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Passports and Traveling Abroad

Passports allow you to travel outside of the U.S. To obtain a passport, applications must be submitted to the Passport Services Division of the U.S. Department of State. You can submit a new application, renew your old one, update your current passport or replace a lost or stolen passport through an agent, usually at the Post Office.

Securing a passport usually take from 30 to 40 days.  The process can be expedited for a $60.00 fee plus the cost of 2-way overnight mail.  By doing this you can usually receive your passport in 7 to 10 days.

Obtaining a passport can be a confusing process, especially on short notice. If you need assistance securing a passport beyond the resources provided below, my staff is happy to assist you. Please fill out a Privacy Act Release Form and send it with a detailed explanation of your request to:

Congressman David G. Valadao
101 North Irwin Street
Suite 110 B
Hanford, California 93230 

You may also contact my staff in Hanford at (559) 582-5526.

Before leaving the country, check to see if the country or countries you are visiting require a visa.  A visa is permission from a country to cross their borders. It comes in the form of a stamp in your United States Passport prior to leaving the country. In most cases, you need to mail your passport to the Embassy or Consulate of the country you will be visiting. Please plan ahead and allow plenty of time for all paperwork and application periods to finish.

The United States Department of State’s Travel Webpage also contains comprehensive information on crisis assistance for United States citizens living or traveling abroad as well as addition miscellaneous travel information.

For a list of U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide, please visit the Embassy Index on the Department of State website.


Bureau of Consular Affairs
The Bureau of Consular Affairs works to protect the lives and interests of Americans abroad. Here you will find information and resources for travel documents that allow Americans to travel the globe.

Passport Services Directorate 

Current Travel Warnings
It is important to check the State Department website for travel warnings and information on the country or countries you plan on visiting. You can also find information about assistance in the untimely event that a crisis occurs while in a foreign country. 

Country Specific Information
The State Departments’ website also provides information on every country in the world. Here you will find information such as the location of the U.S. embassy and consular offices, whether you need a visa, crime and security information, health and medical conditions, drug penalties and localized hot spots. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I obtain a United States passport?
By visiting the State Department website, you can find information on how to obtain a passport and how to apply for a passport. This resource also has information on how to apply for a U.S. passport from outside the United States, information regarding processing times, finding out about passport fees, expediting your passport application and checking the status of your passport application. 

Where do I file my passport application?
The State Department’s Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page will allow you to find the nearest location to apply for a passport. 

How do I renew my expired passport?
If you already have a passport that is not damaged, was issued in the past 15 years, was received after your 16th birthday, and has your same name, you can apply for a passport renewal by mail. The State Department’s website provides more detailed information on how to renew an expired United States passport. 

I can’t wait the normal six weeks processing time period for my application. Can I request my application be expedited?
Yes. For an additional fee, you can request expedite processing which normally takes two weeks.  

What is the Western Hemisphere Travel initiative (WHTI) and what are the new passport requirements?
The WHTI is a result of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. All travelers must present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the country. For more information regarding the WHTI, please visit their webpage. 

Where can I obtain proof of my passport application?
A print-out of the online status check – accessible from the Application Status page of the Department of State’s website will provide official proof that your passport application has been received by the Department of State.

U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao

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