No worries, you can still get a passport during the government shutdown
- The government shutdown is ongoing, with no end in sight.
- The State Department does not have funding during the shutdown.
- But despite the lapse in funding, the State Department's passport functions are still operational.
- Americans can still apply for and renew passports during the shutdown.
- The timeframe for receiving a new passport will also remain the same.
While the government shutdown is ongoing and the State Department does not currently have funding, Americans can still apply for and receive a passport during the closure.
According to the State Department, passport services are available during the shutdown and all passport services at post offices, libraries, and other facilities will remain open. Passport renewals are also available in person or by mail.
Additionally the timeframe for receiving a passport remains the same: 4 to 6 weeks for a routine request and 2 to 3 weeks for an expedited request.
While the State Department's passport services remain unaffected by the shutdown, other aspects of the department were impacted by the lapse in funding.
23% of the State Department's direct-hire overseas employees and 40% of the department's direct-hire employees in the US were placed on furlough due to the shutdown. But after the department's lawyers found additional sources of funding in the department's budget, many employees were ordered to come back to work.
"Recognizing the increasing hardship to employees caused by the ongoing lapse in appropriations, the Department is taking steps to make additional funds available to pay employee salaries," Bill Todd, the department's deputy under secretary for management, said in a statement on Thursday. "By taking these steps, the Department expects to be able to resume most personnel operations and fund most salaries beginning with Pay Period 2."
While the department was able to find funds for the next pay period, it is unclear whether there is enough money for any additional work beyond two more weeks.
The State Department was one of a handful of agencies to order workers back to the job from furlough this week as the shutdown drags on. But most of the other agencies will be unable to pay the employees coming back to work until the shutdown is over.
As it stands, the government shutdown is in its 29th day - a record for the modern era - and shows no signs of ending anytime soon.