Applying for a U.S. passport while outside the United States is a different process from applying for a U.S. passport while inside the United States. Although the application forms, supporting documentation, fees and finished products are the same everywhere,
each U.S. embassy and consulate has different procedures for submitting and processing your final documents. Listed below is information you should know when applying for a U.S. passport while outside the United States.
If you are applying from outside of the United States, DO NOT follow the submission instructions included within the application
form, which are intended for people applying from within the United States. The same application forms are used whether you
are inside or outside the U.S., though the process for submitting the form will be different. Check your local embassy or consulate’s website for instructions on submitting your forms. Click here to find and download the application form(s) you need.
Give supporting documents-- verifying your citizenship and identity-- to your local consulate or embassy along with your application
form. The required supporting documentation varies based on the application form used, so consult your form for more details.
The photo you submit for your application must meet all U.S. passport photo requirements. Be aware that photo requirements
for a U.S. Passport may vary from passport photo requirements of other countries. Click here for a full list of passport photo requirements.
While the specific fees for services are the same, local embassies and consulates can only accept your payment via cash in
U.S. or local currency on site or in some cases via credit card. Unlike Acceptance Facilities located in the United States,
they cannot accept personal checks. You cannot send cash by mail. Please see the website of your embassy or consulate to see what forms of payment they are able to accept. Click here for a full list of fees.
Expedited processing is not available for passports when you apply from outside the United States. All passports requested from overseas are printed in the U.S.
and sent to your embassy or consulate. In an emergency, embassies or consulates can issue limited validity passports. Contact
them directly for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I call the toll-free number for passport information (National Passport Information Center) from outside the United States?
- No, the National Passport Information Center number is meant to answer questions for passport customers applying in the United
States. If you have questions while you are outside the U.S., your local Embassy or Consulate is the best source of information.
Check the website of the closest Embassy or Consulate for instructions specific to that office. If you have questions about
the application instructions on the Embassy or Consulate's website, contact the American Citizen Services unit in the Consular
Section using the email address or phone number listed.
- Can I apply for a passport card while outside the United States?
- Yes, you can apply for a passport card while outside of the United States at the same time you apply for a book, or separately,
but the passport card is only valid for travel by land or sea to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean region. The passport card
cannot be used for air travel.
- Where can I find an Acceptance Agent or Acceptance Facility outside the United States?
- If you are outside of the U.S., your Acceptance Facility is your local Embassy or Consulate, unless you are active duty military.
On the passport form, the acceptance agent refers to 'a U.S. consulate official' If you are active duty military, check with
your chain of command to find a military Acceptance Agent.
- Are all the “evidence of citizenship” and “evidence of identity” sections applicable to me?
- Yes, these requirements are the same no matter where you apply. You still need to provide acceptable evidence of U.S. citizenship
- Can I pay with a personal check or money order outside the United States?
- No, unlike Acceptance Facilities located in the United States, Embassies and Consulates cannot accept personal checks or money
orders. They can only accept payment via cash on site (either in local currency or U.S. dollars) or in some cases via credit
card. Please see the website of your embassy or consulate to see what forms of payment they are able to accept.
- Can I pay extra for Expedited Service or overnight delivery outside of the U.S.?
- No. Outside of the U.S., the passport is actually printed in the U.S. and sent abroad to your Embassy or Consulate, and we
are unable to change the production process. However, Embassies and Consulates can always issue a limited validity emergency
passport if you have urgent travel needs.
- There’s a note to “Customers Applying outside a State Department Facility.” Does that include Embassies and Consulates outside
the United States?
- No. That’s meant for customers in the U.S. applying at a Passport Acceptance Facility and not one of our Passport Agencies—a
Clerk of the Court or a Post Office, for example. Outside of the U.S., you are applying at an Embassy or Consulate, which
we consider to be a State Department Facility.
- On the application, why do you want my email? Should I use my U.S. or foreign email address?
- While abroad, we will notify you via email to tell you when your passport is ready. Use the email address you are using while
outside of the U.S.
- On the application, you want a permanent address. What’s the difference from the mailing address?
- If you are only temporarily residing outside of the U.S., you may put your permanent U.S. address here. If you are permanently
residing abroad, and this address is the same as your mailing address, you can just write “same.”
- Does my ‘Emergency Contact’ have to be somebody in the U.S.?
- We need this information in the event we have to reach someone in a hurry on your behalf. It doesn’t have to be somebody in
the U.S., especially if you live permanently outside the U.S. If that is the case, put down local addresses and phones. If
you are outside the U.S. temporarily, it might make more sense to have a U.S. based contact for us to reach on your behalf.
- How will I receive my passport if I am overseas?
- Delivery methods vary by Embassy and Consulate. Possible methods may include a self-paid courier, the mail service, or picking
it up in person.