Mini Guide to Moving to Yemen: 6: Passports

If you are thinking of making hijrah/moving overseas, obviously you will need a passport.

Even if you are not leaving anytime soon, I highly recommend getting your passports now.  It can save you a lot of headache in the future from having to rush and get them at the last minute (like we did).

Here are some resources that can be helpful if you’ve never had to get a passport before:

Where and How Do You Get a Passport?

Source: US State Department site

To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to a passport acceptance facility with two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, a valid form of photo identification such as a driver’s license, the correct fee, and form DS-11 ( filled out but NOT signed. Passport acceptance facilities include many Federal, state and probate courts, post offices, some public libraries and a number of county and municipal offices.

For more information, please visit the Passport Services website
Or, contact the National Passport Information Center by calling 1-877-487-2778.

Can I get a passport online?

You CANNOT get a passport online if you are applying for the first time. You can only renew your passport online.

For information on renewing a passport or obtaining one for the first time, please visit the following website

For general passport information, please visit the following website

How Long is a passport valid for?

If you were 16 or older when your passport was issued, your passport is good for 10 years.

If you were 15 or younger when your passport was issued, your passport is good for 5 years.


How much does it cost to get a passport?

For U.S. citizens age 16 and older: The passport fee is $55. The security surcharge is $12. The execution fee is $30. The total is $97.


For U.S. citizens under Age 16: The passport fee is $40. The security surcharge is $12. The execution fee is $30. The total is $82.


For more information, please see the U.S. passport fee schedule at the following website



How do I check the status of my passport?


The National Passport Information Center is the only office that can check the status of your passport.

To contact them please call this toll free number:
National Passport Information Center 1-877-487-2778.

Please visit the following website for more information

Do I need a passport/visa to travel to a specific country?

Details for Yemen can be found here:

 ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: Passports and visas are required for travel to Yemen. Visas may be obtained at Yemeni Embassies abroad; all travelers to Yemen can also potentially obtain entry visas at ports of entry. Travelers to Yemen are no longer required to have an affiliation with and arrange their travel through a Yemeni-based individual or organization to enter Yemen. However, individuals may be asked for supporting evidence of their character, purpose of visit and length of stay. Upon arrival at ports of entry, travelers may be issued a visa valid for a maximum of three months.

Yemeni law requires that all foreigners traveling in Yemen obtain exit visas before leaving the country. In cases of travelers with valid tourist visas and without any special circumstances (like those listed below), this exit visa is obtained automatically at the port of exit as long as the traveler has not overstayed the terms of the visa.

In certain situations, however, foreigners are required to obtain exit visas from the Immigration and Passport Authority headquarters in Sanaa. These cases may include, but are not limited to, foreigners who have overstayed the validity date of their visa; U.S.-citizen children with Yemeni or Yemeni-American parents who are not exiting Yemen with them; foreigners who have lost the passport containing their entry visa; foreign residents whose residence visas are based on their employment or study in Yemen, marriage to a Yemeni citizen, or relationship to a Yemeni parent; or foreign residents who have pending legal action (including court-based “holds” on family members’ travel). The loss of a passport can result in considerable delay to a traveler because Yemeni law requires that the traveler attempt to recover the passport by placing an advertisement in a newspaper and waiting a week for a response. All minor/underage U.S. citizens should be accompanied by their legal guardian(s) and/or provide a notarized letter in Arabic of parental consent when obtaining exit visas to depart Yemen. In all of these more complex cases, obtaining an exit visa requires the permission of the employing company, the sponsoring Yemeni family member, the sponsoring school or the court in which the legal action is pending. Without this permission, foreigners — including U.S. Citizens — may not be allowed to leave Yemen.

American women who also hold Yemeni nationality and/or are married to Yemeni or Yemeni-American men often must obtain permission from their husbands for exit visas. They also may not take their children out of Yemen without the permission of the father, regardless of who has custody (see Special Circumstances section below).

For more details, travelers can contact the Embassy of the Republic of Yemen, Suite 705, 2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037, telephone 202-965-4760; or the Yemeni (Mission to the U.N., 866 United Nations Plaza, Room 435, New York, NY 10017, telephone (212) 355-1730. Visit the Yemeni Embassy home page for more visa information at



TJ Tip:

When taking pictures for your passport, be sure to hold on to the negatives so that if you lose a passport and the picture is pretty recent, you can just get pictures made from the negatives, insha Allah. This is handy if you have a lot of kids and don’t want to cart them in to get pictures taken.