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U.S. Passport Processing Instances Return to Regular

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The return of extra regular processing instances is essential as Individuals journey overseas in huge numbers.

Passport processing instances have returned to pre-pandemic ranges, the State Division stated Monday — it now takes simply six to eight weeks for a passport, or two to a few weeks for an expedited one. 

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Processing instances for passports reached 18 weeks in 2021 when the State Division confronted unprecedented demand. This October, processing instances have been diminished to eight to 11 weeks. 

“With this replace, we now have fulfilled our dedication to return to benchmarks from March 2020,” the State Division stated. 

In March, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated the division was receiving as many as 500,000 passport purposes per week, in accordance with CBS Information. Blinken stated on the time that the State Division was working to rent extra staffers and dedicate extra sources to passport and visa processing after funds cuts in the course of the peak of the pandemic. 

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The prolonged passport processing delays prompted lawmakers in Washington to suggest laws to streamline the passport utility course of and scale back the backlog. 

Demand For Passports Stays Robust

The return of pre-pandemic processing instances comes as Individuals are touring overseas in droves. Over 46 million Individuals traveled overseas within the first six months of 2023, a 32% enhance from the identical interval in 2022, in accordance with the Nationwide Journey and Tourism Workplace. 

The State Division stated it issued 24 million passports between October 2022 and September 2023, a brand new file. 

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Previously 30 years, the variety of Individuals holding passports has additionally skyrocketed. The State Division stated solely round 5% of Individuals had passports in 1990, however as of 2023, that proportion reached 48%. There are round 160 million passports in circulation, double the quantity from 2007. 

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