Preparing for a mission trip can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. Missionaries need to be adaptable and ready for anything. Maybe you’ve discovered an opportunity to volunteer abroad at the last minute. Perhaps your next mission trip will be your first one and you’ve found that you’re very unprepared. If you have aspirations of doing missionary work abroad, then don’t forget to keep an eye on the expiration date of your passport. An expired passport can be a huge inconvenience. Your next short-term missions trip doesn’t need to be cancelled if you act fast.  If you’re planning to volunteer abroad, then consider these tips to help you expedite the process of renewing your passport:

  1. Find a passport agency near you. There are 28 passport agencies around the country to help you with the process. It’s possible that one of these agencies is near you. When every day matters, it’s important to try to submit your application through an agency and in person. Many agencies require proof of travel plans. Be sure to have the proper application forms, payment method options, and vital documents when you arrive. You can expect to pay around $170. A small price to pay to ensure that you don’t miss your next short-term missions trip.
  2. The entire process typically takes up to three weeks. If you have an urgent need, then there are courier services to speed up the process.
  3. Mailing your application is an option if you have a little more time. Be sure to have the proper photocopies of a government ID and 2 inch by 2 inch photos for proof of identity. You’ll be required to mail your expired passport too. Also, you’ll want to use a traceable delivery option. You don’t want to lose all of your vital documents right before a mission trip.

Missionaries should be ready for anything. The best way to prevent this difficult process is to keep an eye on your passport’s expiration date before scheduling future trips. Go ahead and check your expiration date right now. Maybe it would help to set up a reminder on your computer’s calendar program or in a physical date book about six months away from your expiration date. For more information about this expedited passport process, search online to figure out which option would work best for you.

It would be a shame to miss out on a valuable opportunity to do missionary work. Visit our blog or contact us with your other mission trip prep questions. Plan ahead. Don’t miss out on your next opportunity to serve with Mission Discovery because of an expired passport.