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October 31, 2011

Applying for a U.S. Passport from Outside the United States

Applying for a U.S. passport while outside the United States is a different process from applying for a U.S. passport while inside the United States. Although the application forms, supporting documentation, fees and finished products are the same everywhere, each U.S. embassy and consulate has different procedures for submitting and processing your final documents. Listed below is information you should know when applying for a U.S. passport while outside the United States.

Application Forms

If you are applying from outside of the United States, DO NOT follow the submission instructions included within the application form, which are intended for people applying from within the United States. The same application forms are used whether you are inside or outside the U.S., though the process for submitting the form will be different. To apply for a U.S. passport at U.S. Embassy Sarajevo please make an appointment online. Please visit Travel.State.Gov - Passport Forms to find and download the application form(s) you need.

Supporting Documents

Give supporting documents-- verifying your citizenship and identity-- to your local consulate or embassy along with your application form. The required supporting documentation varies based on the application form used, so consult your form for more details.


The photo you submit for your application must meet all U.S. passport photo requirements. Be aware that photo requirements for a U.S. Passport may vary from passport photo requirements of other countries. Please visit Travel.State.Gov - Passport Photo Requirements for a full list of passport photo requirements.


While the specific fees for services are the same, local embassies and consulates can only accept your payment via cash in U.S. or local currency. U.S. Embassy Sarajevo takes U.S. credit cards. Unlike Acceptance Facilities located in the United States, they cannot accept personal checks. You cannot send cash by mail. Please visit Travel.State.Gov - Passport Fees for a full list of fees.


Expedited processing is not available for passports when you apply from outside the United States. All passports requested from overseas are printed in the U.S. and sent to your embassy or consulate. In an emergency, embassies or consulates can issue limited validity passports.

Consular Alert

  • Elimination of Visa Page Inserts in U.S. Passports

    Effective January 1, 2016, the Department will eliminate the consular service of supplemental 24-page Visa Page Inserts (VPIs) for passports. Requests for VPIs on Form DS-4085 will only be accepted for current (legacy) passports until December 31, 2015.

    The determination to eliminate the visa page insert service was made to enhance the security of the passport and to abide by international passport standards.

    As of October 2014, 52-page passport books are issued to all applicants applying at overseas posts at no extra cost.  This policy aims to lessen the burden that may be placed on frequent travelers who need more pages and those customers who may need to update residence permits or foreign entry/exit visas to comply with foreign country immigration practices.

    Renew your passport early to make sure you have enough blank pages for visa stamps from other countries. Some require two blank pages for entry and exit. Please see for more information on foreign entry, exit, and visa requirements.