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Passport Processing Delays Persist Amidst Soaring International Travel Demand

U.S. Department of State reports an average wait time of approximately 13 weeks for passport delivery via mail.

Passport Processing Delays Persist Amidst Soaring International Travel Demand

Passport Delays Plague Travelers as International Wanderlust Peaks: As the desire for international travel reaches unprecedented levels, individuals seeking passports are grappling with extensive waiting periods. A recent study conducted by Squaremouth, a leading travel insurance marketplace, sheds light on these delays and offers valuable advice to concerned globetrotters.

Squaremouth’s comprehensive analysis examined data from thousands of international travel insurance policies, including “Cancel For Any Reason” (CFAR) coverage, purchased between January 1 and May 25, 2023. The research uncovered a remarkable trend: in May 2023, a staggering 89.4 percent of insurance policies sold through were intended for international destinations, marking the highest proportion observed this year. In addition, the rising cost of international travel further amplifies the financial impact on travelers in the event of passport-related delays.

Of significant importance is the fact that most trip cancellation policies do not offer coverage for individuals forced to cancel their trips due to passport delays, as long as the passports eventually arrive on time. However, prospective travelers can explore alternative options for travel insurance, including policies with an optional CFAR upgrade. Notably, nearly half of the insurance plans available on provide this upgrade, allowing reimbursement for various issues that typically fall outside the scope of standard coverage, such as passport-related complications.

In terms of passport processing, the year 2023 has witnessed a distinct change in traveler behavior, with individuals now planning international trips less than 19 weeks in advance. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of State reports an average wait time of approximately 13 weeks for passport delivery via mail. As the demand for passports continues to soar, experts anticipate even longer wait times in the future. Consequently, it is essential for travelers embarking on international adventures to verify the validity of their passports well in advance and take immediate action if their documents are close to expiration. Furthermore, it is crucial to note that certain destinations may require passports to remain valid for a minimum of six months beyond the scheduled trip dates.

Squaremouth’s research has revealed several significant findings, including:

  • Each month in 2023 has witnessed a consistent increase in the percentage of international trips and the overall cost of travel, signaling the approach of a bustling summer travel season. In May alone, the average cost of a trip stood at approximately $6,750.
  • Despite the growing demand for travel insurance, merely 5 percent of the policies sold on this year included the “Cancel for Any Reason” benefit, demonstrating the limited adoption of this coverage.
  • Travelers should be aware that the premium for CFAR coverage typically amounts to around 9 percent of the total insured trip costs, which have averaged $6,727 throughout this year.

With passports delays becoming a prevalent concern, travelers must remain vigilant, adapt their plans accordingly, and consider the various travel insurance options available to mitigate potential disruptions to their international journeys.