Category Archives: Passports

Information about U.S. passports

Meet ACS at USFK Installaions

We offer U.S. passport, birth registration (Consular Report of Birth Abroad), Social Security Card and Notarial services at USFK installations throughout Korea. Please note that off-site services are reserved for applicants who have or can secure base access. For the most up-to-date information, visit our U.S. Embassy Website.

No Eyeglasses Policy for Passport Photos


Effective November 1, 2016, we will no longer accept passport photos in which the applicant is wearing glasses. This applies to minors and adults. You do not need to replace your current passport if your photo includes eyeglasses. New passport applications submitted with photos that do not meet requirements could delay applications and interfere with travel plans.

Social Security Numbers Required on Passport Applications

As of October 1, 2016, all U.S. citizens applying for a passport will be required to include their Social Security number on their application form. U.S. citizens who were never issued a Social Security number can apply for one along with the passport application or sign a sworn statement declaring that they have never applied for a number. To submit a first-time Social Security application, you will need to have one form of valid U.S. government-issued identification. You can find the SS-5 application and instructions at this link. If you have a number but do not remember it, contact the Social Security Administration ( BEFORE submitting your passport application. This new policy applies to routine passport services and will not prevent emergency travel to the United States.

NOTE: Applicants without an SSN will no longer be able to mail or courier their DS-82 (adult renewals) and DS-5504 (e.g. limited passport replacement) forms to the Embassy. Please make an appointment to be interviewed in person.


no electronic

Electronic devices such as cameras, cell phones, laptops, and MP3 players may not be brought inside the Embassy.  Please leave these items at home or make arrangements for their storage before arriving at the Embassy.  Doing so will result in speedier processing into the Embassy.  The Embassy has no capacity to store your devices.


Am I ready to travel?

Tickets to an exotic, fun destination?
Swimsuit, iPad, sunscreen?
Necessary vaccinations? Not sure …
Passport valid for another 6 months and sufficient empty visa pages? Huh?

All too often, Embassy Seoul receives calls from anxious American citizens who are stuck at Incheon International Airport. The stories are similar and often go something like this:

 “John” is traveling from Seoul to Thailand with non-refundable tickets for a dream vacation, but the airline denied him boarding. “Mary” is traveling from Los Angeles to Manila with a layover in Seoul, but was prevented from boarding her continuing flight to the Philippines.

Both passengers are carrying valid U.S. passports. So what’s the problem? Their passports are expiring too soon (in less than 6 months). Or, their passport visa pages are too full and have no space for entry stamps for their destinations.

These visitors learned the hard way that many countries in Asia and around the world will not permit travelers to enter unless their passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date of their intended departure. These countries include — but are not limited to — Thailand, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia. These same countries also require visitors to have at least one blank visa page in their passport. A handful of countries go a step further: China, Singapore and Indonesia (specifically Bali) require visitors to have at least two remaining blank visa pages in their passport.

Step-by-step guide to a fun summer vacation

Before packing your sunscreen and swimsuit, it’s important to carefully check your passport, especially the expiration date. Don’t let your travel plans get delayed by poor planning. If you discover your passport is expiring soon, visit the Embassy Seoul website ( for information on renewing your passport. We recommend U.S. citizens renew their passport no later than 7 months before the expiration date. We can normally renew your passport in 2-3 weeks, so your valid passport won’t become invalid.

The next step is to check the entry requirements for the country you are visiting. Begin by visiting Travel.State.Gov ( Next, type in the name of the country you are visiting in the “Learn about your destination” box. The first item you’ll see are any Travel Alerts or Travel Warnings pertaining to that country. Below under “Quick Facts” is a summary of entry and exit requirements. In addition to passport validity and visa page requirements, you’ll also learn whether your destination country requires a visa or vaccinations.

Below the “Quick Facts” box, take a few minutes to read through the Country Specific Information (CSI), which includes important information about your destination country such as U.S. Embassy and Consulates contact information, security & safety concerns, local laws, LGBT travel and more.

If you follow these steps, you can plan ahead and have a fun summer!

What are developmental photos?

Develpment photo sample

Pop Quiz: Are the children in the 2 photos the same person?

As a child grows older, he or she changes significantly to the point where their face no longer resembles their previous passport photo.  This is especially true if the last passport was issued when the child was an infant.  As a result, it is often very difficult to recognize that the applicant and the person in the previous passport photo are one and the same person.

For that reason, we request the parents bring photos that show the physical development of their child since their last passport was issued. We suggest that you submit at least one photo from every year since the last passport was issued. Failure to do so may result in delay of issuing your child’s passport until you can provide such photos.

Development photos may also apply to first time adult passport applicants.  Adults can change too!  If you’ve had a dramatic change in appearance since your last passport photo – such as a significant weight loss or plastic surgery – the consular officer may request that you present developmental photos or other documentation.

All development photos will be returned to the parents/applicants.  Please do not bring photos on your phone or other mobile device; electronic devices are not permitted in the consular waiting room.

Answer: The 2 photos are the same person! Surprised?  This is why we need development photos.


WE’RE GOING ON A FAMILY VACATION! How do I get a passport for my baby or child?

family_vacationYou will need to bring your child’s U.S. Birth Certificate or Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CBRA), parents’ photo identifications,  proof that parents are related to the child, online passport application using the “Passport Wizard” (, passport photo, and fee of $105.

For applicants age 15 or younger, both parents must appear in person and sign the passport application before a U.S. consular officer.  Please schedule an appointment at the Embassy’s appointment page:

For more information see: