Applying for a U.S. passport while outside the United States is a different process from applying for a U.S. passport while inside the United States. Although the application forms, supporting documentation, fees and finished products are the same everywhere, the U.S. embassy has different procedures for submitting and processing your final documents. Listed below is information you should know when applying for a U.S. passport while outside the United States.
Renew a Passport
Please bring the following items with you for your appointment:
- Your previous passport
- A photocopy of your previous passport
- One 5cm X 5cm color photograph taken within the last 6 months (see photo requirements)
- Completed and signed application form
- The passport renewal fee (you may pay by major credit card, BWP, or USD with bills printed after 2007 and no marks or tears)
After submitting these documents we will return your previous passport to you. Your new passport should arrive at the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone within 5 to 10 days of your application.
You may use a courier service (DHL, FedEx, etc.) to collect your passport for you at your expense. To do that you must send the following with the courier:
- A signed statement from you permitting a courier to collect your passport on your behalf
- Your previous passport
We will physically cancel the previous passport and return it to you along with the new passport.
For more information about passport renewal please go to travel.state.gov.
Apply for a Passport
While the same application forms are used whether you are inside or outside the U.S., DO NOT follow the submission instructions included within the application form. Click here to find and download the application form(s) you need.
Be prepared to submit supporting documents (national passport, NOT driver’s license or Omang) verifying your citizenship and identity to the embassy along with your application form. The required supporting documentation varies based on the application form used, so consult your form for more details.
The photo you submit for your application must meet all U.S. passport photo requirements. Be aware that photo requirements for a U.S. Passport may vary from passport photo requirements of other countries. Click here for a full list of passport photo requirements.
While the specific fees for services are the same, the embassy can only accept your payment via cash in U.S. dollars, Botswana Pula or with a credit card that allows international transactions. Unlike Acceptance Facilities located in the United States, they cannot accept personal checks or money orders. Click here for a full list of fees.
Due to restrictions set by local banks we cannot accept U.S. currency printed earlier than 2007 or with any stamps, writings or markings on them. We regret the inconvenience.
Expedited processing is not available for passports when you apply from outside the United States. All passports requested from overseas are printed in the U.S. and sent to the embassy. The Embassy normally receives new passports within 7 to 10 days after an application is submitted.
In an emergency, the Embassy can issue limited validity passports. Contact us directly for more information.
Amend a Passport
If you have changed your name, you may apply to have this change reflected in your U.S. passport. Please note that U.S. passports are no longer amended to change items appearing on the data page; you will therefore need to apply for a new U.S. passport in your new name. When completing the relevant application form, you should complete the form in the name you wish to appear in your passport.
If you have changed your name by marriage or by U.S. court order, you may apply for a new passport to be issued in your new name. If your passport was issued more than 12 months ago, you should follow the instructions for routine passport renewal. If your passport was issued within the last 12 months, you may apply for a no-fee passport by submitting:
- Your current U.S. passport;
- One passport sized (5x5cm) photograph – see photo requirements below. Photos which do not meet the requirements will be rejected;
- Your original marriage certificate or a U.S. Court Order; and
- Please complete Form DS-5504 on-line, and print. DO NOT mail this form to the United States.
Your passport photo must be:
- In color;
- Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper;
- 5 x 5 cm in size;
- Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance;
- Taken in front of a plain white background;
- Taken without glasses;
- Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera;
- Taken with a neutral facial expression (preferred) or a natural smile, and with both eyes open;
- Taken without a hat or head covering;
- Taken so there are no distracting shadows on the face or background.
- In the case of a baby, the eyes are not required to be open.
Lost or Stolen Passport
If your U.S. passport has been lost or stolen, you are required to apply for a new passport in person and to furnish the following:
- Evidence of U.S. Citizenship– Such evidence may include but is not limited to: U.S. birth or naturalization certificate, Report of Birth Abroad or an expired U.S. passport.
- Valid, government issued photo ID (such as a U.S. or foreign passport, driver’s license, or military ID).
- One photocopy of government issued photo ID.
- One U.S. passport sized (5x5cm) photograph–Photos which do not meet the requirements will be rejected.
