How to Apply for a US Passport

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Written by Heidi Smith, World Explorers

Have you always dreamed of visiting another country but just aren’t sure where to start? Don’t worry, you are not alone. You may be surprised to hear that only 36 percent of Americans actually have a passport.

CHI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting international travel and cross-cultural understanding. CHI can help you travel to the country you’ve always dreamed of safely and affordably.

But before you start planning your big adventure, the first step to leaving the country is to get your passport!

Follow these 5 easy steps:

1) Fill Out Form DS-11.
Go to the U.S. Department of State homepage to find your DS- 11 form. Download the form, print it and fill it out. DO NOT sign the form until instructed to do so in front of an acceptance agent.

2) Supporting Documents.
Bring a valid government-issued ID like your valid driver’s license, certificate of citizenship or green card.

3) Submit Photo.
Be sure your photo meets the photo requirements.

4) Calculate Fees.
It is $110 to apply for a passport and $30 to apply for a passport card (which allows entry to Mexico and Canada). Additional fees may apply.

5) Submit Your Completed Application.
You must apply for your passport in person at a certified acceptance facility. Enter your zip code here to find the nearest location.

The routine processing time for getting your passport varies between 6-8 weeks. Once you receive your passport in the mail, you will be eligible to travel outside of the US.

Now you can plan your trip, book your flights and discover new and exciting destinations around the world!

If you need help figuring out which country you would like to experience first, check out which international travel option may be right for you.

You can also contact CHI for a free travel consultation at we@chinet.org or by calling 415-259-2111.

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