By Neal Price
If you’re a U.S. attorney whose practice focuses on international arbitrations, intellectual property matters, or patent litigation, you likely travel internationally quite a bit. Here’s a question – does your passport look like a mini-novel with a few sets of additional pages having been added due to no room for visas? Well, as they say down South where I’m from – “Things, they are a-changin’!” As of January 1, 2016, the U.S. State Department will no longer add pages to your passport if you run out of room. Here’s the latest from the U.S. State Department – Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website –
Beginning January 1, 2016 we will discontinue the service of adding additional visa pages to U.S. passports. Requests for additional visa pages may only be submitted until December 31, 2015.
Passport holders in need of additional space in their passports will need to renew their passports by mail using form DS-82. If you renew your passport from outside of the United States you will automatically be issued a larger 52-page book. If you renew your passport within the United States, please indicate your preference for a 28-page or 52-page book by checking the appropriate box at the top of the form. There is no fee difference for book sizes.
Please keep this in mind when going through your checklist for taking international depositions or being involved in international arbitrations. If you plan sufficiently, you can avoid very costly delays or even missed discovery deadlines!
Have no fear, however, if you get down to the wire and don’t have time to get everything processed for your passport! Your international court reporting firm should be able to assist you with setting up your deposition via videoconference! If there are no videoconference suites near your witness, an experienced videographer can assist in setting up mobile videoconferencing, where all you’ll need is a laptop, webcam, and stable internet. The reporter can stream the realtime feed so you can view the transcript instantly from the comfort of your own home, if you so desire.
So, get those applications for extra pages in before December 31, 2015, and call an experienced international reporting firm. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy the end-of-year festivities!