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If you have been patiently waiting for your passport to be issued, hope is in sight!
The coronavirus pandemic brought many things to a standstill, including the issuing of new passports. However, the U.S. State Department has issued a much anticipated update revealing half of their employees at passport offices across the country have now returned to work.
According to Travel+Leisure there is a backlog of over 1.7 million passport applications waiting to be processed that will take approximately two months to get through.
“We know that many other Americans have been waiting patiently for their own passports,” Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch told the media. “The health and safety of our workforce and our customers will always remain a top priority, and as a result, we will be able to balance our commitment to facilitate Americans traveling abroad while being able to safeguard our employees and customers.”
“As many states are reopening, it is safe and prudent for us to follow suit,” Risch said. “Issuing passports is a critical component of the Department’s mission and our personnel has therefore been deemed ‘mission-critical.’ As of yesterday, 11 passport agencies and centers around the country have entered Phase 1 of our resumption plan [in compliance with] state and local positions and CDC guidelines.”
Travel+Leisure reports anyone who applies from today onward will have to wait a minimum of eight weeks to receive their passport. However, for life or death emergencies, applications will still be expedited – just as they were during the COVID lock-down.