If you are traveling anywhere outside of the US, overseas, to Canada, the Caribbean, or Mexico, you now need a passport to board an international flight and to enter any country.
- A US passport is your key to international travel. When presented abroad, it is a request to foreign governments to permit you to travel or temporarily reside in their territories and access all lawful, local aid, and protection. It allows you access to US Consular services and assistance while abroad. Most importantly, it allows you to re-enter the United States upon your return home.
- The Department of State’s Passport Services Directorate issues US passports to traveling Americans. The integrity of the US passport is proof of US citizenship at home and around the world.
Tips for applying for a visa:
The US is advising visa applicants to apply at least three to four months in advance of their travel date. Also, additional reviews may be required. This could add an additional four to six weeks to the processing time. Formal letters of invitation will be available from SOT headquarters in late Fall 2018. You will need to make your own hotel reservations and register for the meeting.
Gathering Your Application Materials
Organize your passport; necessary applications; supporting documents, including information on employment, reason for travel, and financial status; and proof of payment of fees. For more detailed information on visa requirements, consult the US Department of State’s Visa Site and the International Visitors Office of The National Academies.
Submitting Your Application
Make an appointment to visit your US Embassy or Consulate. Make sure you ask if there are any fees required. Most fees must be paid before your appointment. Wait times for appointments may be longer than in the past. Schedule the appointment as soon as possible. Information on visa wait times can be found at the US Department of State website.