I hadn’t planned on a trip the States right away but I note that I am only about 6 months away from my passport expiring. I just got a new visa and will soon have an ARC but now I’m concerned that my passport will expire before I planned on a trip home. Does anyone know where to go to get a new passport. I live in Taipei. Thanks for any information
You need to go to AIT, the de facto U.S. embassy. It’s on Xinyi, near Jianguo (i.e. a little east of the NE corner of Da’an park).
Getting a new U.S. passport is fairly easy:
Been there. Done that. Easy to do. Just head over to AIT and go upstairs to the Citizen’s Affairs section .
AIT will send your application off to the US Consulate in Hong Kong. It takes maybe a week or so. Rush service may be available if you are willing to pay for round trip overnight FedEx (or whatever air courier they use).
The place of issue in your new passport will be Hong Kong, not Taipei.
Make sure the photo is recent. Bring along your old passport. And most importantly, bring money for the new passport (you can pay in NT$). It is not cheap but you do get a new 10 year US passport. And THAT is a good thing to have.
Actually since about a year ago, all passport renewals are processed in the US. This is because of 9/11 security enhancements and all that. Normal processing time now is 4-6 weeks. My daughter got hers in August in just less than 4 weeks through AIT.
Rush processing is available which takes 3 business days plus delivery time. You have to pay $50 expedite fee plus express delivery charges on top of the normal fees. I renewed mine last January with expedite and it took about a week.
Some issues to keep in mind: If you are not an ARC holder, you are required to have your passport with you at all times to show to law enforcement. I’ve never been asked, but AIT will (if you insist) copy your passport for the renewal, send in the application and then void your old one when you return to pick it up.
If you have a valid visa or entry permit for ROC in your old passport, it is still good. Just remember you have to have both passports with you! Show both passport when leaving and entering the country until you get a new visa or entry permit.
If you applied for or renewed your ARC with less than a year left on your passport, they will renew the ARC and entry permit through your passport expiration. When you get your new passport you can go back and get topped up to the full renewal period you paid for for no extra charge. (When I did this they also let me top up an additional three years for NT3000 even though you’re only supposed to get at most three years from the current date, and you aren’t supposed to be able to renew multi-year on joining family until after the first year. Whatever. I took them up on the mistake.) Once you get the new entry permit in the new passport, you shouldn’t need your old one anymore when leaving or entering the country.
I had my renewed at the AIT during March of 2001. They sent it off to Hawaii as the Authority was Honolulu. At the time, I almost wish they had sent me along with it
They scanned my photo and printed the image directly in the passport. Modern technology. Yuck! So make sure your photo is a quality one you can deal with for another 10 years. …hmm, but I suppose you can always say you’ve lost it and apply for a replacement…
Re-topia Revolving Clearance!
I do not like the newest US passports. They put this ugly layer over the
top that really distorts what you look like. I had trouble the first couple
times I used it as customs officers cannot see the picture clearly and
question whether it is you or not.
Also, wish that they would write out passport numbers bigger (so
you did not have to have a magnifying glass to see them.