Will the potential government shut down affect your passport application?
As the majority of experts predict, there is a pending Government shut down that could very well affect your international travel plans if you don't have a valid U.S. Passport before Friday, April 8. The government has been operating under a series of fiscal 2011 continuing resolutions for the past six months; "the budgetary equivalent of holding things together with bubble gum and bailing wire."
Beginning this Friday, April 8th at midnight, the federal government MIGHT "shut down.” Although this may not affect all parts of the government, many non-essential agencies and operations will close indefinitely until a budget resolution has been agreed upon. There isn't confirmed word from the Passport Agency that they will be shutdown, but insiders within the Passport Agency have speculated that there would only be a "skeleton staff" available for “essential and emergency” passport issuance.
To give you an idea of the extent of what a government shut down could look like for the Passport Industry; nearly 200,000 applications for passports and visas were ignored in the 1995 and 1996 shutdowns. If your passport application is already in process, it will essentially be put on a shelf until there is a budget resolution. Once the Passport Agency reopens, passport processing will likely be delayed the same number of weeks that the government was shut down.
Most up to date White House information on Government shutdown.
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