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International Mail

Express Mail, Air Letter Mail, Air Printed Matter, Air Parcel Post, Surface Letter Mail, Surface Printed Matter, and Surface Parcel Post are all international mail options. Special services, such as Registered Mail, Insured Mail, Special Delivery, and Return Receipts, are also available.

If you have any questions regarding international mail, please contact Evanston Mail Services at 847-491-7227 or Chicago Mail Services at 312-503-9162.

Preparing International Mail

  1. Address your mail according to USPS guidelines

    The U.S. Postal Service requests that the last line of an international address by the country of destination be in all caps (in English). Every country has its own unique addressing format and postal code that must also be used. A sample of how to address foreign mail:

  2. Inform Mail Services of all mail contents

    Mail Services must properly complete necessary export documents for all international mail. Please inform Mail Services concerning the contents of all large envelopes and boxes that contain more than just documents.

Delivery Times

Because foreign post offices are responsible for delivery of international mail, it is difficult to estimate how long a letter will take to reach a certain destination. Some countries have very good postal systems and some do not. Guidelines for estimating delivery times:

  • Express Mail - 1 to 5 days
  • First Class Letters (Air Mail) - 1 to 12 days
  • Air Printed Matter - 7 to 15 days
  • Air Parcel Post - 7 to 17 days
  • Surface Printed Matter - 2 to 5 weeks
  • Surface Parcel Post - 2 to  weeks

These are just estimates of travel times and cannot be relied on in all cases. The actual time depends on the city and country destination. Factors like weather and labor strikes can also play a role in the delivery of international mail.