U.S. Passport Agencies Begin Strategic Reopening

Jun 17 2020
Published in: Public Policy
| Updated Apr 27 2023
U.S. Passport operations are beginning a phased reopening of passport processing and services.

Many businesses and governments are starting to roll out tiered plans that attempt to restore operations after being upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Passport agencies and centers in the U.S. are now slowly reopening. Starting on 11 June, nearly a dozen agencies reopened, followed by three additional openings on 15 June. Agencies and centers around the U.S. will continue to reopen in three phases.

Phase one prioritizes customers who need a passport within the next 72 hours for a life-or-death emergency including: serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family that require travel outside the U.S.

Phase Two accounts for increased demand in services with more staff, but still prioritizes life-or-death emergency appointments only.

Phase Three allows for limited appointments for those traveling within a two-week timeframe.

All passport services are received on a first-come first-served basis and those visiting a facility must comply with safety requirements.

The State Department’s COVID-19 guide for Passport Agencies reflects that Phase Three is a return to full and regular operating procedures

Further, passport applications are welcome, but the State Department emphasizes that there will be delays in processing during the phased reopening.

For those seeking passport services in the U.S. please be aware the country is in a Level 4 Global Health Advisory, which advises against all international travel.

How This Impacts Mobility

As various countries around the world begin to slowly re-open for travel, the strategic reopening of passport operations and services signals the beginning of a return to some employment-based immigration and travel processes critical to talent mobility that were previously suspended. Worldwide ERC® will continue to update its members on such developments. If you have any questions regarding these developments, please reach out to Worldwide ERC®’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Rebecca Peters at rpeters@worldwideerc.org.