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Ask the Consul

I’m an American Citizen, why can’t I just walk into the Embassy and get a passport?

June 20, 2011

The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo is one of the busiest passport processing posts in the Western Hemisphere. Currently, there are about 100,000 US citizens living in the Dominican Republic and an estimated two million Americans who visit every year.  Our passport services are often in demand, especially during peak travel times such as the summer and Christmas.

United States law requires that all U.S. citizens, including dual nationals enter and depart the United States on a U.S. passport. In order to efficiently process passport applications in Santo Domingo, the American Citizen Services unit has an on-line system to request passport appointments.  You can quickly request an appointment through our website at santodomingo.usembassy.gov under the tab for American Citizens and passports.  Use the Passport Wizard on our website to complete a passport application online that prints out automatically on the correct form. Completing your application form on the Passport Wizard will also help us move you through the line more quickly because we can scan a barcode to get all your information to the interviewing consular officer instantly. You can also access Passport Wizard at www.travel.state.gov and follow the link for passports.

We encourage U.S. citizens to apply for a passport before the intended date of travel or the expiration of the current passport.  In general, it takes about 3 weeks to get a new passport once  a U.S. consular officer has approved your application. In some limited emergency situations, a temporary passport can be issued for more immediate travel.  On our website, you will find detailed instructions for requesting a passport appointment. There are also instructions for requesting an emergency appointment.

Applicants should bear in mind that emergency appointment requests must be fully justified, that all the information requested must be provided by e-mail or fax, and that we will respond only to emergency appointment requests that are approved.