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The Definitive thread on adding pages to a US passport

The Definitive thread on adding pages to a US passport

Old Jun 15, 10, 6:15 pm
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The Definitive thread on adding pages to a US passport

This should become a sticky

Every 2-3 months or so since I have been on FT there has been a thread started asking about adding pages to a US passport. While of course it is better to do this abroad at an Embassy or Consulate, there has always been some disagreement between posters who have had 5, 6, 7, 8 or more inserts added and those who insist that there is a hard limit of either 2 or 3 sets of pages. Part of the reason that peoples experiences vary is because many US foreign service officers are either 1) Lazy, 2) Lie, or 3) - more charitably, do not know how to read the English language.

Personally I have had consulates that will issue me two books at a time without my asking after already having 6, and others that claim that they are not allowed to issue more than three (which is a lie).

Here folks are the regulations as written in the US Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual (pay particular attention to article c (my summary at the end):

a. Each set of supplemental visa page inserts (also known as "visa page
inserts") adds an additional 24 pages to a passport. They extend the
useful life of a passport as an accommodation to individuals who travel
frequently to countries requiring visas.

b. There is no cost to the applicant to place visa page inserts in a passport.

c. The Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) generally recommends adding no
more than two sets of visa page inserts to a passport for the reason that
the added thickness may result in damage to the binding of the book
during its validity. (This two set rule applies to both legacy passports and
e-passports.) Passports that are well cared for, with very little wear and
tear, may have a third visa page insert added without affecting the
integrity of the book. A fourth visa page insert is not recommended.

d. Ideally visa page inserts should be placed between unused visa pages or
ones containing entry/exit stamps only. Unless it is unavoidable, do not
place inserts between pages with valid visas on them or at the
endorsement page at the back of the book.

e. Legacy (non e-passport) visa page inserts are no longer being produced
by the Government Printing Office (GPO). However, some passport
agencies/center and posts abroad may still have some in their inventory.
Until you exhaust your supply, you should continue to use the legacy visa
page inserts in your inventory for applicants who request additional visa
pages in their legacy passports. For those passport agencies/centers and
posts abroad that do not have any legacy visa pages, e-passport visa
pages can be added to eligible legacy books.

f. Use the e-Passport visa page inserts for applicants who request additional
visa pages in their e-Passports.
NOTE: If you inadvertently run out of the e-passport style visa page
inserts, but still have on hand a supply of the legacy visa page insert
pages, you may use the legacy visa page insert so as not to
inconvenience the applicant. This should be a very rare occurrence.
Agency/center management and post consular management should
ensure that they have a sufficient supply of e-Passport visa page inserts
and corresponding supplemental foils (posts only) in stock at all times.
Supplemental visa page inserts cannot be added to any Emergency
Photodigitized Passports (EPDPs) issued by posts. Bearers of EPDP
passports must instead apply for a new passport.

Consular agents can no longer add visa page inserts to passports because
they do not have access to the controlled supplemental endorsement foils
or the American Citizen Services (ACS) system required to process the
foils.

Applicants’ names must be cleared in the Consular Lookout and Support
System (CLASS) before a visa page insert may be added to a passport.

As written 2, or 3 sets is a RECOMMENDATION, not a hard limit, as insisted on by many younger Foreign Service officers. I find the best way of dealing with a difficult one to ask them their name and then ask, "So Mr. XXX are you in fact saying that it is the policy of the Department of State to inhibit my right as an American citizen to travel freely when and where I want", if they insist that they can rapidly turn around a new passport for you state, "So the DoS will obtain and pay for X and Y visa for my new passport, as the ones I have in my current passport are still perfectly valid"
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Old Jun 16, 10, 2:12 am
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The state department has proposed, though according to their website is not yet in effect, an $82 fee to add pages to a passport. Form DS-4085 is required to add extra pages.
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Old Jun 28, 10, 5:16 pm
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In light of the new fee for adding pages effective the 13th of July, i thought I'd bring this to the top for those that need the regs to present to lazy FSO's.
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Old Jun 28, 10, 7:38 pm
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Change from past?

As I understand it, pages may NOW only be added through the mail, no longer through direct submission to consulates as in the past. Passports are to be submitted in the mail with the completed form mentioned in an earlier post in this thread.
Several years ago my boss and I each had our passport pages supplemented when we left the books with the U.S. Consulate in Toronto on Simcoe Street over a weekend, about this time of year.
Anyone know for certain this practice has been discontinued?
***Whenever I search for "adding pages" I see an inconsistent use of the term "adding VISA pages" and "adding pages"--without the use of the term "VISA." And, always, there is no mention of the drop-off and re-claim service I mention above. What's what? TIA

Last edited by dcutcher; Jun 28, 10 at 7:53 pm Reason: Clarification
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Old Jun 28, 10, 9:39 pm
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How does that work overseas... the country I live in requires that I have my passport at all times. I would not want to send it to Washington to get a 4th set of pages.
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Old Jun 29, 10, 2:28 am
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You understand wrong especially as in the submissions and postings of the new fees this comes up as ACS, which is what you have at consulates. Geneally no one drops them off and picks them up over the weekend, most people wait and take them with them.
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Old Jul 19, 10, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by DesertNomad View Post
How does that work overseas... the country I live in requires that I have my passport at all times. I would not want to send it to Washington to get a 4th set of pages.
You go into your local consulate during ACS hours, fill out the form, and you're on your way in 30 minutes with the extra pages added. No dropping off or mailing your passport required.
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Old Jul 20, 10, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by pennywern View Post
You go into your local consulate during ACS hours, fill out the form, and you're on your way in 30 minutes with the extra pages added. No dropping off or mailing your passport required.
Not true everywhere. In my time here, it has always been a drop off task at the embassy in Santiago Chile.
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Old Jul 20, 10, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by pennywern View Post
You go into your local consulate during ACS hours, fill out the form, and you're on your way in 30 minutes with the extra pages added. No dropping off or mailing your passport required.
This is not always the case. I was rebuffed three separate times attempting just that. While it CAN be that way that doesn't mean it always IS that way.
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Old Aug 7, 10, 7:32 am
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Any experience doing this while in the US? Is it possible to do in person? TIA.
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Old Aug 21, 10, 9:36 am
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Adding pages for US$82?
It is true and many embassy/consulate web pages stats that no more then 3 times.
US$ 82 for 24 pages or US$ 110 for new 48 pages passport? I think I will go for new one.
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Old Aug 21, 10, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by pauleeepaul View Post
Any experience doing this while in the US? Is it possible to do in person? TIA.
It is definitely possible in person if you are willing to pay the extra expedite fee (on top of the other costs), can demonstrate need in the form of an imminent trip and can get an appointment. Not always the easiest to line those three conditions up, but it is what I did to expand mine last August.
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Old Aug 21, 10, 2:03 pm
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in HK consulate took me an hour
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Old Aug 21, 10, 2:04 pm
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And forgot to Add $0
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Old Aug 21, 10, 2:13 pm
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Originally Posted by seaskybound View Post
in HK consulate took me an hour
Originally Posted by seaskybound View Post
And forgot to Add $0
How long ago? The $82 fee only went into effect within the past month or so.
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