Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Passports


Passports!
Passports are a necessity to come to Germany and if you plan to travel while stationed in Germany. When you get official orders to Germany, every person listed on the orders will get a no-fee passport. This is a government issued passport and can only be used for official travel. Which means, you can't use that passport for personal travel!! However, anytime you travel you should bring it with you!!
To get your no-fee passport you will have to provide one of these certificates, Certified U.S. Birth Certificate, Consular Birth Abroad Certificate, or Certificate of Naturalization/Citizenship. These must be Certified!! Copies of these certificates are not accepted!!! There is also paperwork that must be filled out, not too much. Just a few pages per-person. Usually everything will be done on post without fees, but sometimes you will have to go off-post for your passport photos and there will be a fee. If you do have to pay for the photos for your no-fee passports, remember that you can claim that on your taxes!! So keep your receipts. It usually takes 4-8 weeks to get your no-fee passport, so get it done early!!! You must have your no-fee passport before you leave!



If you are like me and my family and want to see as much as you can while stationed in Germany, make sure to get your travel passport! With out a travel passport you will be stuck in beautiful Germany! Even though it is beautiful you don't want to be stuck here!! You want to go and explore!! To get your travel passport, you will need to provide one of the certificates I mentioned above, or a previous passport. If you are using a previous passport it can be expired but it can not be damaged. And of course more paperwork and photo! Make sure to check out the photo requirements as they may change. Unlike the no-fee passports, there will be fees for your travel passport. It usually costs about $135 for adult passport. Passports for children are a little cheaper and will run about $110. It usually takes about 6 weeks to get your passport once you have submitted all documents needed. If you plan on getting your travel passport before you leave the United States, make sure you give yourself enough time to receive it and all of your documents back, before your PCS!! Make sure to check processing times at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports.html. If you don't have enough time, no worries!! You can apply for your passport here!!




Once you get your travel passport you can be on your way to exploring Europe!!! Make sure when traveling that you bring both passports with you. And for extra measure we always bring a copy of my husbands orders with us. Keep them in a safe place!! Never in your car!! Before you travel make sure to check out warnings that might be issued for certain countries or areas! You can find the latest, up-to-date information on travel warnings here http://www.state.gov/travel/.

Enjoy Europe and stay safe!!


~C

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