Passport requirements - proof of US citizenship
Passport requirements, both in the United States and around the world, are quite strict. The rules dictate who can apply for a U.S.
Passport, what is required to obtain one, the proper way to use it and the procedure to renew it. U.S. Passports are issued by the United
States government to its citizens. They verify identity and citizenship while traveling abroad. A passport is now required to travel to all
All citizens of the United States are eligible for a U.S. Passport. Citizens must submit a passport application at a U.S. Passport office or
through an authorized agent at a post office, library or local government building. The application must be accompanied by a birth
certificate or naturalization certificate, valid photo identification, two passport-sized photos and a passport processing fee. This fee is
$100 for citizens 16 years and older. A passport application takes about 1 month to process and is valid for 10 years.
Children 15 years and younger must apply for a child passport. This can only be done at a passport office in person with a parent present.
In addition to all the documents required for an adult passport, a child passport application must also be accompanied by proof of the
child's relationship to the parents. This can be a birth certificate with the parent's names on it or an adoption decree. The parents must
also sign a consent form allowing the passport to be processed. If only one parent is present, then the other parent must fill out a
notarized statement of consent form. The fee is $85 for a child passport. The application takes about 1 month to process and is valid for 5
U.S. Passports should be renewed at least 6 months before they expire. Many countries forbid entry to those with less than 6 months'
validity left on their passports. U.S. Passports can be renewed through the mail as long as the old passport is not damaged, was issued no
more than 15 years ago, was issued under the same name and was issued to someone at least 16 years old at the time. If you do not
qualify, then the passport renewal must be applied for in person. You are required to submit a passport renewal form, two passport-sized
photos, a fee of $75 and the old passport. The old passport will be invalidated and returned to you as a souvenir. Passport renewals take
about 1 month to process and are valid for 10 years.
All U.S. Citizens are required to present their valid U.S. Passport to immigration officials upon departure from and entry into a country. This
includes departure from and entry into the United States, Canada, Mexico and Caribbean countries. In the past, movement between these
areas did not require a passport in some instances. That has changed. Airlines also require you to show them your valid passport before
they put you on a flight. Immigration officials sometimes stamp the pages of a passport to indicate the place and date of an entry into or
exit from a country.
Visas are required by certain countries for citizens of certain other countries to visit. You must apply for a visa at an embassy or consulate
of the country you plan to visit. If a visa is granted, a stamp is placed on a page of your passport. When you arrive in that country, the visa
in your passport is stamped along with the passport itself to signify that you entered the country and used the visa. The issuing country
will only grant a visa if the passport is valid. Some countries will only issue visas if the passport will be valid for 6 months past the planned
date of departure from their country
U.S. Citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same port in
the U.S.) will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as a
government-issued birth certificate (Raised Seal) and laminated government issued
picture ID, denoting photo, name and date of birth. A U.S. Citizen under the age of 16
will be able to present either an original, notarized or certified copy of his or her birth
certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issues by DOS, or Certificate of
Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Registration cards or Social Security cards are not considered proof of citizenship.
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