USA Passport FAQ

Are you going to get an American passport? Visafoto has put together a comprehensive guide for you, answering the most frequently asked questions about the application, costs, and use.

USA Passport next to the US flag and a little toy-airplane

Table of contents

Part One: The USA Passport Application Process

How to apply for my first American passport?

To get your first U.S. passport, you will need the following:

You should submit the collected paperwork to the nearest passport acceptance facility, such as a post office or passport agency. We have detailed the passport application process in the article DS-11 Form: a complete guide.

How to renew a U.S. passport?

As with a first passport application, you can do this by mail or through a regional passport agency. This time the following documents are needed:

More details you can find in our article US passport renewal.

What are the US passport photo requirements?

The Department of State applies the same requirements for ID photos on various documents, including passports. It must be a 2x2-inch square image with your whole face and shoulders. The picture background must be uniformly white. Detailed requirements for dimensions, format, head and eyes position, dress code, and other parameters are listed here.

Where can I take a passport photo near me?

The most common option is photo services at pharmacies and retail stores, such as Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, or the post office. The average service price is $15.

However, you can reduce costs and time and get your passport picture online using our photo editor.

For making a passport photo online follow these steps:

Related: USA passport photo

Is it possible to apply for a U.S. passport online?

There is currently no such option: you can only submit documents in person through the mail and must sign application forms in printed form. However, as of 2022, the U.S. government plans to implement an electronic passport renewal platform. The exact dates of the launch of the online passport application service are not yet known.

However, you can still do some steps of the passport application process electronically. For example, you can pay the USA passport renewal fee online, fill out form DS-11 (but you still need to print it out later), and crop and edit your passport photo to the correct size (guidelines are below).

How long does it take to get a U.S. passport?

Although in 2022 passport delays are less critical than during pandemics, the process still takes time. The routing passport issuing can take from 8 to 11 weeks. For an extra $60, you can expedite the process and get a new passport in 5-7 weeks. What is the quickest way to get a U.S. passport? If you need one urgently, some agencies can shorten this period to 14 days; in this case, an expedited passport processing fee depends on the facility.

How much does the U.S. passport cost?

In 2022, passport fees in the U.S. have increased. Currently, it costs $165 to apply for an adult passport; the price includes a $130 application fee and a $35 execution fee. A minor's passport rate is $135: $100 for application plus $35 for execution. In addition, you will have to pay for passport photos separately. It will cost about $15 at a pharmacy or post office or only $7 if you choose an online photo editor like Visafoto.

What is a passport type P?

Under this name is a regular passport with a dark blue cover. This is exactly what you need if you plan to obtain a personal travel document for tourist and business trips abroad. Other, less common, American passports types include documents for governmental and diplomatic employees.

Passport book vs. Passport card: what to choose?

The passport card is a compact alternative to a regular passport book that allows you to enter some countries by land or sea. With it, you can go on a road trip to Mexico or Canada or cruise to the Caribbean islands. But the passport card is not suitable for air travel: you need the passport book for this. The passport card is cheaper: its total cost is only $65 (application fee + processing fee).

Related: What is the U.S. Passport Card?

How to apply for a U.S. passport abroad?

You will need to go directly to the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy and provide the same package of documents as if you apply in your home country. To get an American passport in Canada, you can also apply by mail.

Part 2: The U.S.A. Passport Eligibility

Can I get a U.S.A. passport if I’m not a citizen?

No. A US passport is issued exclusively to American citizens. You can obtain this status either by birth or naturalization. During the application, you must prove your passport eligibility with your birth or naturalization certificate.

When is it possible to get an American passport for a Green Card holder?

If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident or LPR, you must live in the U.S.A. for at least five years after receiving your Green Card. After that period, you can go through the naturalization procedure and become an American citizen, and only after that can you apply for a U.S. passport.

For the spouses of American citizens, this period is slightly shorter: to get a passport after marriage, it is enough to live in the country for three years in lawful matrimony.

A person applicant must be physically present in the country for 18 months (based on three-year residency) or 30 months (based on five-year residency) before applying for citizenship.

