CIEE Passport Caravan: Frequently Asked Questions

Pre-Check Walk-In Hours

Students who have been invited to participate in Passport Caravan may come to the Study Abroad office during these times to have staff pre-check their documents and help schedule their application appointment with an official agent on February 15th. During these walk-in hours students will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis.

Our office is located in the University Capitol Centre / Old Capitol Mall building, near Cookies & More, Teaspoons, and Beat the Bookstore. Look for the “International Programs” sign above the glass doors and then find your way to the Study Abroad area.

Friday, Feb. 10th: 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:30pm-4:00pm

Monday, Feb. 13th: 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:30pm-4:00pm

Tuesday, Feb. 14th: 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:30pm-4:00pm

 

Application Materials Questions

My proof of citizenship is currently in another place and I am waiting for it to be sent to me. Do I need to wait until I have it before doing my pre-check appointment with UI Study Abroad staff?

No, please attend your pre-check with UI Study Abroad staff soon. Everything is OK as long as you will receive your proof of citizenship in time for the February 15th event.

 

What requirements are there for the proof of U.S. citizenship?

You must submit one of the following as an original hard copy document AND one photocopy of that same document. Your evidence must be an original or certified copy. Submitting ONLY photocopies or notarized copies is not acceptable. Electronic copies are not acceptable. Your original evidence will be returned to you.

U.S. birth certificate that meets the following requirements:

  • Issued by the city, county, or state of birth
  • Lists your full name, date of birth, and place of birth
  • Lists your parent(s)' full names
  • Has the date filed with registrar's office (must be within one year of birth)
  • Has the registrar's signature
  • Has the seal of the issuing authority

Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth

Certificate of Naturalization 

Certificate of Citizenship

If you cannot submit one of the above acceptable documents, or for more information, please see Citizenship Evidence.

 

How do I get a certified copy of my U.S. birth certificate?

Contact the Vital Statistics office in the state where you were born.

 

Should I provide a photocopy of my proof of citizenship document?

YES this is a new requirement. A black and white copy is fine, no need for a color photocopy.

 

It is also encouraged but not required for you to make a photocopy or scan of your document to keep for your own records while the original is in processing with the State Department.

 

It states on my U.S. birth certificate that it is illegal to make a copy. What should I do?

If you choose not to submit a photocopy, you may submit a second certified copy of your birth certificate.

 

Where can I find the official first-time passport application form (called a DS-11)?

You can find the DS-11 form on the State Department's website. You can either use their website form filler to fill the form out electronically and then print, or else download the PDF, print, and fill out the form by hand.

 

How should I print out the DS-11 application form?

You only need to print the two pages that are the actual form, not the instructions. Print one-sided on two separate pieces of paper. Be sure that the edges are not cut off.

 

I made a mistake on the DS-11 form. Can I cross that out and write next to it? Can I use white-out and write over that?

No, the agents will be very picky about this during your appointment. No smudges, cross-outs, or white-outs are allowed. Please print out another DS-11 form and start over. Practice makes perfect!

 

How do I fill out the name field?

You should print your full and complete name on the passport application form (DS-11). Some types of photo ID may show abbreviated middle names. You should NOT abbreviate your name on the DS-11 form.

 

The name printed on my proof of U.S. citizenship (e.g. birth certificate) does not match the name printed on my proof of identity (e.g. driver’s license, military ID). Will this be a problem?

The name printed on your driver's license or other government issued ID (showing your full middle name) should match exactly to the name you print on the passport application form (DS-11). This DS-11 form also includes a space to provide any other names you have previously used (e.g. birth name, maiden name, previous marriage). Applicants must establish their identity to the satisfaction of the official passport agent. The agent may or may not ask you to provide additional evidence to establish your identity. If you prefer, you may choose to bring additional documentation (e.g. marriage certificate, court decree) to prepare for this possibility.

 

How do I fill out the address fields?

#8 Mailing Address on page 1 of the DS-11: This is the address where your passport and proof of citizenship will be sent approximately 4-6 weeks after February 15th. These will be sent to you in two separate mailings. Please be sure that this is a good place for you to receive mail in March/April.

