The Essentials

Huge Passport Backlog Disrupts Travel

As travel rebounds, one huge complication remains. There’s a massive backlog in passport applications and renewals.

During the pandemic, most staffers at the 26 U.S. passport agencies worked from home. But that meant they couldn’t physically process passports.


And although they are mostly all back in the office, there are still more than 1.6 million applications waiting to be processed. What does this mean?


A normal application for a new passport or renewal can take more than six months. Should you request expedited service, that could run 12 weeks.


And keep in mind that many countries will not allow you to enter if your passport has six months or less of validity.


So you better check the expiration date on your passport, and move as quickly as you can to apply.