Passport Backlog Threatens To Upend Travel Plans For Millions Of Americans

By The Hill
Posted on 07/20/21 | News Source: The Hill

Millions of Americans hoping to renew their passports and travel abroad this summer could see their plans dashed by a massive backlog caused by staffing shortages at the State Department.

The delays are compounding frustrations for would-be travelers looking to take vacations or visit loved ones who are barred from entering the U.S. because of ongoing restrictions tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

Congressional staff say their offices are being inundated with complaints and pleas from constituents over the wait time for passports. The State Department said in a briefing Wednesday that processing could take up to 18 weeks.

Lawmakers are now getting involved.

The top members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday calling for the State Department to “prioritize efforts to reduce processing time for passport applications.”