Many years ago I was put into a tough spot. My Director at the time had not finalized an important project and as a result our VP made him cancel his trip to our Santiago, Chile office and called me in to go as his replacement. Needless to say, it was an awkward moment, not only because I was replacing my boss, but I had less than a week to get a passport for international travel. Fortunately, our corporate office had an internal travel agency that handled almost everything except getting a photo. If you’re in this kind of situation, don’t panic I’ve got news for you.
There are tons of reasons a last minute passport made be necessary. Besides business travel, there’s the death of a love-one, a potential career opportunity, an academic endeavor and my personal fantasy favorite; you’re the winner of an overseas trip, and you must be at the airport in three days or forfeit your prize. But whatever your reason maybe, just know that getting a passport at the last minute can be a lot easier than you may think.
Several important things required to get a passport right away.
1. Application: Obtain an application for a U.S. Passport – The DS-11 form is
available to print. Please note you should not sign the application until you are
instructed to do so.
2. Documentation – Having proof that you need to travel sooner than later is
important. Collect every single piece of proof that supports your need to travel, For
example, a letter from your job or a potential employer you’re going to interview
with, the school your visiting or any official documents outlining the death of a
relative or friend. Whatever you have that shows the urgency to travel is helpful
and may be needed.
3. Airplane Ticket – A copy of your purchased airplane ticket shows you’re fully
vested and committed to the trip. Don’t forget to get travel insurance, just in case.
4. Proof of Citizenship/ID – Copies of your Birth Certificate, Driver’s License,
State ID, Social Security Card, expired Passport. And for those with a change of
name – Be sure to have any and all proof of your name change; like a Marriage
Certificate or License handy.
5. Money – Depending on how soon you need your passport, it could cost anywhere
from $110 to $200 plus.
6. Photo: A passport photo is also needed. You can visit some of your local pharmacy
chains, your local post office may help or you may even take a picture yourself.
While gathering these things you should contact the Passport Agency for an appointment
immediately.The Passport Agency is a government run facility that processes Passport applications and serves to answer any questions you may have, along with a host of things managed by the Bureau of Consular Affairs. The Passport Agency’s website http://travel.state.gov, offers pages and pages of details that outlines everything required and needed to get your Passport as soon as possible. Visit the website to ensure your questions are answered, so you can be properly prepared for travel.In the end, I spent an amazing time down in Santiago, Chile embracing the lovely people, the land, the food and those awesome Andes Mountains, not to mention a ton of work. And remember to be safe and have fun.