In order to come into the United States for a visit
or to travel, there is a passport needed to enter the
US. Even if you plan to obtain a work visa, student visa,
or any other kind of the temporary or permanent visa,
there is a passport needed to enter the US from any other
countries. Until recently, some nearby countries such
as Canada and Mexico did not have a passport needed to enter the US, but current
law does require that you have a passport.
If you are a citizen of the United States planning to leave the country for any reason, you will need to get a United States passport. To apply for a United States passport for the first time, you will need to visit one of the many United States passport offices in person. If you are renewing your United States passport, it is possible to renew your passport through the mail, and in fact this tends to be the most popular way to renew a passport.
To apply for your passport for the first time, you will need to first fill out the application for United States passports. The application for United States passports must also be accompanied by your proof of citizenship. Proof of United States citizenship can indlude your birth certificate, papers of citizenship if you were not born in the United States, or a Letter of No Record if for some reason you do not have a birth certificate. If you bring a Letter of No Record, you will also want to bring along as much documentation as you possibly can to show citizenship, including early school records or any family record information you may have.
Your application for United States passport must also be accompanied by a 2x2 full color passport photo. If you are renewing your passport via mail, you will also need to send in new photos along with your old passport.
Families traveling with children must get a passport for everyone in the family, including newborns and infants. For minors, parent or legal guardian signatures will be required to get a passport for children. Be sure to leave plenty of time to get your passport back in the mail, since it generally takes about six weeks to process a passport application. Although it is possible to get an expedited passport, this will still take two weeks and will cost additional fees.