Is a Temporary Passport Your Best Way?

April 27, 2024

2 min. read


can you get a temporary passport

Sometimes, if the worst comes to the worst, your family member, friend, or you can get stranded abroad without a valid passport. Or you might need to visit a sick relative in another country urgently, but again you don’t have a passport.

Let’s distill to bite-sized pieces how a temporary passport can be of help in such situations and how to get one.


What is a temporary passport in the USA?

A temporary passport is an identification document that is issued for a limited-period international travel and for use in urgent circumstances. It is also called a limited validity passport that speaks for itselfa passport doesn’t have the usual 10-year validity as an average passport.

When can you get such a passport? There might be a few reasons. You might find yourself in a situation where you need to travel abroad so urgently that there is no chance you сould wait for weeks to get a regular passport.

Another stressful situation is when you are overseas and your passport is lost, stolen, damaged, or expired. That’s where the temporary US passport comes in.

Though the emergency passport is similar to an average passport for all intents and purposes (in urgent cases), make sure your destination country allows entry on emergency passports.

If you get ready for your passport application now, find Passport Photos Near Me with reliable photo-taking services or take a picture online, which is also an option for obtaining valid passport photos.

The situations where the passport agency issues an emergency travel document

If nationals currently traveling abroad have little time on their hands and can’t apply for a standard passport, these are the eligible reasons to apply for temporary passports: the document has been lost, stolen, damaged, or expired (including the cases of the traveler’s deportation from a foreign country).

If nationals at home are planning an urgent trip abroad, the eligible reasons are a family member’s illness or attending of a family member’s funeral.

How to get a temporary issued passport?

If you apply for a temporary passport abroad, you have to visit a USA embassy or consulate. That is what it usually involves if you are abroad:

  • Passport picture with white background. You can get a Staples passport photo or a 2×2 photo in a store or at a photo studio. If you’re in another country, the most convenient way is to take a photo online.
  • Filled-out required application form.
  • ID or driver’s license.
  • Proof of citizenship (e.g. photocopy of the missing passport or birth certificate).
  • Proof of your family circumstances (e.g., if a relative is ill).
  • Police report (if applicable).
  • Travel ticket.
  • Payment of the non-refundable fees.
  • Proof of parentage and/or legal guardianship (for minors).
  • Proof of custody if needed (for minors).
  • If the country of your stay has no US embassy or consulate, you need to learn which closest state has a US diplomatic representation office and travel there to apply.

Temporary passport application in the USA

If you’re in the USA, you need to apply in person at the relevant passport issuance facility. To get such a passport in a home country includes the same paperwork, but you also need to show the required documents that prove the urgent nature of your travel and travel itinerary. Please also check if the country of your destination accepts a temporary passport for entry.

How long does it take to get a temporary passport?

It should take a few working days to get the passport but it varies depending on the country you reside and the urgency of the situation. Same-day issuance is possible in life-or-death-emergency situations. A week is the most common. An embassy, consulate, or government authority will specify the time for the emergency passport issuance based on the cause.

How long is a temporary US passport valid for?

The validity of a temporary issued passport varies depending on the purpose of its issuance. Most of the time, the passport has an expiration date from a few weeks to a few months.

The key rule here is that once you return to your home country from abroad or after your urgent trip overseas and back, immigration officers will take your passport.

Temporary vs. expedited passport with a passport fee

It might cross your mind whether it’ll be a better way to rush your passport renewal with expedited processing versus applying for a temporary(emergency) passport.

If you’re still have some time before your travel, you can apply for an expedited passport. Such a quick service requires to pay an extra $60 to get the passport faster. Passport readiness depends on the current issuance times, which is usually from 1 to 4 weeks or more. If you have an urgent travel, the passport might arrive faster than an expedited passport and you don’t need to pay for the expedited fee.

Please note that you’ll need to reapply for a normal passport, once your emergency passport was used for an urgent trip.


Can I get a temporary US passport if I owe child support?

If a parent’s child support arrears reach $2500 past due, there is a risk that the government authorities will not issue a passport. You can contact the passport agency inquiring if you can get an emergency passport in your particular circumstances.

Where can I get a temporary passport?

One way is to get an emergency passport in the US by applying through a passport agency with a prior appointment. Or if you’re traveling outside the U.S., you can get a limited-validity passport abroad via embassies and consulates.