Generally, it may take up to six weeks or more to process a passport application in the US. However, not many tourists can afford to take their time. Fortunately, emergency or temporary passports can be issued by the U.S. State Department or U.S. Embassies around the world in their place. No matter how soon you need to leave (an urgent business trip, but a passport that is invalid or expired? ), you can basically get your passport expedited through a passport agency. By visiting the regional center with your completed application, the required payments, and proof of immediate international travel. This article focuses on the fundamental basics of what a temporary passport in the US is and how to get one as a Canadian.

What is a Temporary Passport?

A temporary or emergency passport is a distinct variety of travel document that is only valid for a predetermined amount of time. In most cases, an embassy or a consulate will be the ones to issue it.

Temporary passports are typically only given out to citizens of the country issuing the passport who are temporarily stuck outside of their home country without a valid passport and have an immediate need to travel.

These credentials are issued for a single journey and have a shorter validity period than a passport. After that, the person must apply for a normal passport to travel.

How Does a Temporary Passwort Work?

A temporary passport application has to do with an urgent requirement for a new passport, renewal of an existing passport, or any other passport-related service due to an emergency situation. According to the Travel State Gov website, these events are described as serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family that compel you to travel abroad of the United States within the next 3 business days. 

When applying for a temporary passport, you will be asked to explain the reasons why you are in a situation that could end in your death. If the Department of State is not persuaded by your justification, then you will not be able to submit an application. However, if you do not need a passport within the next 72 hours, you must go through a different application process (standard) in order to get one.

If your trip is going to take place within the next six to eight weeks, you have the option of getting your passport expedited through the state government department that handles travel. There is no requirement that you have an urgent reason for this. However, you do need to take into consideration the possibility that it will take longer due to the high volume of applications that the Department of State has to process.

You can also use a passport expeditor service to get your temporary passport quickly. However, you can only do this if your trip is in less than three weeks. If you want to leave the country right away, you will need to have a reason. Regardless, it is important to keep in mind that there will be an additional fee associated with the passport expedition.

How to Get a Temporary Passport

The process of applying for a temporary passport differs. Basically, it all depends on whether you want to get a temporary passport in your home country or abroad. If you want to apply from outside of the country, you must go through an embassy. On the other hand, if you’re getting it in your home country, you should talk to the authorities responsible for issuing passports.

How to Get a Temporary Passport in the US

Generally, you can submit your application to get a temporary passport in one of two methods. The first option depends on how quickly you need to get a temporary passport. In this case, you have the option of applying for it directly through the United States government’s website for travel. On the other hand, you can apply through a private passport service such as 24-Hour Passport and Visas.

United States travel.state.gov

You can get a temporary passport by calling or going through the popular options on the United States Department of State website (travel.state.gov). However, when you’re submitting your application, be sure to include all of the necessary documents:

  • The appropriate application form for the desired type of passport service along with all of the necessary supporting papers. Your desired passport could be; a new passport, passport renewal, lost/stolen passport, or another type of passport service
  • Documentation of the critical life-or-death situation. This could be a death certificate, a mortuary statement, or a signed letter from a hospital or medical professional). However, make sure that the document you submit has been translated into English. If not, it will not be approved, which could result in the rejection of your application for a temporary passport.
  • Documentation to support the travel itinerary.

Private Passport Service

The second option for obtaining a temporary passport is to get it through a passport agency. If you use a private passport agency service, you can get your temporary passport in as little as 24 hours. Most of these agencies have a well-defined method that makes filling out an application far less of a headache than doing so on your own.

However, you will need to pay a higher cost than you would at travel.state.gov. Payment of this charge will expedite the application review process. Regardless, you should find out how much it will take you to get your temporary passport.

How to Get a Temporary Passport Abroad

If you want to get a temporary passport while you are abroad, you must go to an Embassy or Consulate of your home country. A U.S. citizen who has lost his or her passport in the UK needs to go to the U.S. Embassy in London.

