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Renewing a US Passport

 
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Demonietto



Joined: 19 Apr 2013
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:20 am    Post subject: Renewing a US Passport Reply with quote

Hi everybody,
Is it difficult to renew a US passport here in HCMC? I found a post about someone shipping theirs off to Hong Kong, but I'm not even sure if that was a US passport. Mine expires next November and is completely full, so I figured I would just renew instead of add pages. I want to do it before my work permit is ready, too, some everything can just go in the new one. I was hoping to do it in Chiang Mai as I've read that it is pretty simple and quick there, but I think it wil have to be done here. Thanks for any stories or info you can share!
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:03 am    Post subject: according to the website Reply with quote

according to their site, you just download and print the form (for faster service) and show up, no appointment needed. They only take USD, but they do take credit cards. This is the consulate in HCMC, not the embassy in HN. I may be doing mine next week, I can post my experiences then. From everything I have seen and read, I would not recommend leaving the country to do this, as I do not see what the improvement would be. Yeah, it is like 80 bucks to add pages, but am not certain you can get a new passport that far in advance. Do you mean this November, or November 2014? I emailed them once about some passport question and they did not even respond. Seems like they do not really give personal service, but when you show up and follow their process, they do seem to knock you out. They did when I had to add pages a while back. You do have to sit around waiting a while. And it feels like entering prison. It is way overkill on their security deal, I found that off putting.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 326

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UK passports have to go to HONG KONG - so that is where your confusion stems from.

It is nerve wracking but straightforward - if rather extortionate. Simple stuff is annoying like they don't email you the tracking information for the courier so it arrives without warning and there is no free helpline - you have to pay for the call and you have to pay a charge to call them!

But I did mine lately and it worked fine with no glitches. With luck that'll be it for another decade.
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Demonietto



Joined: 19 Apr 2013
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:32 am    Post subject: Re: according to the website Reply with quote

mark_in_saigon wrote:
This is the consulate in HCMC, not the embassy in HN. I may be doing mine next week, I can post my experiences then.

Thanks, I would love to hear how it goes. Total turnaround time would be great. I do mean Nov 2014, but all the different country visa applications say a passport with at least 6 months 'til expiration, so I figured I would just get it done instead of paying $80+ for some pages that will last only a year. I am pretty much full so I might need to get pages anyways, we'll see.

Quote:
UK passports have to go to HONG KONG

That makes sense now.
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 201
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I renewed my US passport at the HCMC consulate last October. You just go there and fill in a simple form, show your old passport and give them $110 US. As you can buy $100 bills here but tens are pretty rare, its easiest to just bring a US based credit or debit card. I guess if you brought in two hundreds, they would have to give you change but what would you do with $90. They do not take checks. My old passport still had about 4 years left on it but I needed over 5 years remaining to get the five year "so called" visa exemption. They readily took that as a legitimate reason to get a new one early. If it is really $80 for extra pages, it certainly seems better to get a new one.

They notify you by email or SMS (I forget which) when the new passport comes. Mine was about one week. When I asked her where they make it and how they can get it back so fast, the clerk said in DC but they use the fastest FEDEX service. You can keep your old passport if it has visas you need but they punch a hole in it.

Don't forget the picture (2 x 2 color.) You can download the application here and fill it out before you go. http://eforms.state.gov/searchform.aspx Just do a search on "passport". I see there is a box to check if you want a 52 page book and no mention of extra cost.

Parenthetically, unlike Vietnamese government forms, the US specifies black ink only on the form. In a society that loves photocopies for everything, I always find it puzzling that everyone here uses blue ink.
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Mattingly



Joined: 03 Jul 2008
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only speak for Hanoi.

It was incredibly easier and a lot quicker than doing it back in the US.

Took about 6-7 days. They send an email to you to pick it up.
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