As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted, not only travel but business operations, throughout the United States and the entire world in late March and early April, the State Department had suspended passport service, making allowances only for those experiencing a life-or-death emergency that required them to travel internationally within a 72-hour period.
An earlier June 2020 announcement indicated that U.S. passport services would begin reopening gradually over the summer, planned to occur in three phases. The first phase has now officially begun and, as of today, fourteen total passport centers and agencies across the country have restarted service on a scaled-down basis.
During Phase One, a limited number of employees will return to work in order to resume processing operations, reviewing the limited number of applications that the department has already received, but thus far been unable to attend to. It’s still recommended that customers hold off on submitting new or renewal passport applications, as delays in processing are expected to persist during Phase One.
Customers who require a passport in the next 72 hours will continue to be prioritized and they must make an appointment to submit their application and supporting documents, which include proof of a life-or-death emergency and proof of international travel arrangements (i.e. ticket, reservation, itinerary) made in order to attend the emergency.
Customers who do come into processing centers are required to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in all common areas, including building lobbies, and strictly adhere to social-distancing guidelines.
Reopened U.S. passport service facilities, as of June 15, 2020:
—Arkansas Passport Center
—Boston Passport Agency
—Buffalo Passport Agency
—Chicago Passport Agency
—Colorado Passport Agency
—Connecticut Passport Agency
—Detroit Passport Agency
—Honolulu Passport Agency
—Minneapolis Passport Agency
—National Passport Center (Portsmouth, New Hampshire)
—New Orleans Passport Center
—New York Passport Agency
—Philadelphia Passport Agency
—Washington Passport Agency
For more information, visit travel.state.gov.
Source: Read Full Article