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ACA in the News: Why an Estimated 100,000 Americans Abroad Face Passport Problems

The New York Times (May 6, 2021)

Why an Estimated 100,000 Americans Abroad Face Passport Problems

"In Israel alone, the U.S. Embassy has a passport backlog of 15,000 applications, according to The Jerusalem Post. American Citizens Abroad, an advocacy organization for U.S. expats, sent an official request to the State Department in October 2020 to prioritize Americans’ access to consular services abroad, 'but people are still experiencing delays,' said the organization’s executive director, Marylouise Serrato.

In Mexico, which is believed to have more American expats than any other country, a recent search on the appointment database for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City showed zero available appointments for passport services, even with emergency circumstances (appointments from July onward have not yet been released).

At the U.S. Embassy in London, the availability of appointments for both in-person passport renewals and obtaining an official record of a child’s claim to U.S. citizenship, known as a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, plummeted when Britain went back into lockdown last fall. Amanda Brill, a London-based U.S. immigration attorney, said that since November, appointments have been nonexistent for both. 'You can imagine that if you’re a U.S. citizen and you’ve had a baby in the past six months, it is frustrating at best and incredibly stressful for citizens returning to America,' she said."

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