Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 02040331 (posted Apr. 3, 2002)"
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release
April 2, 2002
STATEMENT BY PHILIP T. REEKER, DEPUTY SPOKESMAN
U.S. Passports Will No Longer be Issued Abroad
Effective April 8, 2002, American citizens who require issuance of a U.S.
passport while residing overseas will be issued the latest, state-of-the-art
passport. It incorporates a digitized image with other enhanced security
features. Because this technology is not available at U.S. embassies and
consulates, overseas passport issuance is being transferred to the National
Passport Processing Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The security of travel documents in the post-September 11 world has become
even more important. The new passport has many features that make it one of the
most secure travel documents produced anywhere in the world. Getting these more
secure passports into circulation will help minimize the misuse of American
passports by criminals, terrorists, and others.
This new procedure will increase processing time at U.S. embassies and
consulates, but the Department is committed to ensuring that American citizens
receive secure documents in a timely manner. American citizens overseas are
encouraged to apply early for renewal of expiring passports.
U.S. embassies and consulates will continue to issue passports that are
needed for urgent travel. However, such passports will be limited in validity,
and cannot be extended. Bearers will be required to exchange, at no additional
cost, their limited validity passports for a full-validity digitized passports
upon completion of their urgent travel.