State Department proposes fee hike for US Passport
United States, 28th February: Planning for a trip abroad? Hurry up and get your passport made or renewed now or you will need to shell out more for your US passport for visiting or immigrating to the US.
The US State Department is planning a major increase in the US passport application fees under the new proposed rules. If applicable, all prospective applicants aspiring US immigration or visiting US will need to pay $135 as their US passport fees from the present fee of $100.
Moreover, the passport renewal fee is also expected to increase to $110, which, at present, is $75.
The mind-boggling proposed US passport fee hike is being defended by the US State Department. Deputy assistant secretary of State for passport affairs, Brenda Sprague, said the proposed fee-hike for US passport is justified since the costs have been increasing in the recent times.
Also, the latest high-tech features to be added in the US passports, in accordance with the growing public demand, will make them more expensive. Sprague said that, now, the US department will introduce 28 facilities for US passports as against only 13 facilities five years back. A new fee of $82 will be charged for addition of extra visa pages to US passport books; till now, this service had been totally free of charge.
Meanwhile, the proposals for the US passport fee hike are receiving severe criticism from many including Representative Chris Lee
(R-N.Y.). Lee called such proposals as wholly irresponsible especially when the economy of the US is passing through tough times. If
such increases are implemented in the US passport fee, then a family of four will be required to pay approximately $500 towards US
passport fee-- $105 each for each child aged below 16 years and $135 for each adult, Lee added.
The US State Department reiterated its proposed hike in US passport fee as wholly fair and stated that the fee hike is needed for processing of applications, aiding US Citizens and providing border security.