If you don’t currently have a passport that is valid at least six months after your program abroad ends, you must apply for or renew your passport immediately. It can take from four to six weeks or more, and student visas cannot be issued without a valid passport. Some countries [e.g.: China, Latin America, and Russia] even insist on valid passport copies for mandatory invitation letters prior to submitting a visa application. It can take several weeks to obtain an invitation letter which must then be submitted with the visa application, which can take several more weeks. A U.S. passport is obtainable through the nearest Federal or State District Court or at a Municipal Passport Agency. In Middlebury, both the Superior Court office at the Court House and the Post Office have applications and instructions. The National Passport Information Center can be reached at 1.877.487.2778 or online at http://travel.state.gov/passport.
To apply for a passport, you will need:
1. Evidence of U.S. citizenship, e.g., a certified birth certificate or previous passport. Note that the birth certificate must show that it was filed shortly after birth and must bear the seal of the registrar at birth.
2. Identification with a signature, e.g., a driver’s license.
3. Two recent passport photos (special format – see website for details).
4. Fee of $110.00 for renewals, and $135.00 for first-time passport applications.*
*The processing agent may also charge a fee in addition to the application/renewal fee.