How to renew a passport: All you must know before traveling

by Pilar Dujan | August 3, 2023
A passport with its important pages

One of the main requisites for international travel is having a valid passport. Here we will go over the renewal process, extremely important if we’re traveling to a country that requires its visitors to have an approved travel visa before arriving.

How do I renew my passport? A step-by-step guide

The passport renewal process tends to be similar in most countries. 

The first thing to do when trying to figure out how to renew a passport is learn about the requirements. You will need to have with you the passport you want to renew, a personal photograph and every piece of documentation the embassy or agency in charge of the visa application is demanding. 

The second step is to fill out the passport renewal application. Read everything carefully to avoid making any mistakes or leaving incomplete information in the form. 

Now send in your application (don’t forget to add all necessary documents), pay the attached fee and just wait for your application to be processed and for your passport to be done.

Depending on your nationality, you might be able to renew your passport online or by mail. If that’s not the case for you, the answer to “how to renew a passport” will be in person.

How long does it take to renew a passport approximately?

The answer to this question will depend on your nationality, it can range from a few days to several weeks. 

To renew a passport, you should first contact the agency or embassy in charge of the passport renewal to gather all available information about the process and its duration. 

Some countries have the option of expedited passport renewal for an extra fee. You will receive your new passport within a few days. 

Passport and camera on top of a map

Discovering when to renew a passport

If you need to know when to renew a passport because of a looming international trip, the first thing you should do is to go over the requirements of entry to your destination of choice. Some countries demand their visitors to have an approved visa before traveling. 

When a visa is required, to apply you usually need to have a current passport with a validity of at least 6 months from the beginning of the trip. Some countries ask for more months and some don’t even have the requirement, so that’s why you should look for that information while planning a trip or renewing a passport. 

The best thing you can do is to start the application process at least six months before it expires (or earlier if possible). The more anticipation, the less likely a delay or mistake will upset your plans. 

Should I apply for a travel visa if my passport is about to expire?

You have the possibility of applying for a visa if your passport is about to expire. However, some countries demand that your passport is valid for a certain amount of time to approve a travel visa, usually 6 months.

The safest choice would be to renew your passport before applying for the visa or risk it being denied and having to start the process again (which includes paying the fees again). 

On top of that, even if your passport has the 6 months of validity usually required, it’s important to note that your visa is attached to your passport and passport number. If you lose or break your passport or it expires, you will also lose your visa.

How can I renew an expired passport?

The process to renew an expired passport is pretty much the same as that of a current one. You are most likely going to be asked for your expired passport, a complete application form, two passport-sized photographs and proof of identification

Ask your country’s entity in charge of passport renewal for the full requirements.