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Thread: Anyone Know Anything About Passports?

  1. #1
    Super Member Alu_Rathbone's Avatar
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    I'm starting to prepare my application for a passport, since I will need this before I apply for my study abroad program. I am applying for Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan. My mother is not thrilled, but I told her that I will be twenty-three years old and I can go where I want... plus the way she says things... it sounds like she's just messing with me... especially when she said: "You'll get a hang nail and go to jail." I'm trying to put her mind at ease... ANYWAYS... I need to know exactly what I should do. I know the fee and what I need for the application. But what if I lose a lot of weight before I go? Do I need to get a new card issued? Thats a big concern since I'm trying to lose weight... I don't want to pay $200 and then have to pay another huge sum for a new card due to photos needing to be updated.

    Do I send them my birth certificate too? Do I get that back?

    In a pickle!

  2. #2
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    For biometric passports, the computer scans your face from the photo and stores certain measurements in the chip in the passport. I don't think that losing any amount of weight is going to change those measurements!

    Surely the official website advises what documents you need to submit, and how to get them back (SAE, probably)?

  3. #3
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    You take in a certified copy of your birth certificate and they mail it back you separate from the passport - but takes about the same amount of time . Take two pics with you- you cannot be smiling around here CVS and Walgreens will take them for you cheaper then the post office. Allow 6 weeks for normal processing although sometimes it is quicker and other times longer

  4. #4
    Super Member Qbee's Avatar
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    Never send you original birth certificate to anyone! OK....now...that being said. Go get your picture taken, fill the form out completely, then go to the Post office with all the required paperwork (birth certificate, drivers license, etc) and they will verify your identity and send the application off. They will not keep your birth certificate. Hope that helps. Oh and regarding your mom.....give her a break....you may think 23 is all grown up but to us....you will always be our "baby"...LOL :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Alu_Rathbone
    I'm starting to prepare my application for a passport, since I will need this before I apply for my study abroad program. I am applying for Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan. My mother is not thrilled, but I told her that I will be twenty-three years old and I can go where I want... plus the way she says things... it sounds like she's just messing with me... especially when she said: "You'll get a hang nail and go to jail." I'm trying to put her mind at ease... ANYWAYS... I need to know exactly what I should do. I know the fee and what I need for the application. But what if I lose a lot of weight before I go? Do I need to get a new card issued? Thats a big concern since I'm trying to lose weight... I don't want to pay $200 and then have to pay another huge sum for a new card due to photos needing to be updated.

    Do I send them my birth certificate too? Do I get that back?

    In a pickle!

  5. #5
    Cyn
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    Super Member Cyn's Avatar
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    you don't need a new one even if you dye your hair. yes you have to send your passport and mark down when you send it so you can keep up with when it is due back.
    we travel a lot :)

  6. #6
    Super Member Alu_Rathbone's Avatar
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    I went through US Post Office website (the one by the school does passports and what not)and they sent me to the official website and I was so confused! I was able to get the cost though.

    I'm trying to figure this out because my mom might be able to do this one after income taxes are done... I'm in the middle of a job search so that I can afford the down payment for the program... and save enough money for the flight (there and home) and to have enough spending money and transportation money (I'm going to stay with a family so that I learn the language a little faster) I'm also seeing if I can take a course over the summer and fall or in the fall, at College of DuPage (a great community college) so that I have some back ground in the langauge.

    The school that I am going to be attending does NOT require you to know the language, I will be put in intensive language classes... but since I might be doing fall 2012, I can take two courses next year, it's just a matter of getting there.

  7. #7
    Super Member bamamama's Avatar
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    When I was 21 I announced to my mother that I had not only just gotten married but was going to Korea with my new husband...SHE FREAKED! The experience definately made me appreciate home. It wasn't all bad, I'm still married to my husband 34 years later.

  8. #8
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Just take your birth certificate, 2 pictures of yourself that can be done pretty much anywhere...CVS, Walgreens, some Sears Photo places will do it. Check around, prices vary. Bring all that, along with your completed application and the cost of the passport to the Post Office. If you haven't completed the entire application because you are unsure of a certain portion, leave it blank, the person at the PO will help you. Once everything is filled out, you will get a receipt saying it is being sent and the date on it. Then just sit back and wait. It can take up to 6-8 weeks for processing, depending on the demand in the area that it's being sent to at the time. It's a pretty easy procedure. Nothing to really worry about except having the money to pay for it.

    Japan is a very safe country. Mom will worry about you, but Moms do that ALL the time! Tell her that there is a lady on the board that lives in Japan...Panda (yumi). She's actually in Tokyo which is north of Nagoya, but I"m sure you could probably catch a train at some point and visit with her. She'd be glad to show you around, I'm sure!

