One of the perks of being an American citizen is that there are lots of countries that you don’t need a visa to visit, or that will let you get a visa at the airport when you arrive.
However, some countries require that you apply for a travel visa in advance. In most cases, this means sending a visa application and your passport off to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the country you are visiting. But before you send your passport off, check it over and make sure that you don’t need to apply for an expedited passport renewal first.
Here are the most common reasons that you might need to renew your passport before applying for a visa:
- Your passport has expired.
- Your passport is still valid now, but will expire soon. The country you are visiting may require that your passport be valid for 6 months or longer past your planned date of entry. If it expires too soon, you’ll need to renew it before you can be issued a visa.
- You may need more pages in the back. If you travel a lot, it’s important to make sure that there’s enough blank pages to accommodate the travel visa for the country you are visiting. You may need as few as one or as many as 3. Check with the embassy or consulate to see how many pages you need, or see the Department of States’ Country-Specific Information Page.
If you do need to get your passport renewed or get pages added before you apply for a travel visa, get an expedited passport renewal if you plan to leave in the near future. The US Department of State will let you make an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency if you are traveling in 4 weeks or less and need a visa. Of course, using a private passport expediting company like RushMyPassport makes the process much faster and more convenient!