Overseas Travel: Description

The State Department works hard to represent the United States by maintaining diplomatic relationships with other nations. It does this by hosting official visits, conveying U.S. foreign policy to other governments, and conducting negotiations. The State Department also works hard to aid the American people. It offers an extensive website aimed at assisting citizens while traveling abroad. Information about airline services, exchange rates and customs procedures is available, as is information about passport and visa requirements.

If you are planning a trip abroad, be sure to allow plenty of time to process your passport - especially during the peak travel season of March through July. Passports can be processed either by mail or in person. The usual processing time is six weeks for regular service and two weeks for expedited service. A new passport is valid for 10 years for those ages 16 and up and five years for those 15 years old or younger.

* Note: As of Jan. 23, 2007, U.S. citizens traveling by air between Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Caribbean nations, and Bermuda must present a valid passport. By June 1, 2009, the same will be required for all border crossings with the above countries. This change in travel document requirements is the result of recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission, which Congress passed into law in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

Overseas Travel: Requirements

1. For travel warnings, health considerations, and information about living abroad, please refer to the State Department website. 

2. To resolve issues with your passport, please call the National Passport Information Line at 877-487-2778.