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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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Staff of the SDSU Passport Office at the International Affairs Complex Staff of the SDSU Passport Office at the International Affairs Complex

Trending for Summer 2021: Passports

The campus office in the International Affairs Complex is seeing heightened demand for travel documents.
By Jeff Ristine

In a possible indicator of an improving public mood, business is booming at San Diego State University’s passport office.

COVID-19 restrictions are easing up and vaccines are getting into more and more arms, putting travel back in the picture for many who’ve spent the last year hunkered down and close to home.

Located in the International Affairs Complex, the passport office reopened last August but lately has been particularly active. Toward the end of March, an average of 80 people a day were stopping by to turn in their applications and have a picture taken, four times the count from just a few weeks previous.

“Our numbers are skyrocketing,” said Noah Hansen, director of the International Student Center and manager of the passport office. “Summer travel is in most peoples’ line of sight. There’s a lot of demand.”

The office aims for an experience much different from the hustle and bustle of a post office: one customer brought the staff flowers after their visit to obtain travel documents.

The passport office is a building in the International Affairs Complex along Canyon Crest Drive, just east of 55th Street.

Operations have been moved outdoors due to COVID-19 safety protocols.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday, Monday and holidays.

The passport office serves the greater San Diego community, not just the campus, so the visitors include families with children. The office also gets a lot of business from SDSU students preparing for study abroad experiences.
After checking operations elsewhere before the office opened in February 2016, “we decided to go with a no-appointment-needed model,” Hansen said. That and the Saturday hours “really cater to people’s needs for convenience and flexibility.”

The workers behind the counter are students: “It’s a great on-campus job for them.”

Additional information, including fees, parking tips for those visiting from off-campus, and instructions on what to bring, can be found here.