I applied on February 11th at an acceptance facility. In approximately April, a received a letter from the Department of State asking for more info, which I promptly provided within 2 weeks, and info which was confirmed delivered by me (via tracking number) to the Department of State on April 13th -- almost 3 weeks ago. My status on the site says, "It is being processed." It has said this since the beginning and will not change. I contacted the Department, and this woman with a horrible attitude just basically summed everything down to, "It's at their discretion, and there's nothing more I can tell you regarding your status." This was over a week ago.

I emailed them and they tell me to call them -- I call them and they tell me they can't do anything or tell me anything other than what the site says, so it's a waste of time for both parties here. The person in the email also stated that the, "Site is having problems." I'm not too confident in that, but anyways...

What can I or should I do at this point? It's been well too long and they've left me without any closure.

I've looked around and heard that I could contact local congress to help me, but what could they do that I couldn't by inquiring information? I question whether such a thing would be helpful and how.

Maybe someone else has been in this dreaded position and can give some tips or options to me.

Note: this is not a renewal, but a first time passport.

  • 4
    It is true that your congressional representative can't do much more than you can in terms of getting information, but representatives have somewhat more clout and are more likely to get a faster response. It has certainly worked that way for me in the past, though not with a passport application. Representatives have staff members who deal with these sorts of requests as a matter of course, and they are also far more likely to have direct contact with people who are actually helpful; in your case you'll randomly be served by someone who may be less helpful, as you noticed.
    – phoog
    May 2, 2016 at 20:08
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    The State Department is currently quoting a six week turnaround time for passports. It's only been three weeks since they got the additional information. I'm not sure what you want to happen here exactly. They have to take some amount of time to process it, and they don't really have any status to give you besides "please wait." If eventually the wait becomes too long or you need your passport sooner, you can contact your congressional representative for help. They help with this stuff all the time. May 2, 2016 at 20:41
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    Here's how it could be related: applications with your particular circumstances may be processed by a specific office with a heavier backlog. My point is not about the relationship between your circumstances and the processing time, but rather about that between your circumstances and the steps you should take to follow up. It seems to me that you could have called your representative in the time it's taken you to type these comments; I don't think they'd need a release form or anything, but if they do, what does it matter? It will add less time to the process than this conversation has.
    – phoog
    May 2, 2016 at 21:45
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    @SeyCharl, this is expected to be a busy year for renewals so they may be slow. Note that the link provided above about processing times says "As of Tuesday, May 3, 2016, we are processing routine applications in approximately 6 weeks from the time of application". If they asked for additional documentation your application was not "routine", so it will take longer. I'd wait a few more weeks, if you can, before getting too upset.
    – user38879
    May 3, 2016 at 17:27
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    Okay, the Department has finally stated that it's been mailed to me now. I guess I was a little impatient. Thanks for your time everybody!
    – Sey Charl
    May 7, 2016 at 5:18

1 Answer 1


Processing time for routine applications are "approximately six weeks" according to the website of the U.S. Department of State:

As of Monday, June 20, 2016, we are processing routine applications in approximately 6 weeks from the time of application.

This is up from 4 weeks in 2015.

In your case the time from 11 February to sometime in the beginning of April corresponds roughly to those six weeks of processing time, i.e. it took them that long to look to it. Since you needed to send additional info (arriving on their desks on April 14), it seems your case took to another round of waiting for processing, which, as you state in your final comment, lasted roughly another 3 weeks until 7 May.
I'm afraid that this is how public institutions work and especially since there was no time-pressure about upcoming travels to your case.

In case you do need the passport urgently, expedited procedures are described on the same website.

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