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Bobcats without Borders



COVID-19 Service Disruption Alert

Because of public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, effective March 20 and updated May 1, the U.S. Department of State had limited U.S. passport operations. As of June 2, passport services are beginning to resume on a phase-by-phase basis. Learn more on their COVID-19 Update page and their Frequently Asked Questions page.

Help with Passport Requirements

Passports are required for all study abroad programs. In some cases, students will need a passport in order to get a visa or residence permit to study abroad. Passports may be due at the time of application or due at a later date. Failure to obtain a passport or submit proof of having acquired a passport by a program deadline may lead to ineligibility to participate in study abroad.

Students with passports valid until six months after the program ends will not need a new passport. Students with expired or expiring passports should plan to reapply and attempt to do so prior to the study abroad application deadline.

US Passports Other Passports Passport Photos

US passport

US Passports

Most UC Merced students who have expired or expiring U.S. passports will need to apply for new passports instead of a renewal passport. The renewal option is only available to students with passports that were issued when the passport holder was at least 16 years of age, or older (along with other restrictions).

Students can use the passport guide from the U.S. Department of State to determine whether to apply for a new passport or a renewal, where to apply, access passport applications, etc.

Students who require new passports (not renewals) need to visit a passport acceptance facility in person. As of March 2017, the closest such facility is the Merced County Registrar of Voters at 2222 M. Street in Merced.

Other Passports

Open passport

Students who are a citizens of a country other than the U.S. will need to contact the nearest consulate or embassy in order to inquire about acquiring or renewing a passport. Mexican citizens can usually contact the Consulate General of Mexico in Fresno (559-233-3065) about acquiring a passport in person.

Passport Photos

Passport photos range from $6 to $15 per pair (normally applications require an identical pair). The UC Merced Office of International Affairs is not promoting one business over another. As of October 2015, the cheapest price per pair of passport photos is available at Costco at approximately $6, but Costco's Photo Center is slated for closure February 14, 2021.

Six (6) Passport Application Steps

A passport is both a rite of passage and an essential to-do item for study abroad or even spring break travel. Get started now! And save Sept 11 for the Passport Palooza at UC Merced!

  1. Gather Proof of Citizenship
  2. Acquire Government-Issued Photo Identification
  3. Fill Out Passport Application
  4. Get Passport Photo
  5. Gather Materials, Payment
  6. Submit Application

Passport Application Workshop

Watch a pre-recorded passport application workshop (August, 2019) on demand: