NAU’s Passport Day, which is organized three times annually, allows students to apply for a passport on campus. At the event, the typical $35 passport application processing fee is waived for current students.
Passport Day is open to the general public but only current NAU students, faulty and staff qualify to have their processing fee waived as the Center for International Education covers the cost. Those who attended the event enjoyed the convenience of applying for a passport directly on campus.
The most recent Passport Day was Friday in the Blome building. It brought in NAU students and community members alike.
Senior Kira Litchfield took advantage of the convenience of Passport Day. She said her adviser discussed attending the event with her.
“I come to the CIE [Center for International Education] building all the time because I’m studying abroad,” Litchfield said.
Many of the event’s participants are study abroad students who either need to apply for a passport or have it renewed. The fee waiver offered at the event appeals to these students because studying abroad can come with many other expenses.
“A lot of people that I was in Japanese [class] with are also studying abroad so they come here on Passport Day,” Litchfield said. “A lot of them already had their passports from the first Passport Day as well.”
While NAU students studying abroad made up the majority of the event’s attendees, participants showed up for other reasons. Many students plan to travel over the summer while others are taking trips during the semester, such as sophomore Matti Goldstein who will be traveling out of the country for an upcoming class trip.
“I’m going on a trip with my choir and our conductor told us about Passport Day,” Goldstein said. “I assume some other people in my choir are going to do it too. It is more convenient because you get to waiver the $35 fee and it’s right here on campus.”
Center for International Education staff were also in attendance. The staff aided participants in filling out applications and taking passport photos. They also answered questions and ensured that the event ran smoothly. Linda Alvarado, Center for International Education administrative associate, explained the logistics of the program.
“Usually with a passport there are two fees associated," Alvarado said. "There is a fee to pay for the passport directly to the Department of State, and then there is a processing fee that goes to the facility that accepts and processes the application. Three times a year we waive that fee because we want to encourage people to go get a passport.”
According to the Center for International Education website, the on-campus center is a designated passport acceptance facility. Although services are offered outside of the Passport Day event, it may be a useful resource for study abroad students and those looking travel over the summer.
The Center for International Education website lists all required documents and the details of applying for a passport.