Published May 26, 2021 12:59 PM IST
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Chaim V’Chessed has worked hand in hand with Amudim, headed by the unparalleled Rabbi Zvi Gluck. Rabbi Gluck is a longtime leader on issues related to international travel and governmental relations.
A particular area of concern has been the difficulty of US citizens in Israel to obtain or renew US passports or Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. This difficulty is related to a worldwide slowdown in the issuance of US passports, which can frequently affect travel plans, health insurance and other areas. Corona restrictions, which limited the number of people allowed indoors, further exacerbated this situation.
At this time, it remains extremely difficult to obtain appointments for the US Embassy or Tel Aviv Branch Office. This has caused considerable grief to US citizens seeking to renew or obtain new passports, register newborns and more. We continue to interface with officials in an attempt to improve this situation.
We suggest that those who have expiring passports that can still be used for travel and have valid visas for return, do their renewals in America, a significantly easier process.
Renewals of passports issued when the passport holder was 16 or older can, and must, be done by mail. The average turnaround time is four to five weeks. Those who need their passports in a shorter time frame should include a note with their application indicating their travel dates, along with a request for an emergency one-year passport.
Please note that the consulate will not grant in-person appointments for anyone who is eligible to renew their passports by mail.
Travel With Expired Passports
A new development this week was the announcement that, effective immediately, under many circumstances, US citizens will be permitted to travel using expired US passports. See updated details of this new rule here.
This will greatly ease the ability of Americans with recently expired passports to travel. At the same time, this leniency will alleviate some of the pressure for appointments on the embassy which will benefit all applicants.
Urgent First-Time Passports and Children’s Renewals
If you need a passport urgently, either for urgent upcoming travel or for visa purposes, you can email either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, to request an emergency appointment. The subject line should include the word URGENT and the reason for your request e.g. “Urgently need a passport for emergency travel” or “urgently need passport for visa and insurance purposes”. Include the details (names, birthdays and passport numbers) of all family members that will be attending the appointment, and attach all relevant documentation (expired visas, parents’ passports and visas, child’s birth certificate, form DS-2029 and/ or paid ticket and proof relating to the urgency of your travel etc).