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Business Travel

How to Get a Passport for International Business Travel

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Make sure you have all your forms, applications, and identification ready when applying for a passport.

One key item in planning international travel is obtaining a US Passport. (And, as of 2009, you now need a passport for Mexico and Canada travel.) But remember–plan ahead. Getting a passport can be a fairly lengthy process, and involves compiling documents, and filling out an application.

Form DS-11

Form DS-11 is the official application for a U.S. passport, and must be filled out before a passport can be issued. The application is required for all first-time passport applicants, adults who were issued a passport before the age of 16 or have not renewed their passport for 15 years or more. The application can be filled out and submitted online through the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, or you can print it out and complete it by hand.

Proof of Citizenship

To acquire a U.S. passport, you must be a citizen of the United States and submit proof of your citizenship when you submit your application. There are several acceptable documents, including a certified U.S. birth certificate, a previously issued U.S. passport, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, a naturalization certificate, or a certificate of citizenship.


Proper identification is required. Acceptable forms of identification include a naturalization certificate, a previously issued U.S. passport, a valid driver’s license, a current government identification card, or a current military identification card. You must have the identification with you, as well as a photocopy of the front and back of your identification when you apply.

Passport Photo

Your passport will contain a photo. You can get your passport photo taken by virtually any professional photo service, but the photo must be two inches by two inches and in full color taken in front of a white background. Your head should be 25 to 35 millimeters from the bottom of your chin to the top of your head. The photo should also be no more than six months old and taken directly from the front. The Bureau of Consular Affairs offers a complete list of passport photo requirements on its website.

In a rush? There are services that will expedite your passport request. Like any rushed service you will pay a hefty fee, but for business travelers who procrastinate, it sometimes in the only option.

And keep in mind that Christopherson Business Travel has highly seasoned international agents who will ensure your international trip goes flawlessly.

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