A California-based passport and visa processing company announced that it would accept Bitcoin as a form of payment At the same time that U.S. State Department operations are returning to normal.
According to a November 6 announcement by Peninsula Visa, a San Jose-based passport and visa company, The company announced that it would give customers the option to pay for certain passport services with Bitcoin (BTC). Supported by Coinbase Commerce, the payment broker for private customers, Peninsula Visa offers passport renewals and name changes in addition to second passport applications. US citizens over the age of 16 are allowed to have a “primary” passport book or card that is valid for 10 years, in addition to a second passport that is valid for 4 years.
“”Giving travelers the option to pay with Bitcoin seems like the right move at the right time“said Evan James, chief operating officer of Peninsula Visa, citing his hope that travel will return to normal once the pandemic threat is over.
When government offices and businesses closed for the first time in Marchfollowing the adoption of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 Many of the US State Department’s 26 passport agencies in the continental United States and Puerto Rico have been similarly affected, causing delays in passport processing for applicants for the first time, as well as for those who have renewed or changed their documents for common events such as marriage. According to a report in the LA Times By September 23, there was a backlog of nearly a million passports.
But still, Many of the Foreign Ministry’s offices have already opened personnel for passport applicants in person. The government agency announced on November 3 that it had reduced the processing time for standard applications to 10-12 weeks and for issued passports to 4-6 weeks. Before Covid, a personal passport could be purchased within a week under certain circumstances.
Although private companies have given Bitcoiners the opportunity to buy international flights using cryptocurrencies, governments seem not to have been very open to certain services. In June, a Venezuelan government agency briefly listed Bitcoin as a means of payment for passport applications by Venezuelan citizens living abroad before the service was disabled the next day.
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