Option to add passport pages to be eliminated Jan. 1

20 Nov 15

UNITED STATES

Under a rule that takes effect Jan. 1, U.S. passport holders will no longer have the option of adding extra pages to their passports.

Currently, American citizens can apply for either a 28-page or 52-page standard passport and then request to add visa pages to them while they are still valid if passport holders need more pages for visa stamps.

To accommodate frequent travelers, the State Department began issuing the larger 52-page passports in October 2014 to all overseas applicants at no extra cost, while Americans applying domestically can request the larger passports on the application form at no extra cost.

The rule was proposed in May and was published in the Federal Register today. The primary reason for eliminating visa page inserts is to protect the integrity of the Next Generation Passport books, which will roll out in 2016.

BAL Analysis: U.S. passport holders who expect to need extra pages should apply before the rule change or apply for a new passport containing 52 pages ahead of travel plans. Some U.S. passport agencies have already begun asking travelers to request new passports instead of processing requests to add additional passport pages, and some of the agencies may require new passport applications in lieu of adding additional pages. Travelers with existing visas who obtain a new passport may be required to apply for a new visa, depending on the policies of the individual country. Travelers should plan accordingly.

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