State Department restores passport processing to pre-pandemic levels (Nextgov)


    State Department restores passport processing to pre-pandemic levels – By Eric Katz (Nextgov) / Dec 18, 2023

    A hiring surge and mandatory overtime has brought passport processing down to its lowest level in years.

    The State Department is processing passports at its fastest clip in nearly four years, finally restoring the turnaround time to the same level Americans experienced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Starting Monday, State said, Americans can expect to receive their passports six-to-eight weeks after sending in an application, or in two-to-three weeks if they pay an extra $60 for expedited service. State has been processing passports at a record pace and issued 24 million in fiscal 2023, outpacing its then-unprecedented fiscal 2022 total by 9%.

    Over the summer, the wait times for passports grew to between 10 and 13 weeks. The matter drew attention from Congress, with members of both parties saying that timeline was far too slow. State on Monday said the improvement reflected “the work of dedicated employees working for the American people.”

    “The Department of State is committed to providing the best possible service for our passport customers while upholding strict national security standards,” a department spokesperson said.



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