If you want to know if an appointment is necessary and what paperwork you’ll need to bring, you can call the Embassy in advance.

Before you can apply for a temporary passport, you must file a police report for the lost or stolen passport. This report is required to be sent to the Embassy.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Temporary Passport?

It is possible to get a temporary passport in as little as one business day in case of a life-threatening emergency. The length of time it takes for your country’s Embassy/Consulate or passport authority to issue such a passport is, unfortunately, completely unpredictable.

An expedited passport can be obtained in a shorter amount of time than a standard passport. However, don’t assume that you will get it in a few days. The most secure time frame is one week.

Can you Travel Internationally with a Temporary Passport?

With a temporary passport, you are only authorized to go to the country that is listed as your final destination. This also includes any nations that you must pass through en route to reaching that country. The immigration agents will take your passport once you arrive in the country if you require a temporary passport in order to travel back home.

Canadian Temporary Passport

The Canadian temporary passport is a machine-readable document that has a total of eight pages. Basically, it is issued by a Canadian diplomatic mission and is applicable only in temporary circumstances.

It is only required for urgent travel scenarios or proof of residence requirements. In addition, it is issued based on the conclusion reached by the passport and consular officer of the Canadian government

The temporary passport is made up of;

  • A white cover
  • Four pages for the visa
  • One page for biometric data
  • Your digitized photo and,
  • Security features

Basically, it is not possible to use a regular, diplomatic, or special passport in place of a temporary passport. So, the normal, diplomatic, or other special passports must be carried in addition to the temporary passport. Also, the temporary passport is only valid for the length of your travel( one year maximum). This, simply means, it can never be extended, not for any reason.

How Canadian Temporary Passport Work

Generally, the process of obtaining a Canadian passport in an emergency might be stressful. But, depending on where you are and the circumstances surrounding your situation, it can be very straightforward.

Should your passport become lost or stolen while you are abroad, you must report the incident at once to the local police or the country’s tourist police. You can ask people back home to help you out in case you don’t know how to go about it. Let them know, that you’ll primarily use them as references, just like emergency services. Therefore, they should be reachable whenever you make phone contact.

Find the Canadian Embassy or consulate that is geographically nearest to you, then make your way there with the police report. You should also have your references, passport photos, and contact information ready to go before you start the application process. It is possible to shorten the processing time if you have a scanned copy of your passport and a copy of your travel schedule on hand. Nevertheless, you should still plan on it taking between two and four days in general.

You will need to fill out an application for your regular passport at the same time you fill out an application for a temporary (white) Canadian passport. You will also have to pay an exchange fee because you have to return your temporary Canadian passport in person or through a mail service that can be tracked. If someone in your home country has access to both your birth certificate and a photo ID, you can ask them to bring it to the local passport office on your behalf so that your new passport will be valid for five years. If not, it may only be valid for two years.

How Long Does a US Temporary Passport Last?

In most cases, a temporary passport will only be valid for the period of time that you require it for travel. The name comes from the fact that you can only use it for that one time. After you have returned home safely, you will be required to turn it in. Then, you will submit an application for a standard passport in order to travel internationally in the future.

However, in some circumstances, individuals can apply for and get a temporary passport that is valid for longer periods of time, often between six and twelve months.


Obviously, losing or forgetting your passport is a major hassle. As such, it’s advisable to always have electronic copies of your trip documents stashed in your e-mail for easy access. This includes the emergency contact information for your credit and debit cards. 

Temporary passports are typically issued to people traveling overseas. Meanwhile, it is a necessity for them to present themselves at an embassy or consulate of their country of birth.

When applying for a temporary passport, travelers will typically need to fill out an application form. This is always available at the Embassy itself.

On the other hand, those seeking a temporary passport in their native country must apply through the appropriate official channels. This will be in the same way as when applying for a normal passport.

Read Also: Best Places To Travel Without A Passport In 2022




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