I am from Paraguay but work in the US and need to get my passport renewed as I plan on traveling for work sparingly over the next few months. Unfortunately the consulate where I need to get it renewed is a 6 hour train/car ride away. The consulate is only open M-F during regular business hours. Since I will need the passport for work (although I understand it is a personal document) and will have to miss work to get it renewed, is my employer responsible for paying me for the trip to get it? Or do I need to do this on my own time and take off work for the day to get it done?

  • @JoeStrazzere Pretty much any work related documents/paperwork in the US would be on company time. I think depending on how urgent the passport is the worst thing that would happen is your boss getting upset over not getting it sooner. – Dan Feb 18 '16 at 19:50
  • Here in the UK, not having a valid passport is close to unthinkable, so my employer would never pay for my passport (but they would pay for a visa that I might need). Is that different in the USA? Would an average US citizen not have a passport and have to get one specifically for a business trip to Europe, for example? – gnasher729 Feb 18 '16 at 22:06
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    @gnasher729 I would suspect that the average US citizen does NOT have a passport. Up until several years ago, we could travel freely between the USA and our neighbors Canada and Mexico, covering about 22 million km^2, without a passport. Nowadays, we need a passport or passport card to return from CAN or MEX, so a few more people have them, but even without one, a US citizen can travel around nearly 10 million km^2 without leaving the country. Many US adults have never left their own country. [citation needed] – shoover Feb 18 '16 at 23:51
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    @gnasher729 It is very common for USA citizens to not travel outside their own country, and not have passports. The USA is a large slice right across a continent with Alaska and Hawaii added on. A USA resident can pick from a far wider range of climate and topography without getting a passport than would be possible for a UK resident. – Patricia Shanahan Feb 18 '16 at 23:52
  • So I assume a US company would find it quite reasonable to pay for the passport if an employee had to travel to the UK? And the difference is just that for the poster it's more work to get a passport than for the average US resident? – gnasher729 Feb 19 '16 at 15:43

You will need to ask your manager about this. There is no one correct answer, it's up to the company.

Other possibilities are to look at renewing online or sending someone to get the paperwork for you. I renewed my passport last year online (not Paraguay) but I know in my case it's not necessary for me physically to present the papers, I can send someone with them.

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    This is the only possible answer, imho - ask your manager. If he does say that you need to burn a day of leave and arrange your passport on your own time, I think that would be a poor way to treat an employee - especially if you need the passport to travel for work! But ultimately, if that's the response, there's not really going to be much you can do about it. – Carson63000 Feb 19 '16 at 2:52
  • Also since many companies would allow you to do this on company time because of the travel requirement, It is not an unreasonable question to ask. So only an unreasonable manager would get upset with you for asking. – HLGEM Feb 19 '16 at 14:37

The only official document the company should cover for you is your visa, and that if it's sponsored. If not, the whole process, expenses and time of scheduling an interview, paying for your documents, and actually going to the consulate is up to you. However, the company should allow you to take your leave while you fix your paperwork. My sister is given a full week each year for her visa renewal.

I'm very familiar with these topics cause I'm international too, not working in the U.S. but I had to learn this sort of material by heart for when the feared "So, are you a citizen?" question popped during interviews.

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  • See my comments to the question itself and responses. It seems in the USA it is quite normal that an employee who is supposed to go on a trip abroad doesn't have a passport, whereas in the UK that would be totally unheard of. – gnasher729 Feb 19 '16 at 15:45
  • "I am from Paraguay but work in the US" I don't see how that relates to your comments @gnasher729 my answer covers on the assumption that OP is not a U.S citizen. If he edits and clarifies this I will keep or delete my answer – Just Do It Feb 19 '16 at 15:58

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