The detailed process of obtaining U.S. citizenship is described in this article.

Can you get a passport with a felony?

This question may seem surprising to you, but Google, according to statistics, faces it often. There is no definite answer to the question, "Can a felon get a U.S. passport?": it all depends on the case and the criminal record. The passport application is definitely denied to felons involved in drug trafficking and transportation. In many other cases, passports are issued, but the person may not be let out of the country. The wanted criminals or convicted felons may have their passports revoked so they cannot escape justice.

But people who have served their sentence and paid their fines have a full right to an American passport upon release.

In what cases can I be denied a U.S. passport?

In addition to not being a U.S. citizen or having a criminal record, you may not be issued a U.S. passport in the following cases:

How long is a U.S. passport valid for?

For all persons over 16, passports are issued for ten years. Those who have not yet turned 16 must renew their travel documents every five years.

Part 3: The U.S.A. Passport Use

Find out what opportunities the American passport opens up for you to travel!

How many countries can I visit with a U.S. passport without a visa?

The American passport is one of the strongest travel documents in the world: it allows you to enter 189 countries visa-free (as of 2022). The list of places Americans can travel without a visa includes countries of the European Union and Schengen Agreement, Australia, New Zealand, Caribbean countries (except Cuba and Venezuela), and most South American and Asian countries.

Can I travel abroad without a passport?

No, you need either a passport book or a passport card for international travel. The exception is Canada, if you have a Nexus card.

Do I need a passport for Mexico/other Caribbean countries?

Are you planning to enjoy Cancun beaches or explore remote Caribbean islands of The Bahamas​​, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, etc.? The required documents will depend on your transportation.

If you travel by land or by sea, a passport card will be enough for Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and most of the Caribbean area: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean Netherlands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caico.

A passport book is a must for each destination if traveling by plane.

Do I need a passport for Canada?

To enter Canada, an American citizen needs either a passport/passport card or a NEXUS card (a special ID card with which the pre-approved traveler can speed through the Canada-U.S. border control). Note that the passport card is only suitable for the land border. To travel to Canada from the U.S. by air, you will need a passport book.

If you are a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident, you can enter Canada visa-free by showing your Green Card along with your national passport.

Can I buy alcohol with a passport?

In theory, yes, because the passport is your official proof of identity, which shows your age and photo. However, depending on the state and the particular store, you may be asked for a driver's license rather than a passport. The fact is that many more adult citizens possess a license than an international travel document. They are more often shown as a primary ID, making it easier for the salesman to distinguish a fake document. In fact, it is scarce for a customer to be denied the purchase of alcohol if they show a passport and not a license. So you can safely use whichever document is more convenient for you. In other countries, the U.S. passport is your main ID card and is suitable for buying alcohol in bars and stores.

Install Visafoto (7ID app) on your phone!

Passport photos, visa photos and ID photos. QR code storage, PIN code storage, signature file maker.

Download 7ID App for iOS   Download 7ID App for Android

7ID Website with more information >

© 2014-2024 | Get photo | Requirements | Contacts | Refund policy | Shipping policy | Terms of Service | Privacy policy
Photographer's guide | Other languages | Blog | Visafoto Reviews | Visafoto Prices | Is Visafoto Legitimate? | Visafoto Free Alternative | The Diversity Visa Lottery 2025 Dates: A Time Guide | Free Green Card Lottery photo checker | DV Lottery photo | US Photo Tool problems | 2x2 inches photo | US passport photo | US visa photo | Photo 1x1 inch | Passport size photo | Bangladesh passport photo size | Passport photo background editor | 35x45 mm photo | 4x6 cm photo | Error: Your photo does not need cropping | DV Lottery photo errors | Passport photo with blue background | 3x4 cm photo | Malaysia passport photo size | Canada Visa Photo | US visa types | Emirates passport photo | Printing passport photo | Baby passport photo | Singapore visa photo | Saudi Arabia visa photo | DS-160 Form | Promocode | DV Program: photo, help, form, Q&A, blog. Free!