Traveling for business is essential to creating and maintaining a global presence for your company. Often, you will need to travel to encourage new prospects to come aboard or to maintain good relations with existing customers and investors. These trips may be local, within the country, and sometimes abroad. If you haven’t already started expanding your business to other countries, now is the time to go global. And for traveling abroad, you will need a very important document: a passport. So, how do you get your passport and what else do you need to keep in mind when traveling for business? Read on to learn more!
How To Get Your Passport
Getting a US passport is a very simple process. All you need is a filled passport application form and the necessary documentation. Once the application is complete, the passport takes about 6-8 weeks to process. Here are the steps for how to get your passport:
Fill Out A DS-11 (Passport Application) Form
One of the most asked questions is: can you apply for your passport online? You can start the application process online or in-person. However, you will need to visit a passport acceptance facility to complete the application. To start the application online, use the Passport Application Wizard and fill out the application. Once completed, print the application and take it to the passport acceptance facility. Note that passport applications can not be submitted online.
Otherwise, download the form, complete the application, and go to a local passport acceptance facility to submit it. Whichever way you decide to start the application, remember: do not sign the form until you are instructed to do so in front of a designated official.
Personal Documents and IDs
Along with your passport application form, you will need to provide documentation providing your birth and citizenship information. Documents required are:
1) Original proof of citizenship document and a photocopy of the document. One of the following is necessary:
- US birth certificate
- Certificate of naturalization
- Certificate of citizenship
- Consular report of birth abroad or certification of birth
2) Acceptable photo ID and a photocopy of the ID. One of the following:
- Driver’s license
- Government employee ID
- US military ID
- Current (valid) foreign passport
Acceptable Passport Photo
Next, bring passport-size photos, which can be easily taken at your local pharmacy or grocery store. Ensure that your photos have the following requirements:
- Color photo
- Taken in the last 6 months
- Printed on matte or glossy photo-quality paper
- Neutral expression with eyes open
- Size: 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm)
Calculate Your Fees
Fees are based on whether you are applying for an adult (age 16 or older) or child and whether you want a passport book or card or both. According to the U.S. Department of State website, these are the current fees for passport books and cards:
|Product||Application Fee||Execution (Acceptance) Fee|
|Passport Book & Card||$140||$35|
|Passport Book & Card||$95||$35|
Submit The Application
Once you have completed the application, provided all necessary documentation, and paid the fees in-person at a passport acceptance facility, you have completed the process. Now, you wait for the agency to process your request.
Can You Get Your Passport Sooner?
The standard time for processing a passport is 6-8 weeks. However, this process can be expedited for special circumstances such as a life or death emergency or urgent international travel plans. Keep in mind that expedited processing has an additional fee. See the Get My Passport Fast page for more information.
Happy and Comfortable Travels!
Besides getting your passport ready, there are a couple of other things to keep in mind. For example, do you need to get a visa for the destination country? Also, check for travel warnings and advisories. Buy travel insurance and register your trip with the U.S Department of State.
You may also want to consider getting a business phone number from a virtual phone service provider like United World Telecom. With a virtual phone number, you can forward work calls from your office to your business number so that you do not miss any work calls when traveling. United World Telecom also offers local business numbers. Now that you know how to get your passport, sign up for a business phone number and be in touch with your customers while on the go.