Getting a U.S. Passport – It’s Easier Than You Think

 In AG Bell, Madrid

A passport is a travel and identification document that is accepted by governments across the world. For U.S. citizens making the trip to the 2019 AG Bell Global LSL Symposium, a passport is absolutely essential. And while acquiring a passport can feel overwhelming, it’s actually quite simple. Just follow these five easy steps and you’ll be in Madrid in no time at all!

Step 1: Fill Out Passport Application Forms

Thanks to modern technology, you can download, print and fill out your passport application forms in the comfort of your own home. Of course, if you feel uncomfortable doing this, you can still visit any U.S. Post Office or passport office to pick up the forms.

TIP: If you are printing at home, be sure to use generic printer paper and avoid glossy or shiny variations.

Step 2: Gather Proof of U.S. Citizenship

Once you have filled out all of the forms, it’s time to gather documents that prove you are a United States citizen. Forms of citizenship include a government-issued birth certificate, a consular report of a birth abroad, a naturalization certificate or a certificate of citizenship.

Step 3: Gather Proof of Identification

You will also need to gather documentation that proves your identity. Acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s license, military ID card or other government-issued ID.

TIP: Once you’ve collected proof of citizenship and identity, make photocopies of all of your documents. This saves time at the passport office as they will need these for your file. 

Step 4: Make Financial Arrangements

Application and execution fees change periodically, so you may have to do a little research to find the going rate. You may also call the passport office nearest to you to ask about fees and which forms of payment they accept.

There may be an extra fee associated with taking your passport photo, however we do recommend allowing them to take it for you. Passport photos have restrictions on image size, cropping, background color, body positioning and facial expressions. Remove the guesswork and simply have the professionals handle it for you.

Step 5: Make An Appointment

Make an appointment with the nearest passport office either online or via phone. When it’s your turn, hand in your paperwork, pay the fees, and take your passport photo. And that’s all there is to it!

After your appointment, it may take from 6 to 8 weeks to receive the documents in the mail. If you need your passport immediately, you may pay extra to expedite the process.

TIP: One week after your appointment, you can check your application status on the Department of the State’s website. This site will show you what stage your application is at and how long it will take to receive it.

A World Without Limits

Think of your passport as your ticket to freedom. Just by possessing this little document, countries across the world will grant you access to their most prized wonders. So why wouldn’t you want to have a passport? Especially when getting one is so simple!

Madrid in particular has a thriving arts scene, world renowned dining, and a rich history that is woven into almost every site you visit. Trust us – you won’t want to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

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