United States passport
|United States passport|
The front cover of a contemporary United States biometric passport.
Front of a passport card (2009).
|Date first issued||30 December 2005 (diplomatic biometric passport booklet)
2006 (regular biometric passport booklet)
|Issued by||United States|
|Type of document||Passport|
|Eligibility requirements||United States nationality|
|Expiration||10 years after acquisition for people at least age 16; 5 years for minors under 16|
|Cost||Booklet:$135 (first) / $110 (renewal) / minors ($105)
Card: $55 (first) / $30 (when applying for or holder of a valid passport booklet) / $40 (minor) / $15 (minor, when applying for passport booklet)
United States passports are passports issued to citizens and non-citizen nationals of the United States of America. They are issued exclusively by the U.S. Department of State. Besides issuing passports (in booklet form), also limited use passport cards are issued by the same organization subject to the same requirements. It is unlawful for U.S. citizens to enter or exit the United States without a valid U.S. passport or Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant passport-replacement document, or without an exception or waiver.
U.S. passport booklets are valid for travel by Americans anywhere in the world, although travel to certain countries and/or for certain purposes may require a visa and the U.S. itself restricts its nationals from traveling to or engaging in commercial transactions in certain countries. They conform with recommended standards (i.e., size, composition, layout, technology) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). There are five types of passport booklets; as well, the Department of State has issued only biometric passports as standard since August 2007, though non-biometric passports are valid until their expiry dates. United States passports are property of the Department of State.
By law, a valid unexpired U.S. passport (or passport card) is conclusive (and not just prima facie) proof of U.S. citizenship, and has the same force and effect as proof of United States citizenship as certificates of naturalization or of citizenship, if issued to a U.S. citizen for the full period allowed by law. U.S. law does not prohibit U.S. citizens from holding passports of other countries, though they are required to use their U.S. passport to enter and leave the U.S.
- 1 History
- 2 Administration
- 3 Visa requirements
- 4 Passport Requirements
- 4.1 Citizens and non-citizen nationals
- 4.2 Application
- 4.3 Forms
- 4.4 Document Requirements
- 4.5 Fees
- 5 Types of passports
- 6 Passport layout
- 7 Languages
- 8 Biometric passport
- 9 Gallery of historic images
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Bibliography
- 13 External links
American consular officials issued passports to some citizens of some of the thirteen states during the War for Independence (1775–1783). Passports were sheets of paper printed on one side, included a description of the bearer, and were valid for three to six months. The minister to France, Benjamin Franklin, based the design of passports issued by his mission on that of the French passport.
From 1776 to 1783, no state government had a passport requirement. The Articles of Confederation government (1783–1789) did not have a passport requirement.
The Department of Foreign Affairs of the war period also issued passports, and the department, carried over by the Articles of Confederation government (1783–1789), continued to issue passports. In July 1789, the Department of Foreign Affairs was carried over by the government established under the Constitution. In September of that year, the name of the department was changed to Department of State. The department handled foreign relations and issued passports, and, until the mid-19th century had various domestic duties.
For decades thereafter, passports were issued not only by the Department of State but also by states and cities, and by notaries public. For example, an internal passport dated 1815 was presented to Massachusetts citizen George Barker to allow him to freely travel as a free black man to visit relatives in Southern slave states. Passports issued by American authorities other than the Department of State breached propriety and caused confusion abroad. Some European countries refused to recognize passports not issued by the Department of State, unless United States consular officials endorsed them. The problems led the Congress in 1856 to give to the Department of State sole authority to issue passports.
From 1789 through late 1941, the government established under the Constitution required passports of citizens only during the American Civil War (1861–1865) and during and shortly after World War I (1914–1918). The passport requirement of the Civil War era lacked statutory authority. After the outbreak of World War I, passports were required by executive order, though there was no statutory authority for the requirement. During World War I (1914–1918), European countries instituted passport requirements. The Travel Control Act of May 22, 1918, permitted the president, when the United States was at war, to proclaim a passport requirement, and President Wilson issued such a proclamation on August 18, 1918. World War I ended on November 11, 1918, but the passport requirement lingered until March 3, 1921, the last day of the Wilson administration.
In Europe, general peace between the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1815) and the beginning of World War I (1914), and development of railroads, gave rise to international travel by large numbers of people. Countries such as Czarist Russia and the Ottoman Empire maintained passport requirements. After World War I, many European countries retained their passport requirements. Foreign passport requirements undercut the absence of a passport requirement for Americans, under United States law, between 1921 and 1941.
There was an absence of a passport requirement under United States law between 1921 and 1941. World War II (1939–1945) again led to passport requirements under the Travel Control Act of 1918.
