Passports issued to Americans over the age of 16 are valid for ten years. During that time, your appearance could drastically change. You could gain or lose weight, change your hairstyle, and so on, resulting in you looking like a completely different person! Should you renew your passport if your appearance has changed since your last photo was taken? It’s not always necessary, but it’s not always a bad idea, especially if you’re going to Kenya. According to TheStar.com, a Canadian woman was detained in Kenya because she no longer resembled her passport photo, despite having other forms of identification. She was imprisoned in Kenya for eight days and had to pay $2,500 in bail.
If your passport is still valid, you shouldn’t have to renew it until 9 months before its expiration date. As long as your passport is valid and you have enough visa pages, you should be able to travel without incident in most cases. When travelling abroad, however, you are at the mercy of the officials in the country you are visiting. The US Embassy will do everything possible to assist you if you have problems, but it is always preferable to avoid problems like this whenever possible. So, if you look completely different than you did five years ago, renewing your passport early may make your trip go more smoothly.
Remember to allow enough time for your passport renewal to arrive in the mail if you need to renew your passport before your next trip. Currently, normal processing takes at least 6 weeks to complete a passport application. Even if you use the government’s expedited service, you should still expect to wait at least three weeks for your passport. If you need to renew your passport quickly, the most convenient option is to use a private passport expediting company. An expediting service can help you get your passport application processed faster, often in as little as 24 hours!
Why be concerned about renewal of passport? Today is the day to renew your passport with us!
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