French authorities are concerned that a country-wide transit strike will wreak havoc on the country’s transportation infrastructure this week. See this article in the Herald Tribune .
The Department of State issued this press release today regarding passports and passport processing time. If you plan to travel abroad next spring and do not yet have your passport APPLY NOW.
Here is the text of the document from the Department of State
In January 2007, the air phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative came into effect. Americans complied in record-breaking unanticipated numbers, and our delivery system was unable to guarantee the same level of service we previously had maintained. In order to process the extraordinary demand, the State Department temporarily detailed close to 500 additional employees to the effort and simultaneously began a robust hiring program. Four hundred new employees have come on board since last May, and we are committed to continue to hire staff as needed.
Passport applications are currently taking between four and six weeks for routine service, and three weeks for expedited service. Fall is traditionally our low demand season, so we urge prospective applicants to apply now. January historically marks the beginning of our busy season, and demand may cause us to amend our website to reflect a possibly longer processing time. Readers are urged to check http://travel.state.gov (TSG) regularly, or apply now if contemplating international travel.
Should you have additional questions after visiting TSG, please contact the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778).
PASSPORT FACTS: WHAT YOU NEED TO TRAVEL
All persons traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean region are now required to present one of the following documents to enter or re-enter the United States:
· A valid passport;
· DHS-issued (SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST); OR
· A U.S. Coast Guard Mariner Document.
For U.S. Armed Forces on active duty, traveling on official orders, no passport is required.
See http://travel.state.gov for full details.
Further information on port of entry procedures and requirements is available www.dhs.gov.
Get Your Passport NOW!
· If planning or even considering international trips, don’t wait – apply for a passport NOW!
· Historically, we receive fewer passport applications during the fall – making it the best time to apply.
· We are currently processing routine applications within four to six weeks.
For the latest information on obtaining a U.S. passport, we urge you to regularly visit our web site: http://travel.state.gov