A US passport is a milestone towards the American dream. Ranked 8th in the list of world’s most powerful passports, it grants visa-free access to 184 countries. The US passport wait times had increased after the pandemic, which made travelers delay their trips. But the U.S. State Department announced a significant milestone recently, revealing that passport processing times have reverted to pre-pandemic levels. People can now expect their passports to be processed in a relatively swift six to eight weeks, with an expedited option promising delivery in two to three weeks.
US Passport Wait Times Reduce
The shift towards normalized processing times is a welcome relief for Americans, considering the challenges faced in 2021 when passport processing times soared to an astonishing 18 weeks. However, October of the current year witnessed a notable improvement, with processing times reduced to a decent eight to 11 weeks. This is a major relief for Indian-Americans who got their US citizenship recently.
The State Department expressed its commitment to meeting the benchmarks set in March 2020, signifying a return to the standards observed before the pandemic disrupted normal operations. The surge in passport applications reached as high as 500,000 per week. The department responded by intensifying recruitment efforts and allocating additional resources to passport and visa processing.
Strong Passport Demand Amidst Travel Boom
The restoration of pre-pandemic passport processing times aligns with a surge in international travel by Americans. The first six months of 2023 witnessed over 46 million Americans traveling abroad, marking a remarkable 32% increase from the corresponding period in 2022, according to data from the National Travel and Tourism Office. If you are an Indian-American who got your US passport issued, you can book flights to India and explore the incredible country.
Record Passport Issuance
A record 24 million passports were issued between October 2022 and September 2023 due to the current travel boom. This surge in demand underscores the resilience of the travel industry and the eagerness of Americans to explore destinations beyond their borders.
An impressive 48% of Americans possess a passport in 2023. If you are one and planning to travel soon, you can book Indian Eagle tickets and travel from USA to India on a budget. So, why wait? Plan your itinerary today!
What are your views on the reduced US passport processing times? Do you think faster issuance of passports will further boost the travel demand? Comment below and let us know.
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