US and international citizens need a passport to enter most other countries and to re-enter the United States. Many countries require passports to be valid for 6 months after travel is completed. Processing and delivery time for a passport application can vary. As of November 2008, new passport application processing takes 3 weeks and expedited applications, including overnight delivery to a passport agency, are being completed in 2 weeks. However, it can take up to three months to process your passport application; we suggest that you apply for your passport as early as possible to ensure adequate processing and delivery time in the event of complications.
Currently the fee for a new passport is $100.00 when applied for in person at a passport agency. If you possess an expired passport you may be eligible for renewal. Passport forms are available at various locations including some post offices, federal courts, and municipal offices. Forms and additional information are located at the US Department of State website.
You will need to submit two identical passport photos with your application. There are many places to have your passport photo taken. Our office offers them for $6 for the set. You may also create your own if you are talented with Photoshop; just make sure that they meet the Quality Requirements for US Passport Photos.
After receiving your passport it is important that you review it for errors, sign it and fill out the emergency information page. You will also need to make a copy of the information page of your passport and submit it to our office; this will help in expediting a new passport if something happens to yours while overseas.
In addition to a passport, you may be required to obtain a visa to enter and remain in the country where you will travel. A visa is an entry and/or residency permit granted by the government of your destination. Often, it is a stamp which is entered into your passport so it may be necessary to have a required number of blank pages in your passport at your port of entry. Some countries have policies regarding medical conditions and immunizations which must be met before a visa is issued.
If US citizens are required to obtain a visa and you are traveling on a WSU-sponsored program, the Office of Study Abroad and Global Programs will generally assist you with obtaining the visa.
If you are a US resident, but hold a passport from another country, visa regulations may be different for you. It is imperative that you determine the specific requirements for your destination. Government regulations frequently change so check with your host country’s consulate or embassy before applying. You may follow this US Department of State website link for port of entry requirements by region and country:
Visa Information for American Citizens from the US Department of StateUseful visa tool from Delta Airlines for citizens of all countries