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Passports Back to Normal! Processing Times Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, December 18, 2023 9:02 pm

Globetrotters, rejoice! The U.S. State Department announced today that passport processing times have finally returned to pre-pandemic levels, after months of frustrating delays that plagued travelers all summer.

In a welcome statement, the department confirmed that routine passport applications will now be processed within 6-8 weeks, while expedited service will see those documents in hand within 2-3 weeks. This marks a significant improvement from the 10-13 week standard for routine and 7-9 week expedited processing times reported in July 2023.

This swift turnaround represents a victory for the State Department, which grappled with “unprecedented demand” over the summer months. The record-breaking surge in passport applications, attributed to pent-up travel desires following pandemic restrictions, resulted in lengthy processing backlogs and anxious travelers facing missed flights and rescheduled vacations.

However, the tide appears to have turned. The department attributes the improved processing times to a combination of factors, including hiring additional staff, streamlining internal procedures, and utilizing new technology. Additionally, the recent lull in the peak travel season has likely contributed to the decline in application backlogs.

This good news comes amidst another milestone for the department. Between October 2022 and September 2023, they issued a staggering “over 24 million passport books and cards,” marking the highest volume in American history. While this surge initially caused delays, the department seems to have successfully brought processing times back in line with expectations.

For seasoned travelers and first-time adventurers alike, the return to pre-pandemic normalcy is a cause for celebration. Whether planning a long-awaited vacation or embarking on a spontaneous overseas adventure, Americans can now rely on a more predictable and efficient passport processing timeline.

So, dust off your travel brochures, polish your packing skills, and get ready to explore the world once again! The passport office is no longer the gateway to frustration – it’s now the key to your next grand adventure.

Credits: 2News

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