How to Apply for a U.S. Passport
*Important Information for All Students*
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the end date of your program (or any planned travel). If you already have a passport, check now to see if you need to renew it before the start of your study abroad program.
While the International Programs staff will provide passport guidance where possible, it is your (the student's) responsibility to possess a valid passport in order to study abroad.
When should I apply for a passport?
Please note that certain times of the year see more passport applications than others, so be sure to check the U.S. Department of State's current processing times and guidelines.
Can I get help with the application?
How to apply for a U.S. passport:
Step 1 - Complete Form DS-11.
The completed Form DS-11 can be uploaded to your application in place of your passport, so make sure to save a copy of the PDF before you submit it.
Step 2 - Collect supporting documents.
- Fully valid, undamaged U.S. passport (may be expired)
- U.S. birth certificate that meets the following requirements:
- Issued by the city, county, or state of birth
- Lists your full name, date of birth, and place of birth
- Lists your parent('s') full names
- Has the date filed with registrar's office (must be within one year of birth)
- Has the registrar's signature
- Has the seal of the issuing authority
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Certificate of Citizenship
Step 3 - Get your passport-style photo.
Where can I get my passport photo taken?
Keep in mind you may need extra copies for other travel documents, such as visas, so getting more than one copy may be advantageous. You should also be sure to review the rules for passport photos before going to have your picture taken. The person taking your photo should know all of the rules, but it's better to know the rules yourself to ensure an acceptable photo is taken.
What are the rules for my photo?
The processing of your passport application may be delayed if you do not submit a photo that meets Department of State requirements. There are a number of specific guidelines all photos must follow regarding dimension, composition, lighting and other elements.
DoS provides these guidelines, examples and answers to frequently asked questions on their Passport Photos page.
Step 4 - Pay fees.
Depending on your personal situation, you may be required to pay various fees to complete your passport application. For most students, however, the total cost is around $165.
Should you need to expedite your passport processing, you can do so for an additional cost. You may also choose to purchase a passport card at the time you apply for your book. We do not recommend doing so, however, as the card does not grant the same travel privileges as the book, and can only be used to re-enter the U.S. from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda.
To find out the cost of your passport application, you can check the passport fees chart linked above, or the State Department's online fee calculator.