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How strict are US passport agencies about the 4 week limit appointment limit?

I'm a US student traveling to Austria for study abroad in 5 weeks and need a new US passport as well as an Austrian visa D, and the Austrian consulate says it takes up to 3 weeks to process visa requests. I need to have my new US passport issued before I can apply for my visa, so in order to get my visa in time I need my passport as soon as possible.

However, the US passport agency scheduling system is very strict regarding when you can come for an appointment. You are not allowed to make an appointment for an expedited passport outside of 4 weeks of your date of travel (probably to prevent non-emergency cases from clogging their system.) I called the passport hotline and the woman literally wouldn't allow me to schedule an appointment outside of 4 weeks despite my pleading. I'm currently 5 weeks away from my date of travel, and waiting another week so that I fall inside the 4 week travel deadline really doesn't seem safe considering I have to wait up to 3 weeks to get my passport and another 3 weeks to get my visa. I don't want to press my luck here.

Even though the woman wouldn't schedule me, I was able to go online and get an appointment at a passport agency for this Tuesday (still 5 weeks out from my travel).

If I go on tuesday and explain to them that the austrian consulate takes longer than usual to issue visas (3 weeks seems pretty long given some of the stuff I've read) and that I need my passport expidited to account for that, will they make an exception and grant the passport even though my flight more than 4 weeks away?

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    It's unclear what you're asking. What does "US passport agencies" have to do with the Austrian consulate? – RoboKaren Jul 14 '17 at 14:47
  • @RoboKaren in order for the consulate to grant a visa I first need to get a us passport, so I need the passport agency to issue my passport in time to sent to the austrian consulate to grant my visa. I'm wondering if the passport agency will take my appointment outside of their timeframe so I can get my new passport to the consulate before I go – Dan Ruswick TT Jul 14 '17 at 14:59
  • @choster yes it is at a passport agency but the US state dept website says passport agencies will only service you if you are traveling within 4 weeks (which I am not). But you are saying they will take me anyway? – Dan Ruswick TT Jul 14 '17 at 15:01
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    I know this is no help to you now, but for future readers, if you spend thousands of dollars and considerable effort setting up a course of study in a foreign country, don't wait until the last few weeks to apply for a passport. – DJClayworth Jul 14 '17 at 15:20
  • When you talked to the passport agency, what did they say would happen at your appointment? Did they say they would process your passport on the spot, or was a different timetable given? – DJClayworth Jul 14 '17 at 15:28
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The simplest solution is to simply buy a fully refundable (or cheap enough) flight for a date that's less than 4 weeks away, show it to the passport agency, and then proceed to cancel it. That way you would avoid any issues.

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