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I also tell people to register their trip with the U.S. State Department (at You leave emergency contact information … Also, when you fill out forms for your passport, line 17 is your emergency contact. Leave several different …
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How to Get Your U.S. Passport in a Hurry

The U.S. Department of State Passport Services recently increased the waiting period for passport processing causing chaos e frustration for would-be travelers. Routine passport processing which, for many years, took only six weeks to complete now requires up to 10 weeks or more. Expedited services can take up to four weeks instead of the usual two.

The increase in processing times is a response to a 44% increase in passport applications. Two factors have contributed to the greater demand. One, the months of February through April are usually high-volume months due to the fact that travelers are preparing for both Spring break and summer vacations.

Two, a new law that went into effect January 23 of this year requires all persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda to present a valid passport, Air NEXUS card, or U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document, or an Alien Registration Card, Form I-551, if applicable.

Many travelers who were unaware of the increased demand applied for a passport thinking they would receive it within a few weeks. They then found themselves desperately seeking a way to get their passport in time for their scheduled trip. Following are just a few of the numerous messages U.S. Passport Service Guide has recently received.

The National Passport Information Service has representatives available from 7:00 am to 12 midnight. However, you have about as much a chance to get through as you do winning the lottery. Following are just a few of the numerous requests from desperate individuals seeking assistance to get their passports on time.

“Are you able to expedite a passport application that is already being processed? Filed for passports for my wife and me first week in January for March 18 trip.

Now told they will not be ready until March 27, well after our departure date. Please advise.”

“I need to know the status of three passports for my children. We are leaving the country in two weeks and I thought we would have their new passports by now. Please advise.”

“My application has been processed, but will arrive too late for my trip. Can I expedite the process before 3/16? I cannot get through [to National Passport Information Service] by phone or e-mail to save my life.”

“My family and I applied for passports in January and when we went online to find out the status they said they would be sent on or about March 28th. We our leaving on our vacation on March 29th. We need our passports to travel. We are leaving in 2 weeks!!! Please direct me to the right person to speak to. I’ve tried calling the National service but can’t get through because of the large volume of calls.”

Travelers who are able to get through to the National Passport Information Service and set up an appointment as a regional passport agency found themselves facing extremely long and chaotic lines.

An efficient, although costly, alternative is to contract a private passport and visa expediter. Expediting services have a special relationship with the U.S. State Department that allow them to hand deliver applications and pick up prepared passports for their clients in 10 days or less. Fees start at about $ 59 and can reach $ 169 for same day service. This does not include fees charged by the U.S. government nor overnight delivery.

While the cost of passport expediting through a private service may be expensive, it can mean the difference between actually receiving your passport before your departure date and having to cancel your trip.

Visit U.S. Passport Service Guide for more information about applying for an emergency passport or read our reviews of private passport expediters


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“I hate Dublin so much, I’m off to prison says fugitive”
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From the front page of the 11 July 2007 Metro:

A polish fugitive on the run from the US authorities yesterday handed himself in because he would rather face jail than continue living in Dublin.

Dariuz Baranski surrendered to the American Embassy in Ballsbridge after six months on the run.

The 26-year-old has been wanted by US authorities since January, when he fled the country while out on bail.

Baranski faced up to 12 months in prison for his role in a scam which involved sham marriages between Polish women and US Navy personnel.

While serving as a petty officer aboard the USS Simpson, he arranged marriages that guaranteed the women US citizenship and the sailors additional government benefits.

He earned up to €4,500 each time for himself. But the whole operation was blown when two of the women he had arranged marriages for tried to cut in and start making money for themselves.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Services charged him with aiding and abetting entry into marriage for the purpose of evading immigration laws, and stripped him of his US passport.

However, Baranski used his Polish passport to flee the country before his sentencing on January 31, and decided to hide out in the country all his Polish friends were heading for — Ireland.

But he said he soon found life as a Pole in Dublin was not much better than a stint in a US state penitentiary.

He found employment through the same route many of his country men did, with a foreign worker agency.

‘It’s f***ing hell. They try to rip you off,’ he said. ‘The Polish people don’t know the language, they’re not confident, and they’ll work for €8 an hour.

‘The [the agencies] get paid €14 an hour, and pay us the minimum wage. It’s easy for the companies because they don’t have to worry about contracts or unions or anything like that, plus they can get rid of you whenever they want,’ he added.

Baranski ended up in a two-bedroom apartment on Thomas Street, Dublin, with six other people.

He now faces two years in custody, thanks to the extra charge of fleeing the US while out on bail.

He added: ‘I prefer living in the United States and, if that’s what it costs to go back and do the time in jail, then life goes on.’

He will be sent to the US on Friday.

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