- For applicants under 16, a birth certificate must also be presented and both parents must attend the appointment with the child. If only one parent can appear, please complete the following consent form DS 3053 (PDF 28KB) and submit with passport application. Attending parents must bring government issued photo ID.
- Applicants aged 16-17 must be accompanied by a parent or legal. guardian. The accompanying adult must bring government issued photo ID and a copy of the photo ID.
- Form DS-11. Complete the form online, then print and submit to the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone. DO NOT mail this form to the United States and DO NOT sign it until before a Consular Officer.
- Form DS-64: Statement Regarding Lost or Stolen Passport. This form will be automatically generated when you complete Form DS-11 and declare your passport lost/stolen.
- Pay the non-refundable application fee for a U.S. passport in person at the U.S. Embassy when you apply.
Note: Minors ages 16-17 with their own identification can apply for a passport by themselves. However, it is required that at least one parent appear in person with the minor to identify him/her and to show parental awareness.
Examples of Parental Awareness
- Having a parent accompany the minor when applying, or
- A signed statement consenting to issuance of a passport from at least one parent (should be accompanied by a photocopy of that parent’s ID)
See the “Parents’ Corner” on travel.state.gov, including information on passport issuance to children in cases of custody disputes.
If one custodial parent is not able to attend, s/he must submit a notarized Form DS 3053 Statement of Consent. At the time the DS-3053 form is presented, a copy of the same identity document used to notarize the form must also be provided.
Alternatively, the applying parent may furnish one of the following documents:
- Child’s birth certificate listing only applying parent;
- Adoption decree (if applying parent is sole adopting parent);
- Court Order granting sole custody to the applying parent (i.e the absent parent has no access to the child. Child’s travel must not be restricted by that order;
- Judicial declaration of incompetence of non-applying parent, or death certificate of non-applying parent.
Minors ages 16-17 with their own identification can apply for a passport by themselves. However, it is recommended that at least one parent appear in person with the minor to identify him/her and to show parental awareness.
Examples of Parental Awareness
- Having a parent accompany the minor when applying, or
- A signed statement consenting to issuance of a passport from at least one parent (should be accompanied by a photocopy of that parent’s ID).
Question 1: Can I call the toll-free number for passport information (National Passport Information Center) from outside the United States?
- Answer 1: No, the National Passport Information Center number is meant to answer questions for passport customers applying in the United States. If you have questions while you are outside the U.S., the Embassy is the best source of information.
Question 2: Can I apply for a passport card while outside the United States?
- Answer 2: Yes, you can apply for a passport card while outside of the United States at the same time you apply for a book, or separately, but the passport card is only valid for travel by land or sea to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean region. The passport card cannot be used for air travel.If you apply for a passport book AND a passport card at the same time the book will be shipped to the U.S. Embassy first and the passport card will be only shipped after the Embassy has received the passport book. Applicants may wish to wait until both the passport book and the passport card have arrived at the Embassy be for making arrangements to collect them.
Question 3: Are all the “evidence of citizenship” and “evidence of identity” sections applicable to me?
- Answer 3: Yes, these requirements are the same no matter where you apply. You still need to provide acceptable evidence of U.S. citizenship and identity.
Question 4: There’s a note to “Customers Applying outside a State Department Facility.” Does that include Embassies and Consulates outside the United States?
- Answer 4: No. That’s meant for customers in the U.S. applying at a Passport Acceptance Facility and not one of our Passport Agencies— a Clerk of the Court or a Post Office, for example. Outside of the U.S., you are applying at an Embassy or Consulate General, which we consider to be State Department Facilities.
Question 5: On the application, why do you want my email? Should I use my U.S. or foreign email address?
- Answer 5: While abroad, we will notify you via email to tell you when your passport is ready. Use the email address you are using while outside of the U.S.
Question 6: On the application, you want a permanent address. What’s the difference from the mailing address?
- Answer 6: If you are only temporarily residing outside of the U.S., you may put your permanent U.S. address here. If you are permanently residing abroad, and this address is the same as your mailing address, you can just write “same.”
