HomeTravelPassports:  Bureau of Consular Affairs Handles Passport Applications

Passport Applications and the Bureau

Although there is not really a "passport bureau," the agency controlling and handling passport applications is the United States Department of State. Although there are many other non-governement passport services out there that help people with passport applications and expedited processing, the final authority is the US Department of State. The part of the US Department of State that is specifically responsible for passports is the Bureau of Consular Affairs. This Bureau also handles international travel for United States citizens and visas for foreign citizens. Although this Bureau of Consular Affairs is the final destination for all passport applications, there are thousands of passport acceptance agencies across the country and 13 regional passport agencies that are available to assist people who need their passports within two weeks.

The Facts about the Passport Bureau

With the growth and development of Internet technology, contacting and accessing information provided by the passport Bureau of Consular Affairs is now easier than ever. If you have ever tried to contact any government agency by telephone, you know that you can spend endless amounts of time wading through automated messaging systems or holding for the person that you need. By visiting the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, you can find everything that you need about passport applications, read through it all at your own pace, and even download the application forms that you will need.

If you are unsure about the entire passport application process, the passport bureau can lead you through the requirements, the fees, the processing time, the location of acceptance facilities and processing centers, and other helpful information. In addition to passport applications, the Bureau of Consular Affairs also offers other services and information, such as how to obtain copies of passport records, how to order applications in bulk, travel professionals, acceptance agents, passport statistics, and birth certificates.

Aside from the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs that handles passport applications, there is another, non-government, private passport service called the U.S. Passport Bureau. This passport bureau is a private service that assists people who need expedited service with their passport applications. By going through this service, people with a quickly approaching departure date can receive their passports or renewals in less than four days. However, the costs for processing are higher for this faster service. It is important when applying for a passport to be sure that you are working with the agency or service that you need. If you do not need your passport in less than six weeks, it is probably best if you go directly through the Bureau of Consular Affairs. It will save you money and eliminate involvement of the "middle man." However, the decision is always up to, regardless of your circumstances.L

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