The Embassy of United States of America in China has decided not to add pages to American passports after 31st December, 2015. Hereafter, the holders would require applying for new documents for their journey after the expiry of the older ones. Although this was declared in china during a government holiday which is very surprising as it is a very important announcement, but consistent announcements, posts and reports from elsewhere confirmed the news. The US Embassy in japan was one of the pioneers in publishing the news.
As per the report of the US Embassy in Japan, “For cost and security reasons, the U.S. Department of State has begun phasing out the option of additional visa pages for U.S. passports. Beginning October 1, 2014, all Embassies/Consulates worldwide will issue only 52-page passport books for full-validity passports. The thinner
28-page book option is no longer available. Requests for additional visa pages will be accepted for existing passports only through December 31, 2015. Starting January 1, 2016, applicants who need extra pages will need to apply to renew their passports and be issued the standard 52-page book…”
This newly made regulation would certainly prove to be a problematic one for the US passport holders in the country. In the current regulation the time required to add a page to the old passport is a 20 minutes affair. But with the changed rules, once the passport is out of space, the entire document is to be renewed again and it is naturally a time consuming affair. The only breathing space is perhaps the fact that the new passports would all be of 52 pages instead of 28.
As such, people in China with the will to visit the US will have to, from now on, be even more frequent in renewing their passports along with the annual 10 day visa renewal and a calculation says that holders of 10 years China visa might find themselves in a situation where they will be 2 passports beyond the original holding the visa itself.