Jul 6 2007
Department of State Increases the Amount of Workers Processing Passport Applications
The Department of State (DOS) this week requested 200 additional workers for their Louisiana and New Hampshire locations. These employees, who will be shifted from other positions with DOS, will help process the giant backlog of passport applications, say officials. This need for additional workers was fueled by recent legislation that requires U.S. citizens flying to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean to have passports to return to the U.S.
This new law, which went into effect this January, has caused an increase in the number of passport applications. It is expected that there will be 18 million total passport requests in 2007; last year, that number totaled about 12 million.
DOS published information in early June, informing the public that they had a backlog of 500,000 passport applications. DOS eased restrictions since June, allowing U.S. citizens flying in the Western Hemisphere to use government-issued identification and proof from DOS that they have applied for passports to re-enter the nation.