If you’re someone like me who is regularly on the road, but not always able to predict just when your next trip will be, adding pages to your passport can take a few very time consuming or expensive forms.
First you can make an appointment with the passport offices around the country. That’s great if you reside near by one or want to kill a few hours waiting in line after finally getting an appointment, having proof you have an urgent need or have an upcoming trip.
The second route is to mail your passport in. This is the most cost efficient method, but if an unexpected trip arises, then you are out of luck and at the mercy of whenever the passport is returned to you.
A third option is to use any one of the “rapid” passport services who have daily appointments around the country and pay people to be your surrogate. Here again, you’re sending off your passport and hoping that nothing delays the overnight courier service.
But the best option, and least time consuming is to have your passport updated outside the country. That’s right, out of the country. Part of the services the USA Embassy and Consular office provide is an array of services to citizens abroad. And, helping out with things like passport renewal, replacement of a lost passport or even something as simple as adding a few more pages is done overnight.
First, there are no lines. No waiting. Second, since they know you’re in need of the passport, the degree of professionalism demonstrated is something we don’t usually expect. My updated passport is proof of that. Realizing on this trip I was running out of squares, and knowing I already have another trip on the calendar in October, I quickly checked the availability of a consular operations office in Vienna. After a quick email, that was replied to overnight, I learned any morning I could bring my passport by, fill out a form, and have it back the next day. To put it simply, the ten minute walk from my hotel both days, or a total of forty minutes was eight times longer than my time spent inside the consulate. The form took the most time, about three minutes, and after handing the passport over, I was told, simply come back tomorrow.
Well today, I went back to the Vienna Embassy/Consular office, and within minutes I had my passport back in my hands, complete with the official acknowledgement and the new pages, and lots of empty squares.
Given it took less than three years to fill up the passport, I’m going to see just how fast I can fill it up again. Using IRIS in the UK helps delay the rapid filling up, as you breeze through the UK Immigration at the major airports in a blink of the eye, so for someone who hates waiting in lines the combination of getting your passport renewed overseas and the fast track immigration friend named IRIS, makes things very easy for all.