Passport Services Marks First Anniversary
NC State Global helps connect the Wolfpack community to the rest of the world. The addition of Passport Services in August 2016 made that connection even easier for many in the area.
In just one year since the office opened in Witherspoon Student Center, Passport Services processed more than 3,000 passport applications, with 54 percent of these applicants maintaining some affiliation with NC State (faculty, staff, students and alumni).
“We have proven that we are a valuable resource to the campus community,” said Mary Elmer, passport coordinator with the Office of Global Engagement. “Ultimately, our goal is to provide scholarship funding for international and study abroad students, and to support international travel and education.”
Passport Services moves further toward its goal each month, with several advantages over other passport facilities. The office remains the only passport acceptance facility in North Carolina’s Triangle region that holds evening hours (Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1 p.m.-8 p.m.). During these hours, 15 Office of Global Engagement employees, trained by the Department of State, staff the office on a rotational schedule.
Additionally, Passport Services uses a completely online calendaring system for appointments. The system provides users with a confirmation email and a reminder 24 hours before the set appointment.
“Our live calendaring system provides a great benefit to passport applicants,” said Elmer. “If someone really needs an appointment, they can watch our online system over a one- to two-day period and automatically see if a spot opens up.”
The online system undoubtedly helps passport applicants, who generally must wait anywhere from three to six weeks for an appointment. However, NC State-affiliated parties may be worked in sooner if necessary.
“We’ve made additional accommodations for students needing visas to travel, since several countries such as China have recently changed the photo size requirement for their visas,” said Elmer. “There have also been special hours for student groups, study abroad programs and athletic teams, along with a walk-in day where we processed 100 passport applications.”
Several upcoming events will expose Passport Services to even more people on campus. On November 13, the office will host a citizenship ceremony in partnership with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. A Passport Fair, with cultural displays and demonstrations, will take place on November 27.
Throughout the coming year and beyond, Passport Services seeks to expand to further serve NC State and the surrounding area.
“We hope to add additional agents to offer an even higher level of service,” said Elmer. “We want to continue to play a role in the Office of Global Engagement’s growth and outreach to strengthen our reputation as a truly international university.”
Get in touch with Passport Services:
Location: Witherspoon Student Center, Room 321
2810 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27695
Learn more about Passport Services at NC State or make a passport appointment.