The contemporary period of required passports for Americans under United States law began on November 29, 1941. A 1978 amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 made it illegal to enter or depart the United States without an issued passport even in peacetime.
Even when passports were not usually required, Americans requested U.S. passports. Records of the Department of State show that 130,360 passports were issued between 1810 and 1873, and that 369,844 passports were issued between 1877 and 1909. Some of those passports were family passports or group passports. A passport application could cover, variously, a wife, a child, or children, one or more servants, or a woman traveling under the protection of a man. The passport would be issued to the man. Similarly, a passport application could cover a child traveling with his or her mother. The passport would be issued to the mother. The number of Americans who traveled without passports is unknown.
The League of Nations held a conference in 1920 concerning passports and through-train travel, and conferences in 1926 and 1927 concerning passports. The 1920 conference put forward guidelines on the layout and features of passports, which the 1926 and 1927 conferences followed up. Those guidelines were steps in the shaping of contemporary passports. One of the guidelines was about 32-page passport booklets, such as the U.S. type III mentioned in this section, below. Another guideline was about languages in passports. See Languages, below. A conference on travel and tourism held by the United Nations in 1963 did not result in standardised passports. Passport standardization was accomplished in 1980 under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The design and contents of U.S. passports changed over the years. Prior to World War I the passport was typically a large (11 x 17 inch) diploma, with a large engraved seal of the Department of State at the top, repeated in red wax at the bottom, the bearer's description and signature on the left, and his name on the right above space for data such as "accompanied by his wife," all in ornate script. In 1926, the Department of State introduced the type III passport. This had a stiff red cover, with a window cutout through which the passport number was visible. That style of passport contained 32 pages. American passports had green covers from 1941 until 1976, when the cover was changed to blue, as part of the U.S. bicentennial celebration. Green covers were again issued from April 1993, until March 1994, and included a special one-page tribute to Benjamin Franklin in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the United States Consular Service. Currently blue passports, with the pages showing historical and natural scenes of the U.S., are issued. Initially a U.S. passport was issued for two years, although by the 1950s on application by the holder a passport could be stamped so that this time was extended without reissue. In the succeeding decades the initial lengths for adult applicants were extended to three, five, and eventually to ten years, the current standard. At this time stamping for a further extension is not allowed.
In 1981, the United States became the first country to introduce machine-readable passports. In 2000, the Department of State started to issue passports with digital photos, and as of 2010, all previous series have expired. In 2006, the Department of State began to issue biometric passports to diplomats and other officials. Later in 2006, biometric passports were issued to the public. Since August 2007, the department has issued only biometric passports, which include RFID chips. An issued non-biometric will remain valid until its stated date of expiration.
Within the Department of State, responsibility for passport issuance lies with Passport Services, a unit of the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Passport Services operates twenty-two regional passport agencies in the United States to serve the general public. The most recent additions include the opening of public counters at the National Passport Center in New Hampshire and at the Arkansas Agency, as well as opening New York's second regional agency in Buffalo in October 2010. Additionally, Passport Services opened regional agencies in Atlanta, El Paso, Texas, and San Diego in 2011. Passport applications at most of these locations require that citizens provide proof of travel within 14 days of the application date, or who need to obtain foreign visas before traveling.
There are about 9,000 passport acceptance facilities in the United States, designated by Passport Services, at which routine passport applications may be filed. These facilities include United States courts, state courts, post offices, public libraries, county offices, and city offices. In fiscal year 2013, the Department of State issued 13,529,757 (includes 1,408,865 passport cards) and there were 117,443,735 valid U.S. passports in circulation.
It is unlawful to enter or exit the United States without a valid passport or Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant passport-replacement document, or without an exception or waiver. As per Haig v. Agee and the Passport Act of 1926 (currently codified at 22 U.S.C. § 211a et seq.), the administration may deny or revoke passports for foreign policy or national security reasons at any time, as well as numerous other reasons (regulations are currently codified at 22 C.F.R. 51). Perhaps the most notable example of enforcement of this ability was the 1948 denial of a passport to U.S. Representative Leo Isacson, who sought to go to Paris to attend a conference as an observer for the American Council for a Democratic Greece, a Communist front organization, because of the group's role in opposing the Greek government in the Greek Civil War. Denial or revocation of a passport does not prevent the use of outstanding valid passports. The physical revocation of a passport is often difficult, and an apparently valid passport can be used for travel until officially taken by an arresting officer or by a court. The policy and rules of the Department of State concerning issuance of passports, passport waivers, and travel letters are contained in the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) chapter 7.
