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What is a Passport?

passport-170.pngA passport is a document issued by your national government proving your identity and nationality. Almost all international travel requires that you have and carry a passport. For citizens of the United States, passports are issued by the  and allows you to:

  • travel or temporarily reside in a foreign country and access all lawful local aid and protection
  • access US Consular services and assistance while abroad
  • re-enter the United States upon your return home

For most international travel, a passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after re-entry to the United States. If you don’t have a passport or it expires sooner than 6 months after your return, you should apply for one right away.  It is never too soon to get a passport. 

How Do I Apply for a Passport?

You can apply for a passport in person at the . In addition, you can find other locations using the US State Department's .

First time applicants should follow the instructions listed on the . Applicants must bring their completed application, photos, required documents, and forms of payment to apply.

Those looking to renew an adult passport should follow the instructions on the . For citizens over 16 years of age, a passport is valid for 10 years.

  • Typical processing time: 4-6 weeks
  • Photos: For passports, ID cards, visa applications, and to bring abroad. 
    • CVS: 1711 Sherman Ave
    • Evanston post office 

The fee to receive or renew a passport is between $130 to $165, depending on type (see the US State Department's ). Apply for a passport as soon as possible; expedited services are an additional $60.

Special Note for Non-US Citizens

Contact the Northwestern Office of International Student and Scholar Services at (847) 491-5613 immediately to ensure you understand any INS requirements. Make sure you do not jeopardize your residency status by participating in a program abroad.