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Obtaining Passports Before Arriving in Germany

A Guide for PCS Families in the Kaiserslautern Military Community

Relocating to a new country can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially for military families who are frequently on the move. One of the most important tasks before moving to Germany is obtaining a passport. This blog post will guide PCS families in the Kaiserslautern Military Community on how to obtain their passports before arriving in Germany.

1. Timing is Key

Getting your passport in a timely manner before your move to Germany is crucial. U.S. citizens need a valid passport to enter and exit Germany, and processing times can vary depending on demand. It’s recommended to apply for your passport at least three months before your planned arrival date in Germany.

2. Eligibility Requirements

To obtain a U.S. passport, you must be a U.S. citizen and meet certain age requirements. If you are under the age of 16, both parents or legal guardians must consent to the issuance of the passport.

3. Documentation Required

When applying for a U.S. passport, you’ll need to provide several types of documentation, including a completed application form, your birth certificate, a government-issued photo ID, and two passport photos.

4. Application Process

The process of applying for a U.S. passport is straightforward and involves several steps. First, fill out the application form and pay the fee. Next, submit the required documentation along with your application and photos to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

5. Expedited Services

If you need your passport sooner, you can choose an expedited service option. You can either use a private expediter or apply through a regional agency. Keep in mind that expedited services come with additional fees and may have specific requirements.

6. Fees

The cost of a standard U.S. passport is $110, and expedited services range from $60 to $170, depending on the level of service selected. There may also be additional fees for services such as overnight shipping.

7. Processing time

The processing time for a U.S. passport depends on the type of service selected and the current demand. It typically takes four to six weeks for standard processing, while expedited services take two to three weeks.

8. Children’s Passports

If you have children, you’ll need to obtain passports for them as well. Children under the age of 16 need to have both parents’ consent, and they must appear in person with the parents when applying for their passport.

9. Renewing a Passport

If your passport is expiring soon or has already expired, you’ll need to renew it before you arrive in Germany. The process of renewing a U.S. passport is similar to applying for a new one, and it requires the same documentation and fees.

In conclusion, obtaining your passport before arriving in Germany is an essential step for PCS families in the Kaiserslautern Military Community. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free process.”