    One other thing....since you will be a student there, you will probably need a Student Visa also. A tourist passport will only let you stay in country for a certain amount of months, whereas a Student Visa is good for the school year, then (I think) needs to be renewed every year.

  9. #9
    Super Member Alu_Rathbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlrnhi
    Just take your birth certificate, 2 pictures of yourself that can be done pretty much anywhere...CVS, Walgreens, some Sears Photo places will do it. Check around, prices vary. Bring all that, along with your completed application and the cost of the passport to the Post Office. If you haven't completed the entire application because you are unsure of a certain portion, leave it blank, the person at the PO will help you. Once everything is filled out, you will get a receipt saying it is being sent and the date on it. Then just sit back and wait. It can take up to 6-8 weeks for processing, depending on the demand in the area that it's being sent to at the time. It's a pretty easy procedure. Nothing to really worry about except having the money to pay for it.

    Japan is a very safe country. Mom will worry about you, but Moms do that ALL the time! Tell her that there is a lady on the board that lives in Japan...Panda (yumi). She's actually in Tokyo which is north of Nagoya, but I"m sure you could probably catch a train at some point and visit with her. She'd be glad to show you around, I'm sure!

    One other thing....since you will be a student there, you will probably need a Student Visa also. A tourist passport will only let you stay in country for a certain amount of months, whereas a Student Visa is good for the school year, then (I think) needs to be renewed every year.
    I know about the visa! lol it was the second, of two, that I was worried about. My mom has been pushing England, but I don't really want to go there, I mean, I do, but I'd like to go somewhere that I don't know a ton about already. I know a little about Japan, but not a ton! My friend, who knows a little of the langauge, is teaching me a little, basically enough for me to get by... And I do plan on going to Tokyo for a day... I'd love to see that city!

    My biggest worry is my manners. I have them, I am very polite and what not, but I know they are a bit different there.

  10. #10
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Good manners is what they have there. But, with that said...riding the subways and such, they are VERY pushy to get on and off. They don't say "excuse me" when they bump into you. They just bump and go.
    Japan is a beautiful place. I loved visiting there and seeing the culture. I will tell you tho...traveling thru the country, it is a bit on the expensive side.
    Just do your "homework" on Japan and you'll be fine. My biggest advice for you would be to get in touch with Youme and ask her questions. There's also another lady, Gaijin, I think her name is. I'm sure both of them could help you out.

  11. #11
    Super Member Bluelady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noveltyjunkie
    For biometric passports, the computer scans your face from the photo and stores certain measurements in the chip in the passport.
    Biometric? Haven't heard about that! What if I get a face lift?

  12. #12
    Super Member Alu_Rathbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlrnhi
    Good manners is what they have there. But, with that said...riding the subways and such, they are VERY pushy to get on and off. They don't say "excuse me" when they bump into you. They just bump and go.
    Japan is a beautiful place. I loved visiting there and seeing the culture. I will tell you tho...traveling thru the country, it is a bit on the expensive side.
    Just do your "homework" on Japan and you'll be fine. My biggest advice for you would be to get in touch with Youme and ask her questions. There's also another lady, Gaijin, I think her name is. I'm sure both of them could help you out.
    Cool! Thanks... I'm worried about the public transportation, I'm hoping it's not as hectic as the videos I've seen from public transportation vids from Tokyo. I decided on Nanzan due to having classes in both host and English. Plus, I'll learn the language a bit faster... There are things that I'm concerned about with living with a host family, laundry being one of them. I'm allergic to all powder detergents, but the liquid ones are alright, depending on brand. (I have a slight allergy to Gain, Purex and anything generic) so how will I know what soap to use there... Then again, these are things that I can put in my application for being put with a host family, they try to match students with a family that is most like them. I know it's a silly worry...

  13. #13
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I've never been to Nagoya, so I can't tell you what the public transportation is like. I'm sure you can contact the school and maybe they can put you in touch with someone who can give you that info..maybe like a penpal?
    They do have those sorts of soaps there, but not sure what you would use being allergic to those brands. I'll be there's someone that can answer that question for you also!
    It's not a silly worry...it's something you'll need to get figured out.

  14. #14
    Super Member Alu_Rathbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlrnhi
    I've never been to Nagoya, so I can't tell you what the public transportation is like. I'm sure you can contact the school and maybe they can put you in touch with someone who can give you that info..maybe like a penpal?
    They do have those sorts of soaps there, but not sure what you would use being allergic to those brands. I'll be there's someone that can answer that question for you also!
    It's not a silly worry...it's something you'll need to get figured out.
    Thats my thinking, on the soap that is. I know I can get Tide from an import site, but it's SUPER expensive, for the size we get at home for about $12 (it's a huge bottle) it's almost 43.00 there (3,000 something yen). I'm wondering if they will give me a pen pal or at least a former student who was in the program... I am also going to make sure I have enough for Transportation and travel so that I can go to Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo.

