International Moving Guide: What You Need to Know About Passports


If there is one thing you must have when moving internationally, it is your passport. Make sure that you and your family have up-to-date passports well in advance of your departure date. It generally takes six to eight weeks to get a new passport, so waiting until the last minute is not an option. When you travel you should never pack your passport. Always have it handy so you can get hold of it easily. The same goes for your driving license, checkbook, and airline tickets.

The Department of State issues your passport but they are usually processed through the Post Office or local county council. You can also pick up applications at the American Automobile Association.

The following will be required when applying for a passport:
  • US passport or proof of citizenship
  • Picture ID (such as Driver’s License)
  • 2 identical passport size photos
  • The completed application
  • The fee

There are certain instances in which you must apply in person:
  • If you are obtaining a passport for the first time
  • If your last passport was issued more than 15 years ago
  • If you were under 16 when your last passport was issued
  • If your passport was lost of stolen

If your passport is lost or stolen outside the US then you should contact the local US Embassy. If your passport is lost or stolen inside the US then contact:

Passport Services
1425 K Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20524

a new country is going to bring plenty of surprises in the form of new laws, geography, and way of life. Your transition will be much smoother and more enjoyable with a solid understanding of the new language.