The Hardest Appointment to Get in New York

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The Hardest Appointment to Get in New York

New Yorkers looking for visas have had difficulty securing appointments at the passport agency, with travelers waiting in line for hours and exchanging tips via social media much like they did for COVID-19 vaccine slots this winter. Jesse Hansen of Brooklyn stood outside the agency Thursday morning as he desperately awaited an appointment; “we need it so we can visit my grandkids next weekend; otherwise we won’t make it!” If they do not secure one soon they won’t make it.

Federal agency officials have limited in-person appointments to individuals traveling due to life or death emergencies (serious illness, injury or death of an immediate family member) or renewing passports issued when they were under 16 or issued more than 15 years ago. Travelers meeting these criteria should call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment at one of its regional passport agencies or facilities.

As well as government websites for each state and region, there are also private passport-acceptance agencies such as Bleeker Digital Solutions Professional Photo Lab, U.S. Passport Agency Express and FedEx Office Ship & Print Center that accept passport applications – although their services and shipping can be more costly.

Post Offices offer applications for first-time passport applications and most can take your photo. Renewal applications must also meet certain criteria; to do this you may mail your passport application or submit it at an accepted Post Office location. For more information regarding passport requirements including how and fees please visit the government’s website.