Visa requirements for the United States citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of United States. According to the "Henley Visa Restrictions Index 2014," holders of a United States passport can visit 174 countries and territories visa-free or with visa on arrival. The United States passport is currently ranked joint 1st alongside British, Finnish, German and Swedish citizens in terms of travel freedom in the world.
Citizens and non-citizen nationals
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States ..." Under this provision, "United States" means the 50 states and the District of Columbia only.
By acts of Congress, every person born in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands is a United States citizen by birth. Also, every person born in the former Panama Canal Zone whose father or mother (or both) was a citizen is a United States citizen by birth.
Other acts of Congress provide for acquisition of citizenship by persons born abroad.
Every citizen is a national of the United States, but not every national is a citizen. There is a small class of American Samoans, born in American Samoa, including Swains Island, who are nationals but not citizens of the United States, See Passport message, below.
United States law permits dual nationality. Consequently, having and using a foreign passport are permissible. However, U.S. citizens are required to use a U.S. passport to leave or enter the United States. This requirement extends to a U.S. citizen who is a dual national.
Separate passports are issued to U.S. citizens on official business, and to diplomats, the latter a process followed by virtually all countries. The United Nations laissez-passer is a similar document issued by that international organization.
Passport in lieu of certificate of non-citizenship nationality
The Department of State does not get many requests for certificates of non-citizenship nationality, which are issuable by the department. Production of a limited number of certificates would be costly,[why?] and, if produced, certificates would have to meet security standards. Accordingly, the Department of State chose not to issue certificates of non-citizen nationality. Instead, the department issues passports to non-citizen nationals. An issued passport certifies the status of a non-citizen national. The certification is in the form of an endorsement in the passport: "The bearer of this passport is a United States national and not a United States citizen."
An application is required for the issuance of a passport. If a fugitive being extradited to the United States refuses to sign a passport application, the consular officer can sign it "without recourse."
An application for a United States passport made abroad is forwarded by a U.S. embassy or consulate to Passport Services for processing in the United States. The resulting passport is sent to the embassy or consulate for issuance to the applicant. An emergency passport is issuable by the embassy or consulate. Regular takes approximately 4–6 weeks. As per Haig v. Agee, the Presidential administration may deny or revoke passports for foreign policy or national security reasons at any time.
Some places where a U.S. passport may be applied are post offices and libraries.
- You have never been issued a U.S. passport
- You are under age 16
- You were under age 16 when your previous passport was issued
- Your most recent U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago
- Your most recent U.S. passport was lost or stolen
- Your name has changed since your previous U.S. passport was issued and you are unable to legally document your name change
A traveller needs to go in person, and pay an extra $25.
Your Most Recent U.S. Passport:
- Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application
- Was issued when you were age 16 or older
- Was issued within the last 15 years
- Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change
The advantage of the renewal form is a traveller can mail in the form, and not pay an extra $25.
Lost or stolen passport requires DS64 in addition to DS11 only if the lost passport is valid due to the second passport rule:
More than one valid United States passport of the same type may not be held, except if authorized by the Department of State.
It is routine for the Department of State to authorize a holder of a regular passport to hold, in addition, a diplomatic passport or an official passport or a no-fee passport.
One circumstance which may call for issuance of a second passport of a particular type is a prolonged visa-processing delay. Another is safety or security, such as travel between Israel and a country which refuses to grant entry to a person with a passport which indicates travel to Israel. The period of validity of a second passport issued under either circumstance is generally two years from the date of issue.
Those who need a second identification document in addition to the US passport may hold a U.S. passport card. This passport card is used by US citizens living abroad when they need to renew their regular passport book, renew their residency permit or apply for a visa - in other words, when they cannot show their regular passport yet are required by local law to carry valid identification.
- in-state valid photo ID
- birth certificate or Naturalization certificate
- 2x2 photo
- 2 in × 2 in (5.1 cm × 5.1 cm)
- The height of the head (top of hair to bottom of chin) should measure 1 to 1 3⁄8 inches (25 to 35 mm)
- Eye height is between 1 1⁄8 to 1 3⁄8 inches (29 to 35 mm) from the bottom of the photo
- Front view, full face, open eyes, closed mouth, and neutral expression
- Full head from top of hair to shoulders
- Plain white or off-white background
- No shadows on face or in background
- No sunglasses (unless it's for medical purposes), but those normally wearing corrective glasses must wear such glasses
- No hat (unless it's for religious purposes)
- Normal contrast and lighting
Fees for applying vary based on whether or not an applicant is applying for a new passport or they are renewing an expiring passport. Fees also vary depending on whether an applicant is under the age of 16.