#19 Permanent Address on page 2 of the DS-11: If you live at an address other than what you provided under "#8 Mailing Address" on page 1, then you should provide that here.

It is not necessary for you to provide an alternate permanent address, e.g. your parents' or family's home address.

Your passport will not have an address printed on it or inside of it.

 

About the parental information fields: I do not have any information about one or two of my parents. How do I fill out these fields?

You should call the National Passport Information Center and speak with a customer service representative who can help you determine the best way to complete your form for your individual situation. You can find their contact information and hours of operation on the State Department's website.

 

About the parental information fields: I am adopted. Should I list my birth parents in the parental information fields? Or should I list my adoptive parents?

You should call the National Passport Information Center and speak with a customer service representative who can help you determine the best way to complete your form for your individual situation. You can find their contact information and hours of operation on the State Department's website.

 

How do I fill out the occupation and "employer or school" fields?

You can put "Student" and "University of Iowa." Or if you prefer, you can put an alternate occupation and employer/school.

 

How do I fill out the height, hair color, and eye color fields?

The answers you provide here should match exactly to what is shown on your proof of identity (e.g. driver's license). Some IDs do not show hair color, in this case you should provide your natural hair color on the DS-11 form.

 

I see that I will need to submit a photo of myself. Can I take this picture myself or have a friend take it?

No, do not attempt to do this yourself. There is a list of specific requirements for acceptable passport photos that must be followed exactly, or else officials may reject the photo you submit. If this happens, it could create delays or potentially even rejection of your entire passport application. This is not worth the risk. We recommend using a business that will take responsibility for taking a good quality photo that adheres to all of the official photo requirements. There are many businesses that provide passport photo services, including CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens.

 

Should I staple my photo to the DS-11 form now?

We recommend waiting until February 15th to do this, in case there is an error on your DS-11 form and you need to do it over. We will provide staplers at the event.

 

How can I make a front and back photocopy of my proof of identity?

It is fine to have this on two separate pieces of paper. Or if you prefer, you can scan the front, scan the back, then digitally move the images onto one piece of paper before printing.

 

Should I provide my Social Security card or a photocopy of it?

No, this is not necessary.

 

General Questions

What is CIEE Passport Caravan?

The University of Iowa has been selected to host a CIEE Passport Caravan whereby UI students will be able to have their U.S. passport applications paid for by CIEE and UI Study Abroad in International Programs. This is a $135 value. Applications for a first-time passport can only be processed during an in-person appointment with an official passport agent. We will be bringing official passport agents to the UI campus for a one-day event to conduct a large number of application appointments. Appointment slots are limited and will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Application materials will be submitted to agents on this date, and successful applications will result in passports that will be mailed to students approximately 4-6 weeks after the event.

 

What is the purpose of CIEE Passport Caravan?

We hope to increase participation in study abroad programs, especially for students who might find the cost of a passport to be an obstacle in planning their study abroad experience.

 

Who is eligible to participate?

To be eligible to participate, you must be a current degree-seeking UI undergraduate student, a first-time passport applicant, and a U.S. citizen. At this time we are only offering appointment slots to students who are eligible for services from the UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment.

 

If you are under 18 years old, you are still eligible to participate but please be aware that there are additional requirements for minors’ passport applications. If this applies to you, please contact Fran Boyken, Participant Services Coordinator in UI Study Abroad to learn more. You can contact Fran either via email at frances-boyken@uiowa.edu or by calling 319-335-0353.

 

I already have a passport and it is expiring soon. Can I sign up for this program to receive a renewed passport?

No, the CIEE Passport Caravan official agents will only be processing first-time passport applications. Applications for renewals will not be processed at this event.

 

I had a passport when I was age 15 or younger and need to renew my passport now. I see the procedure and form I need to renew my passport is the same as for first-time passport applicants. Can I sign up for this program to receive a renewed passport?

