American travelers still contemplating travel to Greece– or anywhere abroad– this summer need to have a current passport that isn’t expiring any time soon.
The U.S. Department of State has announced that it is not processing regular passport applications and has encouraged people to wait for the resumption of “normal operations,” blaming the Covid-19 pandemic for “extremely limited U.S. passport operations” and announcing that they will only process “life or death” applications.
According to the State Department website, “If you apply or renew now, you will experience significant delays of several months to receive your U.S. passport and the return of your citizenship evidence documents.”
The announcement continued that “Unless you have a life-or-death emergency, please wait until we resume normal operations to apply for or renew your passport.”
According to the new rules, only verified emergencies will be handled and expedited service for any other reason is no longer being honored.
Life-or-death emergencies that will one considered for new or renewed passport expediting are “serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family that require you to travel outside the United States.
U.S. passport holders are allowed to travel to Greece and to all other members of the Schengen Area for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa, as long as the carrier’s U.S. passport is valid for at least 3 months after the return to the United States.
The full announcement on the State Department website is here.
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