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Saturday, July 24, 2010

US Passport Renewal

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of visiting the US Embassy in Buenos Aires for the first time.  We just received notice that we need to begin the process of renewing our resident visas, and the first step of that process is to make sure that our passports are valid for at least the next year.  My passport passed this test, Jon's however, did not.  Thus, we needed to go through the exercise of renewing a US passport in Argentina (although I think these are the same steps for any foreign country with an Embassy).  Here's how:
  • Check with the US Department of State website to see if you are able to apply by mail or if an appointment with the Embassy is required for your passport renewal.  This website nicely lays out the information needed to apply for a passport renewal.
  • If you are eligible to apply by mail, you have the option of actually applying by mail or physically bringing the information to the Embassy.  We opted to apply in person, which does not require an appointment. 
There were a couple things not covered by the website with regard to applying in person.
  1. If you are applying for another person (ie - me for Jon) be sure to bring your US Government issued ID (passport, license, etc).
  2. The renewal fee (currently US$110.00) can be paid by cash or credit card.  The DHL delivery fee that you prepay to have the original and newly issue passports returned to you must be paid in local currency cash.  
The US Embassy is located in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Av. Colombia 4300 (54-11) 5777-4533 and though it's not the prettiest embassy in the city (on the contrary, it's probably the least attractive), it is certainly a secure facility.  Getting in is similar to getting on an airplane, no electronics, no liquids and everything goes through a metal detector.  After giving away my electronics and showing my ID, the nice officers at the embassy showed me exactly where to go, Window 15.  

The waiting room was packed with people waiting for a total of 18 windows.  I waited for 15-20 minutes before my number was called up to the DMV style window, where I turned in our papers, waited in line at another window to pay the processing fee, then returned to the first window to turn in my receipt.  I was then directed to an outdoor DHL window where I waited to pay for the delivery of the passports to our apartment.  All in all, the process took about an hour, not too bad considering the number of people in the waiting room.  According to the nice embassy people, we should have Jon's new passport delivered to our apartment within 10 calendar days. 


  1. Dawn, thanks for sharing about your experience in the US Embassy in Buenos Aires. This was very informative for anyone looking to renew a passport while overseas.

    10 days seems like a pretty quick delivery! Please keep us updated when they arrive :)

    I wish you and Jon the best in your "new chapter" of life.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience with us for your US passport Renewal. By the way, for Filipinos applying for passport renewal visit: Sure Visa Manila.