First Time Applications
First time adult applicants are charged $110 per passport book and $30 per passport card. Additionally, a $25 execution fee is charged per transaction, but only for first applications and not for renewals. This means that if a person were to apply for the passport book and card simultaneously on the same application, they would pay only one execution fee.
All minor applicants are considered first time applicants until they reach age 16. Minor applicants pay an $80 application fee for the passport book and a $15 application fee for the passport card. The same $25 execution fee is charged per application.
Adults wishing to renew their passports may do so up to five years after expiration at a cost of $110 for the passport book and $30 for the passport card. Passports for minors under age 16 cannot be renewed.
Special Renewal Rules
If a person is already in possession of a passport book and would like a passport card additionally (or vice versa), they may submit their currently valid passport book or card as evidence of citizenship and apply for a renewal to avoid paying the $25 execution fee. However, if the passport book or card holder is unable or unwilling to relinquish their currently valid passport for the duration of the processing, they may submit other primary evidence of citizenship, such as a US birth certificate or naturalization certificate, and apply as a first time applicant, paying the execution fee and submitting a written explanation as to why they are applying in this manner.
- An expedite fee of $60 is charged when applicants request faster processing, regardless of age. This processing is currently 2–3 weeks when applying at an acceptance facility. The same fee is charged for expedited service when applying at a Passport Agency within 14 days of travel.
- In addition to the expedite fee, applicants may pay an additional $14.85 to receive overnight mail return when their application has finished processing. This can be paid in combination with the application fee when applying, or added later by calling the National Passport Information Center. However, overnight mail return is only available for the US Passport Book. Passport cards may not be overnight mailed.
- If customers wish to add additional visa pages to their passport book, they may request 24 or 48 extra pages free of charge when applying by submitting a written and signed request with their application, or for a charge of $82 if the passport has already been issued.
Types of passports
- Regular (dark blue cover)
- Issuable to all citizens and non-citizen nationals. Periods of validity: for those age 16 or over, generally ten years from the date of issue; for those 15 and younger, generally five years from the date of issue. A sub-type of regular passports is no-fee passports, issuable to citizens in specified categories for specified purposes. For example; an American sailor, for travel connected with his duties aboard a U.S.-flag vessel. Period of validity: generally 10 years from the date of issue. A no-fee passport has an endorsement which prohibits its use for a purpose other than the specified purpose.
- Official (reddish brown cover)
- Issuable to citizen-employees of the United States assigned overseas, either permanently or temporarily, and their eligible dependents, and to members of Congress who travel abroad on official business. Also issued to US military personnel when deployed overseas. Period of validity: generally five years from the date of issue.
- Diplomatic (black cover)
- Issuable to American diplomats accredited overseas and their eligible dependents, and to citizens who reside in the United States and travel abroad for diplomatic work. Period of validity: generally five years from the date of issue.
- Refugee Travel Document (also known as "Refugee Passport") (blue-green cover)
- Not a full passport, but issued to aliens who have been classified as refugees or asylees.
- Re-entry Permit (blue-green cover), cover titled "Travel Document"
- Not a full passport, but issued to a permanent resident alien in lieu of a passport. The reentry permit guarantees them permission to reenter the US and is usually valid for a period of 2 years. A reentry permit can also be used by permanent residents who are stateless or cannot get a passport for international travel, or who wish to visit a country they cannot on their passport.
- Issuable to citizens overseas, in urgent circumstances. Period of validity: generally one year from the date of issue. An emergency passport may be exchanged for a full-term passport.
- U.S. passport card
- Not a full passport, but a small ID card issued by the US government for crossing land and sea borders with Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. The passport card is not valid for International air travel. It is possible to hold the U.S. passport card in addition to a regular passport, making it useful when travelling internationally for a long time (Round-the-world-trip). In cases where people need to apply for a visa, and thus have to hand in their regular passport, the U.S. passport card can be a valid proof of ID and U.S. citizenship, allowing free movement unrestricted by local authorities..
On the front cover, a representation of the Coat of arms of the United States is at the center. "PASSPORT" (in all capital letters) appears above the representation of the Great Seal, and "United States of America" (in Garamond italic) appears below.
An Official passport has "OFFICIAL" (in all capital letters) above "PASSPORT". The capital letters of "OFFICIAL" are somewhat smaller than the capital letters of "PASSPORT".
A Diplomatic passport has "DIPLOMATIC" (in all capital letters) above "PASSPORT". The capital letters of "DIPLOMATIC" are somewhat smaller than the capital letters of "PASSPORT".
