport processing center. When you get your passport, check for errors on dates, names, and other details.


Only 37% of US adults hold valid passports. While some have previously expired passports, that means a tremendous number of US residents cannot legally travel outside the USA, limiting opportunities for work, travel, exploration, exposure to many peoples and cultures, personal enrichment, and more.


Passports come in various colors around the world, but well north of 90% will come in only one of three colors: red, blue, and green. The shades may vary, but few passports stray from these, and they tend to be distributed by region. Red is particularly common accross Europe, green across Africa and the Middle East, and blue in the Americas. What color is yours?

Need a passport? We have sessions if you need, or you can explore what it takes on your own.

Check out this how-to video on applying for a passport:

How to Apply for a US Passport video

Start Your Application

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