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Bobcats without Borders

Heading Abroad in 2022? Why You Need to Apply for a Passport ASAP

UC Merced Study Abroad Stories of Interest

USA Passport over a computer keyboardIf you plan to head abroad in 2022, do not delay applying for your passport! Here's why:

Covid delays mean longer processing times

The US Department of State processes passports for US citizens. Due to pandemic conditions and adequate physical spacing requirements, passport turnaround is requiring extra time. Here's a breakdown of the timeline for passport processing:

  Routine service Expedited service
Mailing time 0.5 weeks 0.5 weeks
Application intake 6.0 weeks 6.0 weeks
Passport processing 12.0 weeks 6.0 weeks
Return mailing time 0.5 weeks 0.5 weeks
Total turnaround time 19.0 weeks 13.0 weeks

Reopened economies mean more demand for USA passports

The pandemic stunted a lot of citizens' international travel plans. Imagine a whole year's worth of passport applications flooding the State Department Passport Services office over 2-3 months. Now imagine that they can only process ⅓ or ½ as many passports as normal due to the pandemic.

California recall election means fewer passport appointments

Merced residents will look to the Merced County Registrar of Voters for new passport applications. The County Registrar, however, is also mailing out and processing ballots for the September 14 California gubernatorial recall election. This will limit the support they can provide in passport application appointments between now and possibly early October. Other passport acceptance facilities do not have openings for 6-8 weeks.

Planning to apply to study abroad and need advice?

Talk with a study abroad advisor, especially the advisor supporting your preferred study abroad destination country. The advisor will know which programs and deadlines will work best.

Start Your Application

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