No, the CIEE Passport Caravan event and funding is only for first-time passport applicants.

 

I just recently applied for a passport. Can the Passport Caravan program reimburse me?

No, the CIEE Passport Caravan program will only cover passport fees for students who submit their applications to official agents during our February 15th event.

 

Can I apply for a passport online or by mail instead of in-person?

No, the Department of State does not currently have the option to submit your first-time passport application online. Applications for a first-time passport can only be processed during an in-person appointment with an official passport agent.

 

What date will this event be held?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017. If you are interested, please mark this date on your calendars now and be ready to schedule an exact appointment time as soon as you receive further details from UI Study Abroad.

 

I need my passport soon. Can I submit my application earlier? Can I expedite my application?

All participants in the UI CIEE Passport Caravan are expected to submit their applications on February 15th. Applications cannot be submitted earlier and still be considered part of this event to have fees waived.

 

Passport Caravan participants CAN pay to have expedited processing of their application (see the State Department's website for details). This additional cost will be borne by the participant and not covered by CIEE or the University of Iowa. Interested students should bring payment (check or money order) for the expedited processing fee on February 15th.

 

Students should carefully consider their travel plans and the possible risk of not receiving their new passport in time for departure. Even with expedited processing, it is risky to participate in Passport Caravan if you have already made international travel plans for spring break. If you are considering this, be sure to understand all possible ramifications including airline and hotel cancelation timelines and possible penalty fees. The wisest course of action in this case might be to apply earlier, on your own, even if this means that the Passport Caravan program will not cover your passport fees.

 

I am interested and eligible. How can I sign up?

Go to our SignUpGenius link and sign up: http://www.SignUpGenius.com/go/30E0E4CA5AC22A1FA7-university1. Sign up early to make sure you have the best chance of getting a time slot!

 

Once you have indicated your interest, you can then expect to receive further instructions in January about how to schedule your exact time for an application appointment with an official agent. Appointment slots are limited and will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Staff in the UI Study Abroad office will also be contacting you with further instructions about how to prepare for your appointment, and how to meet with someone who will check over your application materials in advance to be sure that you are well-prepared for your appointment with the official passport agent.

 

OK, I signed up on SignUpGenius. Is there anything else I need to do now?

Please read the PDF iconRequired Materials for a Passport Application PDF document and use those instructions to begin preparing your application documents. We especially want to encourage students to work on getting their proof of U.S. citizenship into their hands as soon as possible, even during the UI winter break.

 

Will the CIEE Passport Caravan program pay for my passport photo?

No, students will need to get photos in advance of the February 15th event and pay for them on their own. You can expect to pay around $7 - $15 for photos, depending on which business you go to and how many photos are included in your set.

 

What will happen during my application appointment on February 15th?

The official passport agent will review all of your documents. The agent may ask you questions to confirm your identity. At your appointment (and only then – NOT before) you will sign your DS-11 application form. You will submit your materials to the agent for processing. Most appointments will take 15 to 30 minutes.

 

Will I receive a passport book, a passport card, or both?

Only a passport book.

 

Where will this event be held?

Location details will be released to students once their appointments have been scheduled. Please watch for announcements.

 

When should I expect to receive my passport?

As of January 2017, the Department of State's website shows that routine processing time is 4-6 weeks and expedited processing time is 2-3 weeks. After submitting your application documents on February 15th you will also be able to check the status of your passport application on the U.S. Department of State’s website.

 

How will my passport book be mailed back to me?

Newly-issued passport books are delivered using Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation. Your citizenship evidence will be mailed back separately from your new passport.

 

Who can I contact for more information?

Please contact Fran Boyken, Participant Services Coordinator in UI Study Abroad in International Programs, either via email at frances-boyken@uiowa.edu or by calling 319-335-0353.

 

How can I learn more about the event sponsors?

You may visit their websites by clicking on the links below.

UI International Programs: https://international.uiowa.edu/

Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE): https://www.ciee.org/

UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment: https://diversity.uiowa.edu/office/center-diversity-and-enrichment