U.S. State Department Announces Faster Passport Processing

-By Duke Global Staff

November 1, 2021

The U.S. State Department announced this week that wait times for passport processing for U.S. citizens have been reduced.

Routine passport processing now takes 8-11 weeks, and the expedited process takes 5-7 weeks, provided travelers pay the additional $60 for processing. The processing time starts once the passport agency or center receives an application.

Schuyler Knowles of the Duke Office of Global Administrative and Travel Support (GATS) welcomed the news, stating, “Passport processing times have improved slowly but steadily since this spring, though they still fall well short of pre-pandemic standards. The good news is that the Department of State recently resumed allowing third-party expeditors to submit time-sensitive renewal applications on behalf of applicants, which is a faster – but also more costly – alternative to standard processing by mail.”

Travelers are advised to plan for varied mail times or send via USPS Priority Mail Express, and those with imminent travel plans can contact GATS for help.  

Duke students, faculty and staff should also contact GATS for information on visa processing and to ensure that they have the correct visa for Duke-sponsored travel.

In related news, the Office of Global Affairs’ Passport Drive (offered in collaboration with GATS) will return in 2022 after more than two years on hiatus due to COVID-19.