A Travel Document, in both forms (Refugee Travel Document and Permit to Re-Enter), features the seal of the Department of Homeland Security instead of the Great Seal of the United States. Above the seal the words "TRAVEL DOCUMENT" appears in all capital letters. Below the seal is the legend "Issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services" in upper and lower case.
In 2007, the passport was redesigned, after previous redesign in 1993. There are 13 quotes in the 28-page version of the passport and patriotic-themed images on the background of the pages.
A biometric passport has the e-passport symbol at the bottom.
There are 32 pages in a biometric passport. Frequent travelers may request 52-page passports for no additional cost. Extra visa pages may be added to a passport. Extra visa pages can be added by mail (if the passport holder resides in the U.S.) and at most U.S. embassies and consulates (if the passport holder resides or visits a country overseas). The addition of visa pages used to be free, but as of July 13, 2010, the service costs $82.
Data page and signature page
Each passport has a data page and a signature page.
A data page has a visual zone and a machine-readable zone. The visual zone has a digitized photograph of the passport holder, data about the passport, and data about the passport holder:
- Type [of document, which is "P" for "passport"]
- Code [of the issuing country, which is "USA" for "United States of America"]
- Passport No.
- Given Name(s)
- Nationality [which is always "United States of America"]
- Date of Birth
- Place of Birth (lists the state/territory followed by "U.S.A." for those born in the United States; lists the current name of the country of birth for those born abroad)
- Date of Issue
- Date of Expiration
The machine-readable zone is present at the bottom of the page and contains "P<USA[SURNAME]<<[GIVEN NAME(S)]<<<<<<<<<<" in the first line and "[PASSPORT NO. + 1 DIGIT]USA[DATE OF BIRTH + 1 DIGIT + SEX + DATE OF EXPIRATION + 10 DIGITS]<[6 DIGITS]" in the second line. Both lines contain 44 characters in a fixed-width all-caps font, with the top line ending with enough left angle brackets to fill the 44 character limit.
A signature page has a line for the signature of a passport holder. A passport is not valid until it is signed by the passport holder. If a holder is unable to sign his passport, it is to be signed by a person who has legal authority to sign on the holder's behalf.
Place of birth
Place of birth was first added to U.S. passports in 1917. The standards for the names of places of birth that appear in passports are listed in volume 7 of the Foreign Affairs Manual, published by the Department of State. A request to list no place of birth in a passport is never accepted.
For birthplaces within the United States and its territories, it contains the name of the state or territory followed by "U.S.A.", except for the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa. For persons born in the District of Columbia, passports indicate "Washington, D.C., U.S.A." as the place of birth. For persons born in the U.S. Virgin Islands or American Samoa, passport indicate "U.S. Virgin Islands" or "American Samoa" without "U.S.A.".
For places of birth located outside the United States, only the country or dependent territory is mentioned. The name of the country is the current name of the country that is presently in control of the territory the place of birth and thus changes upon a change of a country name. For example, people born before 1991 in the former Soviet Union (including the Baltic states, which annexation by the Soviet Union was never recognized by the U.S.) would have the post-Soviet country name listed as the place of birth. Another example is for birth in the former Panama Canal Zone, "Panama" is listed as the place of birth. A citizen born outside the United States may be able to have his city or town of birth entered in his passport, if he or she objects to the standard country name. However, if a foreign country denies a visa or entry due to the place-of-birth designation, the Department of State will issue a replacement passport at normal fees, and will not facilitate entry into the foreign country.
Provisions exists to deal with the complexities of the Greater China Region. As per the One-China policy, the United States recognizes the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, and acknowledges the Chinese position that Taiwan is a part of China. However, people born in Taiwan can choose to have either "Taiwan", "China" or their city of birth listed as place of birth. People born in Hong Kong or Macau would have their place of birth as "Hong Kong SAR" or "Macau SAR", but the option of listing the city of birth only (e.g. "Hong Kong" without "SAR") is not available. As Tibet is recognized as an integral part of China, the place of birth for people born in Tibet is written as "China", with the option of listing only the city of birth.
Special provisions are in place for people born in Israel and Israeli-occupied territories. For birth in places other than Jerusalem (using its 1948 municipal borders) and the Golan Heights, "Israel", "West Bank" or "Gaza Strip" is used. If born before 1948, "Palestine" may be used. For birth in the Golan Heights, "Syria" is used regardless of date of birth. Due to the legal uncertainty of the status of Jerusalem, for birth in Jerusalem within its 1948 municipal borders, "Jerusalem" is used regardless of date of birth. In 2002, Congress passed legislation that said that American citizens born in Jerusalem may list "Israel" as their country of birth, although Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have not allowed it. A federal appeals court declared the 2002 law invalid on 23 July 2013. In all cases, the city or town of birth may be used in place of the standard designations.
