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Assayer of Student Opinion.

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Passport agency aids students for all travel

Ruby Cerino
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Obtaining a passport is expensive, the offices are often crowded and it takes weeks for the passport to finally be delivered. However, there is one thing that can make the process slightly more convenient.

The UTEP Passport Acceptance Facility is located within the Office of International Programs on the second floor of Union Building East. It is a fully functioning passport agency. The office processes passport cards for travel to Mexico and Canada, and passport books for all international travel as well as passport photo services.

“Most students basically get passports to go to Juárez, but we also have a lot of people who need their passports to study abroad and they just get it here,” said Patricia Flores, passport agent.

Students also have a variety of other reasons to use the facility.

“I’m going with my church to South America this summer, so one of my friends who had done study abroad told me about it (the passport facility),” said Gina Rodriguez, junior anthropology major.

The cost of passport books for ages 16 and above is $135, $55 for the card and $165 for both. The processing time for all is four to six weeks, but can be expedited to two to three weeks with an additional cost of $60 per application.

Although the facility does not offer any student discounts, it does offer the advantage of being the only facility in El Paso that offers walk-in appointments. Still, many students are unaware of this office.

“I go to Juárez every once in a while, but I got my passport from- I don’t remember, I guess it was the consulate,” said Eduardo Peña, sophomore electrical engineering major.

According to Flores, the facility does get a fair amount of traffic. She emphasized that the walk-in service is limited. Students can call ahead for same-day appointments.

“Most of our traffic is during Fridays, from February to September, and then back in December for the holidays,” Flores said.

For more information about the passport agency, visit

Stephanie Frescas may be reached at [email protected].

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Passport agency aids students for all travel