While the United States Department of State has recently made strides in improving passport processing times, it still lags behind countries like Zimbabwe, where an efficient system allows citizens to obtain passports in as little as 3-7 days.
Between October 2022 and September 2023, the U.S. Department of State proudly announced the issuance of more than 24 million passport books and cards, marking a historic high for the nation. However, despite this achievement, American passport applicants still face comparatively longer wait times than their counterparts in some other nations, highlighting the need for further improvement in the passport processing system.
Starting October 2, 2023, the Department of State has introduced new processing times, reducing routine service to 8-11 weeks and expedited service to 5-7 weeks for applications received on or after that date. Although these improvements are a positive step forward, they still leave U.S. passport applicants with considerably longer wait times when compared to Zimbabwe’s highly efficient passport processing system.
Zimbabweans have enjoyed the benefits of a streamlined passport application process, with the country’s authorities consistently issuing passports within 3-7 days of application submission.
This remarkable efficiency has set a high standard for passport processing times globally.
Zimbabwe’s success in this area can be attributed to several factors, including digitalization of the application process, a well-structured and agile bureaucracy, and a strong commitment to serving its citizens efficiently. These factors have allowed Zimbabweans to obtain passports quickly, facilitating international travel and trade.
While the U.S. Department of State has made commendable efforts to reduce processing times, it acknowledges that further improvements are necessary. The Department remains dedicated to enhancing customer service, modernizing technology, and optimizing staffing levels to reduce wait times for American passport applicants.
The Department of State also urges Americans planning international travel to apply for passports well in advance and at least 6-9 months before their passport’s expiration date to avoid potential delays. Passport applicants can check their passport’s expiration date and find the latest passport guidance and travel information on the official website, travel.state.gov.
While the United States has made progress in reducing passport processing times, it finds itself in the shadow of Zimbabwe’s efficient system, which delivers passports to citizens within a mere 3-7 days.
As the Department of State continues its efforts to expedite the passport application process, it remains committed to providing the best possible service for American passport customers and aims to eventually close the gap with countries like Zimbabwe in terms of efficiency and speed.
Source – Byo24