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The U.S. Department of State announced on Monday that passport processing times have gone back to pre-pandemic levels: six to eight weeks for routine service and two to three for expedited service, which costs an additional $60.

"With this update, we have fulfilled our commitment to return to benchmarks from March 2020," the department said in a press release. "This reflects the work of dedicated employees working for the American people," it added,

According to NBC News, routine processing times had slowed to between 10 and 13 weeks and to seven to nine for the expedited process.

"Department staff have also worked tens of thousands of hours of overtime a month. From January 2023 through October 2023, the department authorized 30,000 to 40,000 overtime hours each month," a spokesperson for the Department of State told the media outlet.

The entity also said it experienced an unprecedented demand for passports, issuing 24 million of them between October 2022 and September 2023.

It was the largest ever amount for a fiscal year, taking the number of citizens with a passport to 48 percent of the population, compared to just 5 percent in 1990. Overall, there are 160 million valid U.S. passports in the country.

"We have worked hard to modernize and improve the service we provide to the American people. We will continue to do so in 2024," the document ends.

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