Need a passport during shutdown? No problem, State Department says
October 1st, 2013
09:15 AM ET

Need a passport during shutdown? No problem, State Department says

By Jill Dougherty

For Americans applying for a passport, or citizens of other countries trying to get a visa to the United States, the current government shutdown won't have any effect, the State Department says.

The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development are "national security agencies," which means they have national security responsibilities such as representing the United States overseas and representing to Americans what the country's foreign interests are.

Therefore, State Department spokeswoman Jan Psaki told reporters, they will continue working despite the shutdown.

"Regardless of the challenges a shutdown would create, we will continue to operate to advance national interests and protect the health and safety of American citizens and those living abroad," she said at a press briefing Monday.

Long-term effects might differ, but State Department and USAID activities "can be sustained on a limited basis for a short period of time," Psaki explained. She did not define what a "short period" would be.

"Budget wonks," she said, are still crunching the numbers on that.

There is another factor, Psaki said. The fiscal year 2013 appropriations were not received until late March and, as a result, the department will have residual funds available beyond Monday. Some money is available for only one-year funding but most appropriations accounts are multiple-year or fee-based, and are available until the money is spent.

Passports, for example, are fee-based; the cost that Americans pay covers the cost of the document so that service will not be affected.

Some State Department offices are located in federal buildings that could be forced to close in a shutdown, Psaki added, so access would be blocked.

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  16. J. Jonathan

    I just returned from a Federal Post Office (which is open because it is independently funded) and was told that they are not accepting Passport Applications due to the Government Shutdown. The facility is open, the guys are there yet no Passport Applications are being accepted. My family is traveling on November 23rd which is 53 days away and would have been ample time but now my children cannot renew their Passports (have to apply in person when under 16) due to the childness of a few. Simply outrageous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Reply
    • U.S.M.C. 1371

      They just want that extra money to expedite the process from you.

      October 2, 2013 at 5:55 am | Reply
    • Barky Bark

      Not true...Passport Services is processing all applications and Post Offices and other acceptance facilities ARE accepting all applications. The clerk at your Post Office is uninfomed and/or misinformed. You children can get their passports.

      October 2, 2013 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • D. Evans

      That person was sorely misinformed. I just went to an acceptance facility yesterday and everything went smoothly. Most of the post offices around me (Atlanta Metro) require appointments. However, I went to Dekalb County Superior Court and didn't need an appointment and everything went great. Try another place that doesn't require appointment.s

      October 3, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply
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    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
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      October 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  19. Palle sol Fuoco

    Not to worry it will take just as long with or without a government shutdown. BTW, the price has just gone up. How many friggin times are taxes upon taxes required to receive government services?

    October 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Reply
    • Barky Bark

      The price did not just go up.The passport fee structure has been in place for over two years now...please at least get your facts straight

      October 2, 2013 at 11:44 am | Reply

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