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Warden Message
 
July 16, 2010

As of July 13, 2010, fees for many American Citizens Services have increased worldwide as the result of a comprehensive June 2009 Cost of Service Study.

The changes in consular fees will cover actual operating expenses for our network of 301 consular posts abroad, 23 domestic passport agencies, and other centers that provide consular services to both U.S. and foreign citizens.  As is the case in all U.S. government user charges, the result is that those services of direct benefit to individuals, organizations, or groups are paid for by the users rather than by taxpayers in general. 

Fees for passport books also cover the costs of certain emergency services provided to U.S. citizens overseas, including assistance to U.S. citizens who have been victims of crime, assistance provided after the death of a U.S. citizen, and visits to U.S. citizens in overseas prisons.  These services also include organizing the evacuation of U.S. citizens affected by war or natural disaster in a foreign country, such as victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti.  The estimated cost of providing such services to U.S. citizens in Fiscal Year 2009 was almost 300 million dollars.

The total charge for a first-time passport book for an adult, including the application fee, security surcharge and execution fee, will increase from $100 to $135.  The total charge for an adult passport book renewal, including the application fee and security surcharge, will increase from $75 to $110.  The total charge for a minor passport book (age 16 and under), including the application fee, security surcharge and execution fee, will increase from $85 to $105.

The cost of service study found that adding visa pages to an existing passport book requires nearly the same resources as producing a new passport book.  The Department will charge $82 for this service.  Please note that frequent travelers renewing their passports can request a 52-page passport book at no additional cost, potentially saving them from the additional cost of visa pages. 

The fee for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad will increase from $65 to $100, which is still less than the cost indicated by the cost of service study.  We opted not to raise it as high as actual cost so as not to discourage U.S. citizen parents seeking to document their children. 

Providing notarial services has increased from $30 to $50 for the first service; each additional seal has increased from $20 to $50.  Also, providing a seal and certification of deposits has increased from $70 to $415.

Information about passport fees, as well as how and where to apply for a U.S. passport book or card, can be found on the Department of State’s web site at http://www.travel.state.gov/.  U.S. citizens are strongly urged to review the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Ethiopia and the Department’s website at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1113.html.  The Embassy’s recent Warden Messages for Ethiopia are available at: http://ethiopia.usembassy.gov/service.html.  The fee schedule is also available on our website.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs internet website at http://travel.state.gov/, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings can be found.  Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. Federal Holidays.)

The U.S. Embassy is located at Entoto Road, P.O. Box 1014, in Addis Ababa.  U.S. citizens with questions or concerns may telephone the Consular Section at 251-11-517-4000.  Our email address is consacs@state.gov and our website is http://addisababa.usembassy.gov/.