    Will it be difficult to catch on to the foreign language? Even if I do have little to no back ground?

  15. #15
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluelady
    Quote Originally Posted by noveltyjunkie
    For biometric passports, the computer scans your face from the photo and stores certain measurements in the chip in the passport.
    Biometric? Haven't heard about that! What if I get a face lift?
    Actually, that is a valid concern, although with finger printing etc it is not really an issue I suppose.

    These is a very basic piece on biometric face mapping here. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/h...l/nn2page1.stm I think it is a bit more complex than this though!

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    Super Member Alu_Rathbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noveltyjunkie
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluelady
    Quote Originally Posted by noveltyjunkie
    For biometric passports, the computer scans your face from the photo and stores certain measurements in the chip in the passport.
    Biometric? Haven't heard about that! What if I get a face lift?
    Actually, that is a valid concern, although with finger printing etc it is not really an issue I suppose.

    These is a very basic piece on biometric face mapping here. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/h...l/nn2page1.stm I think it is a bit more complex than this though!
    I know they have these... but I'm not sure those are available as of yet and they are.... it's probably pretty costly.

  17. #17
    Super Member lauriejo's Avatar
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    The passport my son got to go to Japan last year has the computer chip, and it was the same price. He had a great time, but was only there for two weeks. I was a basket case before he left, but we both survived LOL. He actually had four years of Japanese in high school and was travelling in a student group with his teacher.

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    When I was reading you information. Either passports went way up in price from when I got ours or you may need to check the information again. Our courthouse does passports paperwork, photo's etc. It was nice getting it all done at once. I don't think our entire family costed that much. But it has been a few years.

  19. #19
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    We got ours 2 year ago and they did send in our birth certificates. I had them take a photo copy of it and the passport application together before they sent them off. Got back the BC and the passport the same week. Took about 6 weeks at that time.

  20. #20
    Super Member lauriejo's Avatar
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    I think we paid closer to $150, but he didn't get the card just the book.

  21. #21
    Super Member earlylace's Avatar
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    we took our own pictures, saved money, only do a face front forward and you can get everything you need at your county seat/offices for the passport, they will even help you fill it out or you can take it home and come back. The cost has gone up this year so expect to pay more.

  22. #22
    Super Member earlylace's Avatar
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    yes, the cost of passports went up, we got ours renewed before the price change this past year, it was quite a savings.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarenR
    When I was reading you information. Either passports went way up in price from when I got ours or you may need to check the information again. Our courthouse does passports paperwork, photo's etc. It was nice getting it all done at once. I don't think our entire family costed that much. But it has been a few years.

  23. #23
    Super Member earlylace's Avatar
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    ps - don't forget to get all your shots, check with your family doctor, tetnus, hepititus both kinds, flu we know someone who got H1N1 in China this year and was VERY sick! Don't want to get a hang nail and get very sick from it!!!

  24. #24
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    If it's possible, go to the passport office in person. If not,
    yes, you do have to send your birth certificate, the original, and yes, you will get it back.

    If you lose weight, you will not need to get a new picture.
    I have changed my hair color and have not had to get a new
    picture.

    Have a wonderful time in Japan. Japan is one of the places in the world where Americans are welcome. The Japanese people on the whole are very polite and friendly. I'm sure you are going to have an extremely interesting and fun time. See as much as you can. Learn as much as you can. You will remember this time for the rest of your life. :thumbup:

  25. #25
    Super Member Alu_Rathbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlylace
    ps - don't forget to get all your shots, check with your family doctor, tetnus, hepititus both kinds, flu we know someone who got H1N1 in China this year and was VERY sick! Don't want to get a hang nail and get very sick from it!!!
    Yes, that H1N1 is required, but I won't be getting that shot or any other vaccinations, till I need to. I have to talk to the advising office at school about taking Japanese classes at the county community college. I'm allowed to do so, it's just being able to go about it... the school doesn't offer the class so I have to be outsourced. Or I can go with no comprehension of the language... or very little as I have a friend who can help me a bit. It's not so much the speaking as it is the writing of the language.

    The price for the book and card is $140 dollars, with a processing fee of $25 and for the post office to take the photos is $15. For just the book, it's $110 plus the $25 and $25. Just the card is $30 dollars, plus the other two fees. I was trying to see if I can get just the card, but i kept getting mixed messages and I think I'll just get both to be on the safe side.

    Is there a fee for a visa?

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