Question 7: Does my ‘Emergency Contact’ have to be somebody in the U.S.?
- Answer 7: We need this information in the event we have to reach someone in a hurry on your behalf. It doesn’t have to be somebody in the U.S., especially if you live permanently outside the U.S. If that is the case, put down local addresses and phones. If you are outside the U.S. temporarily, it might make more sense to have a U.S. based contact for us to reach on your behalf.
Question 8: How will I receive my passport if I am overseas?
- Answer 8: You will either need to pick it up in person at the embassy, or designate in writing someone to collect it for you. In either case the applicant or designated agent must present the old passport for cancellation. After cancellation, the old passport will be returned to the applicant and any visas or permits which are still valid will remain valid as long as you travel with both the old and the new passport.
Third Party Attendance at Passport and CRBA Appointment Interviews
Generally, immediate family members may accompany passport or CRBA applicants to their appointment interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate, and all minor children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Passport or CRBA applicants also have the option of being accompanied by an attorney at their appointment interview. Attendance by any third party, including an attorney, accompanying an applicant is subject to the following parameters designed to ensure an orderly appointment interview process and to maintain the integrity of the adjudication of the application(s):
- Given space limitations in the consular section, not more than one attendee at a time will be allowed to accompany an applicant (or the applicant’s parent or guardian if the applicant is a minor).
- Attendance by an attorney does not excuse the applicant and/or the minor applicant’s parent or guardian from attending the appointment interview in person.
- The manner in which a passport or CRBA appointment interview is conducted, and the scope and nature of the inquiry, shall at all times be at the discretion of the consular officer, following applicable Departmental guidance.
- It is expected that attorneys will provide their clients with relevant legal advice prior to, rather than at, the appointment interview, and will advise their clients prior to the appointment interview that the client will participate in the appointment interview with minimal assistance.
- Attorneys may not engage in any form of legal argumentation during the appointment interview and before the consular officer.
- Attendees other than a parent or guardian accompanying a minor child may not answer a consular officer’s question on behalf or in lieu of an applicant, nor may they summarize, correct, or attempt to clarify an applicant’s response, or interrupt or interfere with an applicant’s responses to a consular officer’s questions.
- To the extent that an applicant does not understand a question, s/he should seek clarification from the consular officer directly.
- The consular officer has sole discretion to determine the appropriate language(s) for communication with the applicant, based on the facility of both officer and applicant and the manner and form that best facilitate communication between the consular officer and the applicant. Attendees may not demand that communications take place in a particular language solely for the benefit of the attendee. Nor may attendees object to or insist on the participation of an interpreter in the appointment interview, to the qualifications of any interpreter, or to the manner or substance of any translation.
- No attendee may coach or instruct applicants as to how to answer a consular officer’s question.
- Attendees may not object to a consular officer’s question on any ground (including that the attendee regards the question to be inappropriate, irrelevant, or adversarial), or instruct the applicant not to answer a consular officer’s question. Attendees may not interfere in any manner with the consular officer’s ability to conduct all inquiries and fact-finding necessary to exercise his or her responsibilities to adjudicate the application.
- During a passport or CRBA appointment interview, attendees may not discuss or inquire about other applications.
- Attendees may take written notes, but may not otherwise record the appointment interviews.
- Attendees may not engage in any other conduct that materially disrupts the appointment interview. For example, they may not yell at or otherwise attempt to intimidate or abuse a consular officer or staff, and they may not engage in any conduct that threatens U.S. national security or the security of the embassy or its personnel. Attendees must follow all security policies of the Department of State and the U.S. embassy or consulate where the appointment interview takes place.
Attendees may not engage in any conduct that violates this policy and/or otherwise materially disrupts the appointment interview. Failure to observe these parameters will result in a warning to the attendee and, if ignored, the attendee may be asked to leave the appointment interview and/or the premises, as appropriate. It would then be the applicant’s choice whether to continue the appointment interview without the attendee present, subject to the consular officer’s discretion to terminate the appointment interview. The safety and privacy of all applicants awaiting consular services, as well as of consular and embassy personnel, is of paramount consideration.