How long does it take for a US citizen to get their first passport?
If I am a US citizen and I have never had a passport before, how long will it take for me to get one? How early do I need to apply before I plan on going abroad?
@VMAtm: This question is about getting a new passport, the other one is about renewing a passport. Procedures, timeframes, etc can be quite different.
@Ankur Banerjee Well, this is very strange for me. In Russia there is no difference. I'm sorry.
When you renew a passport you do in fact receive a new one. I'm trying to think of a clearer wording...
Right now, it may take even longer; see Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation
@VMAtm in the US the time difference between a first application and subsequent applications is probably minimal in most cases, but the initial passport application does imply greater scrutiny of the applicant's claim to US citizenship, which will require more time in some cases.
in urgent cases you can get it earlier Do I need a passport for a few days emergency visit to Canada?
I was in the same situation a year ago. It took me about 4 weeks to receive my Passport in the mail. Keep in mind, that you will need to send your original birth certificate with your passport application so you will be without that while you wait. According to Consular Affairs, it takes 4-6 weeks for routine service but you can opt for expedited service.
All things considered, I would say begin applying for your passport at least 2 months in advance of your travel date. Any later, and you may be cutting it close.
sheesh, what bureaucratic nightmare. Here in the Netherlands you just go to city hall with a passport photograph and a week later you can pick up your passport (of course they keep things like birth certs on file there rather than people keeping them at home).
In saudi Arabia, first or last passport, you go in the morning and receive it afternoon and that's considered late, if you are willing to wait you can get jt in two hours.
@jwenting Bur. nightmare? Try getting an Indian passport. Or worse, try getting an Indian passport in a second country of residence. Thumb screws are an easier option.
@NeanDerThal and everyone: expedited service is available in the US; it can also be done in a couple of hours but depends on the circumstances. See https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/hurry.html for more information. The advice in this answer is still sound though: give it a couple of months if it is at all possible.