For birth aboard aircraft and ships, if the birth occurs in an area where no country has sovereignty (i.e. over international waters), the place of birth is listed as "in the air" or "at sea" where appropriate.
Passports of many countries contain a message, nominally from the official who is in charge of passport issuance (e.g., secretary of state, minister of foreign affairs), addressed to authorities of other countries. The message identifies the bearer as a citizen of the issuing country, requests that he or she be allowed to enter and pass through the other country, and requests further that, when necessary, he or she be given help consistent with international norms. In American passports, the message is in English, French, and Spanish. The message is:
- The Secretary of State of the United States of America hereby requests all whom it may concern to permit the citizen/national of the United States named herein to pass without delay or hindrance and in case of need to give all lawful aid and protection.
- Le Secrétaire d'État des États-Unis d'Amérique prie par les présentes toutes autorités compétentes de laisser passer le citoyen ou ressortissant des États-Unis titulaire du présent passeport, sans délai ni difficulté et, en cas de besoin, de lui accorder toute aide et protection légitimes.
and in Spanish:
- El Secretario de Estado de los Estados Unidos de América por el presente solicita a las autoridades competentes permitir el paso del ciudadano o nacional de los Estados Unidos aquí nombrado, sin demora ni dificultades, y en caso de necesidad, prestarle toda la ayuda y protección lícitas.
The term "citizen/national" and its equivalent terms ("citoyen ou ressortissant"; "ciudadano o nacional") are in the message, as some people born in American Samoa, including Swains Island, are nationals but not citizens of the United States.
The masculine inflections of "Le Secrétaire d'Etat" and "El Secretario de Estado" are used in all passports, regardless of the sex of the Secretary of State at the time of issue.
At a League of Nations conference in 1920 about passports and through-train travel, a recommendation was that passports be written in French (historically, the language of diplomacy) and one other language.
English, the de facto national language of the United States, has always been used in U.S. passports. At some point subsequent to 1920, English and French were used in passports. Spanish was added during the second Clinton administration, in recognition of Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico.
The field names on the data page, the passport message, the warning on the second page that the bearer is responsible for obtaining visas, and the designations of the amendments-and-endorsements pages, are printed in English, French, and Spanish.
The legal driving force of biometric passports is the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, which states that smart-card Identity cards may be used in lieu of visas. That law also provides that foreigners who travel to the U.S., and want to enter the U.S. visa-free under the Visa Waiver Program, must bear machine-readable passports which comply with international standards. If a foreign passport was issued on or after October 26, 2006, that passport must be a biometric passport.
The chip of a U.S. passport stores an image of the photograph of the passport holder, passport data, and personal data of the passport holder; and has capacity to store additional data. The capacity of the Radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip is 64 kilobytes, which is large enough to store biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints and iris scans, in addition to an image of a photograph, passport data and personal data.
Data in a passport chip is scannable by readers, a capability which is intended to speed up immigration processing. A passport does not have to be plugged into a reader in order for data therein to be read. Like toll-road chips, data in passport chips can be read when passport chips are proximate to readers. The passport cover contains a radio-frequency shield, so the cover must be opened for the data to be read.
According to the Department of State, the Basic Access Control (BAC) security protocol prevents access to that data unless the printed information within the passport is also known or can be guessed.
According to privacy advocates, the BAC and the shielded cover are ineffective when a passport is open, and that a passport may have to be opened for inspection in a public place such as a hotel, a bank, or an Internet cafe. An open passport is subject to illicit reading of chip data, such as by a government agent who is tracking a passport holder's movements or by a criminal who is intending identity theft.
Gallery of historic images
- Iroquois passport
- People who lost United States citizenship
- Ruth Shipley, head of the Passport Division, 1928 to 1955
- Visa policy of the United States
- Visa requirements for United States citizens
- "Department of State Begins Issuance of an Electronic Passport". U.S. Department of State, Office of the Spokesman. U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 31 December 2006. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
- Passport Fees
- 22 U.S.C. sec. 212; Passports.
- 22 U.S.C. sec. 211a; Passports
- "Passport Card". U.S. Department of State.
- Capassakis, Evelyn (1981). "Passport Revocations or Denials on the Ground of National Security and Foreign Policy". Fordham L. Rev. 49 (6): 1178–1196.
