US Passports: No More Extra Visa Pages From January 2016

U.S. Passports: No More Extra Visa Pages from January 2016

 

Want to Add Extra Visa Pages to Your U.S. Passport? You Have Until December 31, 2015. Starting January 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of State will no longer add extra visa pages to your existing U.S. passport, a move made as passport security features are enhanced, and also to bring the U.S. in line with other countries, since no other major country allows passport pages to be added to an existing passport. Since October 2014, U.S. passport renewal applicants from outside the U.S. have automatically been issued 52 page passports, to help them avoid having to add extra visa pages.

Putting the No Extra Visa Pages Change in Perspective

While most likely many TravelSort readers have 52 page passports, according the Department of State, the demand is quite small for extra visa pages–the number of requests for extra visa pages is about 1.5% that for general passport issuances, in a given year. And about 97% of passport renewals had fewer than 18 visa pages used in the old passport at time of renewal.

 

How to Add Extra Visa Pages Before January 1, 2016

If you do want to add extra visa pages to a U.S. passport (an insert gives you 24 visa pages), you will need to:

  • Complete Form DS-4085, Application for Additional Visa Pages
  • Submit the form with your current valid passport 
  • Write a check for $82 payable to U.S. Department of State; add $60 for Expedited Service (3 weeks of processing time)
  • Send it using a trackable delivery method to the following address for regular service (4-6 weeks of processing time):
National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 90106
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0106

For expedited service, write “Expedite” on the outer envelope, use trackable overnight delivery, and send it to:

National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 90906
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0906

 

Will Renewed Passports Only Be 28 Pages or Will 52 Page Passports Still Be Offered?

Initially I thought that the 52 page passports would no longer be offered as of January 1, 2016, but that is NOT the case–you will still be able to apply for a 52 page passport when you renew from the U.S., and overseas applicants will continue to automatically be issued a 52 page passport when renewing.


Consider Renewing Instead of Adding Extra Visa Pages

My husband's passport will expire in the near term, so I plan to renew and request the 52 page passport, especially since we'll be applying for a 3 year Russian Visa for him, and I want that to be in his new passport rather than only get a year of use out of it in his old passport.

A passport renewal is $110–not much more than adding extra visa pages, so take that into account when deciding whether to add extra visa pages or renew your passport altogether, for a 52 page version.

Do you plan to add extra visa pages to your U.S. passport before January 1, or simply renew your passport and request a 53 page passport?

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