The State Department has resumed processing U.S. passports to clear a backlog of 1.7 million pending applications before it can start tackling new requests, officials said Friday. Carl Risch, the assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, said 11 of the 29 passport agencies and centers around the United States that reduced services as the coronavirus began to spread have started Phase 1 on the road to normal. About half the agency’s passport workers have returned to their offices. Passport applications will be processed on a “first in, first out” basis. Risch estimated it will take six to eight weeks to clear the backlog dating from late February. The 1.7 million pending applications represent a little more than the average workload every month. Only then
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