- § 215 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (currently codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1185)
- 22 C.F.R. 53
- International Civil Aviation Organization, Doc 9303, Machine Readable Travel Documents, Part 1: Machine Readable Passport, Volume 1, Passports with Machine Readable Data Stored in Optical Character Recognition Format, Part 1, Machine Readable Passport (6th ed. 2006), Volume 2: Specifications for Electronically Enabled Passports with Biometric Identification Capabilities (6th ed. 2006).
- "The U.S. Electronic Passport". Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
- 22 U.S.C. § 2705
- Lloyd, Martin, The Passport: The History of Man's Most Traveled Document (Stroud, U.K.: Sutton Publishing, 1976) (ISBN 0750929642), pp. 71-72.
- "Celebrating Black Americana" (video). http://video.pbs.org. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- Lloyd, pp. 80-81.
- However, pursuant to the Dred Scott decision, the Secretary of State refused a passport to a black man in Massachusetts, John Rock, on grounds that he was not a United States citizen, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts issued him a passport describing him as a citizen of the Commonwealth, and he used it to travel to Europe. "John Rock". Northwestern California University School of Law. 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
- Executive Order 2285 of December 15, 1915; Executive Order 2341 of March 13, 1916.
- Act of May 22, 1918, 40 Stat. 559; Proc. No. 1473, 40 Stat. 1829; Act of March 3, 1921, 41 Stat. 1359.
- Act of June 21, 1941, ch. 210, 55 Stat. 252; Proc. No. 2523, 55 Stat. 1696; 6 Fed. Reg. 6069 (1941).
- Haig v. Agee, 453 U.S. 280 (1981). § 707(b) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1979 (Pub.L. 95–426, 92 Stat. 993, enacted October 7, 1978), amended § 215 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 making it unlawful to enter or depart the United States without a passport even in peacetime "except as otherwise provided by the President and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may authorize and prescribe".
- "Passport Applications". Archives.gov. 2011-02-10. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- United States Department of State, Passport Office, The United States Passport: Past, Present, Future (Washington, D.C.: United States Department of State, Passport Office, 1976), passim.
- Lloyd, p. 130.
- Lloyd, p. 155.
- "Department of State Begins Issuance of an Electronic Passport" (Press release). U.S. Department of State. February 17, 2006. Archived from the original on February 17, 2006. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
- "The U.S. Electronic Passport". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 27 August 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2010.
Since August 2007, the U.S. has been issuing only e-passports.
- "Regional Passport Agencies". U.S. Department of State.
- "Buffalo Passport Agency Opens". U.S. Department of State.
- "Future Passport Agencies to Meet Travel Needs of American Citizens". U.S. Department of State. 2009-06-12. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- "Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page". U.S. Department of State.
- "Passport Statistics". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2013-06-10.
- Haig v. Agee, 453 U.S. 280 (1981), at 302
- "FOREIGN RELATIONS: Bad Ammunition". TIME Magazine. 12 April 1948.
- "Passport Information for Criminal Law Enforcement Officers". U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- "Global Ranking - Visa Restriction Index 2014". Henley & Partners. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- 22 U.S.C. sec. 212: "No passport shall be granted or issued to or verified for any other persons than those owing allegiance, whether citizens or not, to the United States." In section 212, "allegiance" means "permanent allegiance." 26 Ops. U.S. Att'y Gen. 376, 377 (1907).
- U.S. Const. amend. XIV, sec. 1.
- "Valmonte v. Immigration and Naturalization Service", 136 F.3d 914, 918 (2nd Cir. 1998).
- 8 U.S.C. secs. 1402 (Puerto Rico), 1406 (Virgin Islands), and 1407 (Guam); 48 U.S.C. sec. 1801, US-NMI Covenant sec. 303 (Northern Mariana Islands).
- 8 U.S.C. sec. 1403.
- "Citizenship and Nationality". U.S. Department Of State. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
- 8 U.S.C. sec. 1408.
- Perkins v. Elg, 307 U.S. 325 (1939).
- 8 U.S.C. sec. 1185(b).
- "US State Department Services Dual Nationality". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- "Certificates of non-citizen nationality". U.S. Department Of State. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
- 22 U.S.C. § 213
- 7 FAM 1625.5(e); 7 FAM 1636(b); 7 FAM 1351 Appendix N (a)(2).
- "… post offices, clerks of court, public libraries and other state, county, township, and municipal government offices to accept passport applications on its behalf …" US State Department Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page.
- 22 C.F.R. sec. 51.2(b).
- "Applying for a Second U.S. Passport". USEmbassy.gov. 22 C.F.R. sec. 51.4(e).
