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How To Apply For A Passport

Posted by Lindsay Hall on 6/5/15 10:00 AM

ILP China

Applying for a passport can be overwhelming if you don't know what you're doing — don't worry, ILP can help!


Between knowing where to start and what documents to bring, getting a passport can be a pretty daunting task ... but it's a lot easier if you have some help. 

By the way, ILP is here to help you out in a bunch of ways, check it out. 

If you would like a more detailed step-by-step process of getting a passport, we've got you covered. But here are the basics: 

Get Your Documents 

First, collect all your documents. You will need ONE of the following documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Previous U.S passport
  • Consular report of birth abroad
  • Certificate of Naturalization/Citizenship

You will also need ONE of these following photo identification documents:

  • Valid driver's license (plus a secondary form of ID if applying in a state different than where your license was issued).
  • Previous U.S passport
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Valid government ID
  • Valid military ID

You will also need an official passport official photo. You can get these taken at places like Costco, Sam's Club, Walgreens...just do a Google search for your area. Here's what we've found when it comes to getting cheap passport photos. 

You'll need 2 passport photos for your passport application and ILP also needs 4 passport photos, so when you get your photos taken just ask for 6.

Fill Out Some Paperwork

This is the official site for passports and this is also where you can get the passport application. Fill it out, print it out, and take it with you. If this is your first passport, you must apply in person. Find a facility near you here.

Pay For It

Currently, passports are around $110 to get, but keep in mind that you must pay for the processing as well. You need a passport book, NOT a passport card. The sooner you need your passport, the more expensive it will be. Below are the time frames it takes to get a passport with the different processing times:

Standard processing (4-6 weeks) = $0
Expedited processing (2-3 weeks) = $60
Expedite at agency processing (5 days or less) = $60 (with restrictions) 

Make sure you give yourself enough time to do the cheapest option.

ILP Europe

If you are looking for more travel tips, check out these ILP blogs or you can click below to talk to someone who has been on a semester with International Language Programs before! They can tell you all about their service abroad, more about the ILP countries, and can give you tips on how to pay for a semester abroad — we have tons of fundraising tips and discounts. 

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Topics: Travel Tips

Exploring The World For Over 25 Years

Over the years of assisting more than 6,000 volunteers in their desire to travel and make a difference in the lives of others, ILP has seen what works and what doesn't.

We've gathered our tips here for making your semester abroad a successful one.

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