Passport Renewal Checklist

Passports are important for people travelling internationally. Having a checklist for the passport renewal process will make sure you don’t miss anything. The list below includes several different items to check in your passport or to see if they need to be renewed.

Details for Passport Renewal Checklist

1. Check the status of the passport expiry date.

Many countries require that travelers have passports that are valid beyond the dates of their visit or entry into a foreign country. The United States immigration agency requires travelers to have at least six months of validity left on their passports after their intended departure date from the U.S.

2. Check if you have at least one blank visa page for each country you are visiting.

Some countries require visas to enter, and visitors may need to apply for them before heading off for their trip. It is important that you have blank pages in your passport to stamp visa entry into these countries. Use up all the pages in your passport before leaving.

3. Make sure that you have a signed passport photo.

Several countries require that anyone entering their country have a current photograph in their passport. When flying from the United States, keep in mind that the photo needs to be updated every 16 years or so, because of changes in appearance as people age.

4. Check if you have a valid visa.

Visas are no longer required to enter the United States, but they are required by many other countries. If you have a visa that is not valid in another country, it’s important to replace that visa with a new one before traveling.

5. Check if you have a recent certified letter from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), stating that your passport has been rejected for being expired.

This is called a warning letter. The letter will state why your passport has been rejected and give the date it expires. It's important to update this letter in your passport, as it will be used in many countries to determine if you have any restrictions on entering that country.

6. Check if you have a current I-94 card or Ticketing Voucher (T/V).

This is a document that airlines give to people who travel to their country, and includes a record of all their past trips. It is required by many countries in the world before they allow you entry into their country. This card can also be used as proof of entering a country when applying for an extension of your U.S. visa.

7. Check if you have completed the US-VISIT program.

This is a system designed by the U.S. government that requires people who will be travelling to the United States from certain countries to electronically submit biographical information and submit to fingerprinting at a U.S. embassy or consulate before they enter the country. The program is meant to increase security in the United States, and prevent terrorists from entering the country using false identities.

FAQ for Passport Renewal Checklist

1. How many blank pages do I need to have in my passport?

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requires that you have at least two blank visa pages in your passport before you can enter the United States. Some countries require that you have at least one visa page available before they allow you entry into their country. It is important to check with the country you are visiting, before applying for a new passport, to see what they require. You should also make sure that the rest of the pages in your passport are not filled with old visas or stamps of any kind, as they may not allow entry either.

2. Why do I need to have a signed passport photo in my passport?

Around the world, many countries require that you have a current passport photo in your passport before they allow you entry into their country. This photo is used as your identity, so it is important that you get it done before travelling. In other countries, there are additional requirements for the size of your photo and the quality of the photograph/scanning.

3. Do I need to renew my US visa?

Yes, you do need to renew your US visa if it has expired or otherwise not been valid for travel to another country since your last trip to the United States. If you have limited passport validity or it is close to your passport being expired, you may need to renew your US visa before traveling. To learn more about how to renew your visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country, visit US Department of State website: http://travel.state.gov/visa/step2/visa_information_form.html

4. Can I use my previous passports as a reference?

Yes, with some limitations, the Department of State has said that you may use previously issued passports as proof of identity and travel documents when applying for a new passport until it expires or is no longer valid for travel as prescribed by law and regulation.

5. What is a warning letter and what should I do if I get one?

If you cannot enter the United States because you have an expired passport, a warning letter will be sent to you by the Department of State. The letter will state why your passport has been rejected and give the date it expires. It's important to update this letter in your passport, as it will be used in many countries to determine if you have any restrictions on entering that country.

6. Can I use more than one kind of picture in my new passport?

Yes, but only if these photos are from different eras or different occasions, or at least 5 years apart from each other. If you have a photo with your child, as they grow up, it’s a good idea to have a newer photo taken together with them in order to include them in your passport.

7. Do I need my U.S. visa when I renew my passport?

Some people will be asked to show their US visa during the passport renewal process while others won't be asked to show it at all - this will depend on the country where you are applying for your passport renewal or replacement. You should check with the country you will be visiting to see what is required there, before applying for your renewal or replacement.

In Summary

Passport renewal is a serious process. When you renew your passport, you are declaring that your previous passport was valid, and signed by official government personnel. At the same time, you are also declaring that all your information in the previous passport is correct and current. Having a checklist for the passport renewal process will make sure you don’t miss anything. The checklist below has several different items to check in your passport, or to see if they need to be renewed.