- "Frequently Asked Questions - Photo Requirements". U.S. State Department. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
- "Passport Photo Requirements". U.S. State Department. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
- "Photographers Guide". U.S. State Department. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
- "Photographers Guide". U.S. State Department. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
- "Travel Fees". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
- "First Time Applicants". U.S. Department of State. April 1, 2001. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- "Processing Times". U.S. Department of State. June 16, 2008. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- "Passports".http://travel.state.gov/passport/fees/fees_837.html. Retrieved 2013-10-14
- "How to Add Extra Pages to Your U.S. Passport". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- 22 C.F.R. secs. 51.3(a), 51.4(b)(1), 51.4(b)(2), 51.4(e).
- "Passport - Frequently Asked Questions". U.S. Department of State.
- 22 C.F.R. secs. 51.4(b)(3), 51.52, 51.4(e).
- 22 C.F.R. secs. 51.3(b), 51.4(c), 51.4(e).
- 22 C.F.R. secs. 51.3(c), 51.4(d), 51.4(e).
- "Border Patrol Travel Documents, Part 14". USBorderPatrol.com. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- "USBP Border Travel Documents, Part 13". Usborderpatrol.com. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- "A Guide To Selected U.S. Travel/Identity Documents For Law Enforcement Officers". Law Enforcement Support Center, U. S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service. August 1, 1998. Archived from the original on 2009-04-16.
- Adjudicator's Field Manual, Section 52.2. USCIS. http://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/AFM/HTML/AFM/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-19929/0-0-0-19950.html
- 7 FAM sec. 1311(i); 22 C.F.R. sec. 51.4(e).
- "Replace Emergency Passport | Embassy of the United States Singapore". Singapore.usembassy.gov. 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- MacFarquhar, Neil (2007-04-29). "Stars and Stripes, Wrapped in the Same Old Blue". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-12-13.
- "How to Add Extra Pages to Your U.S. Passport". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 2008-01-08. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
- 22 C.F.R. sec. 51.4(a).
- 7 FAM 1300 Appendix D as of April 29, 2008, including 7 FAM 1310 Appendix D through 7 FAM 1390 Appendix D.
- "7 FAM 1380 as of October 15, 1987, including 7 FAM 1381 through 7 FAM 1383". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 2009-05-07.
- 7 FAM 1310 Appendix D as of 2008.
- 7 FAM 1380 Appendix D as of 2008 and 7 FAM 1383.6 as of 1987.
- 7 FAM 1340 Appendix D as of 2012.
- 7 FAM 1360 Appendix D as of 2008
- Kampeas, Ron. "ADL to Jerusalem-born Yanks: We Want You." Jewish Journal. 28 July 2011. 28 July 2011.
- Haaretz/Reuters/JTA, 23 July 2013, U.S. court rules || Americans born in Jerusalem cannot list 'Israel' as place of birth
- 7 FAM 1350 Appendix D as of 2008
- "The U.S. Electronic Passport Frequently Asked Questions". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- "Schneier on Security: Renew Your Passport Now!". Schneier.com. September 18, 2006. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- International Civil Aviation Organization, Machine Readable Travel Documents, http://mrtd.icao.int.
- Krueger, Stephen (1997–). Krueger on United States passport law (loose-leaf)OCLC 39139351. (2nd ed.). Hong Kong: Crossbow Corporation. Check date values in:
- Lloyd, Martin (2008) . The Passport: The History of Man's Most Travelled Document (2nd ed.). Canterbury: Queen Anne's Fan. ISBN 978-0-9547150-3-8. OCLC 220013999.
- Salter, Mark B. (2003). Rights of Passage: The Passport in International Relations. Boulder, Co: Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 978-1-58826-145-8. OCLC 51518371.
- Torpey, John C. (2000). The Invention of the Passport: Surveillance, Citizenship and the State. Cambridge studies in law and society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-63249-8. OCLC 59408523.
- United States; Hunt, Gaillard (1898). The American Passport; Its History and a Digest of Laws, Rulings and Regulations Governing Its Issuance by the Department of State. Washington: Govt. print. off. OCLC 3836079.
- United States Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Photographer's Guide. (archive)
- United States Department of State, Foreign Affairs Manual, "7 FAM Services". See 7 FAM 1300 Passport Services
- United States Department of State, Passport Office, The United States Passport: Past, Present, Future (Washington, D.C.: United States Department of State, Passport Office, 1976).
- United States Department of State, Passports, Passport Home.
- 22 C.F.R. Part 51.
- 8 U.S.C. secs. 1185, 1504.
- 18 U.S.C. secs. 1541-1547.
- 22 U.S.C. secs. 211a-218, 2705, 2721.
- U.S. Sentencing Guidelines secs. 2L2.1, 2L2.2.
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