Section 2. Passport and Visa

Complete information on passport-related services is available from the U.S. Department of State.


a. A visa is a permit to enter and leave the country to be visited. It is a stamp of endorsement placed in a passport by a consular official of the country to which entry is requested. Nearly all countries require visitors from other nations to have in their possession a valid visa obtained before departing from their home country. A visa may be obtained from foreign embassies or consulates located in the U.S. (visas are not always obtainable at the airport of entry of the foreign location and verification of visa issuance must be made in advance of departure). Various types of visas are issued depending upon the nature of the visit and the intended length of stay. A VALID PASSPORT MUST BE SUBMITTED WHEN APPLYING FOR A VISA OF ANY TYPE.

b. Several countries do not require U.S. citizens to obtain passports and visas for certain types of travel, mostly tourist. Instead they issue a simple tourist card which can be obtained from the nearest consulate of the country in question (presentation of a birth certificate or similar documentary proof of citizenship may be required). In some countries, the transportation company is authorized to grant tourist cards.

c. The photographs required in submitting visa applications should be full view and should not be larger than 3 x 3 inches nor smaller than 2.5 x 2.5 inches on white background.


a. An application for a passport must be personally presented to and executed by:

1. A passport agent;

2. A clerk of any Federal court;

3. A clerk of any State court of record or a judge or clerk of any probate court; or

4. A postal clerk designated by the Postmaster General. (Postal clerks have been designated only in certain areas.)

b. Under certain circumstances, a person holding an expired passport issued within the last 8 years, can submit the expired passport with his application, by mail.


a. BOSTON: Thomas P. O'Neil Federal Bldg., Room 247, 10 Causeway Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02222; Telephone: 617-565-6990 Recording: 617-565-6698

b. CHICAGO: Suite 380 Kluczynsky Federal Bldg., 230 S Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1564; Telephone: 312-353-7155/7163 Recording: 312-353-5426

c. HONOLULU: Room C-106 New Federal Bldg. 300 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850; Telephone: 808-541-1918 Recording: 808-541-1919

d. HOUSTON: Suite 1100, Mickey Leland Federal Bldg., 1919 Smith Street, Houston, Texas 77002. Telephone 713-653-3153 Recording: 713-653-3159

e. LOS ANGELES: Room 13100, 11000 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90024-3614; Telephone: 310-575-7075 Recording 310-575-7070

f. MIAMI: 3rd. Floor Federal Office Bldg., 51 S.W. First Avenue, Miami, Florida 33130-1680; Telephone: 305-536-4681 Recordings: 305-536-5395 (English) 305-536-4448 (Spanish).

g. NEW ORLEANS: Postal Services Bldg, 701 Loyola Ave. Room T-12005, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130-1931; Telephone: 504-589-6161 Recording: 504-589-6728

h. NEW YORK: Room 270 Rockefeller Center, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10111-0031; Telephone: 212-541-7710 Recording: 212-541-7700

i. PHILADELPHIA: Room 4426 Federal Building, 600 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-1648; Telephone 215-597-7480 Recording: 215-597-7482

j. SAN FRANCISCO: Suite 200 Tishman Speyer Bldg. 525 Market St., San Francisco, California 94105-2773; Telephone: 415-744-4010 Recording: 415-744-4444

k. SEATTLE: Room 992, Federal Office Bldg., 915 2nd Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98147-1091; Telephone: 206-553-7945 Recording: 206-553-7941

l. STAMFORD: One Landmark Square, Broad and Atlantic Streets, Stamford, Connecticut 06901-2767 Telephone: 203-325-3538 or 3530 Recording: 203-325-4401

m. WASHINGTON, DC: Passport Office,
125 K Street, NW, Washington, DC. 20524-
0002; Telephone: 202-326-6020 Recording: 202-647-0518

24-hour recordings include general passport information, passport agency locations, hours of operation and information regarding emergency passport services during non-working hours.


a. A passport issued previously to an applicant, or one in which he was included, is proof of U.S. citizenship in lieu of the documentary proof outlined below. If a passport cannot be submitted, other evidence of citizenship will be necessary.

b. A person born in the U.S. may present his birth certificate. To be acceptable the certificate must show the birth record was filed shortly after birth and must be certified with the registrar's signature and the raised, impressed or multi-colored seal of his office. Uncertified copies of birth certificates are not acceptable.

1. If such primary evidence is not obtainable, a notice from the registrar may be used stating that no birth record exists. The notice shall be accompanied by the best obtainable secondary evidence such as a baptismal certificate, a certificate of circumcision (if applicable), a hospital birth record, affidavits of persons having personal knowledge of the facts of the birth or other documentary evidence such as early census, school, or family bible records, newspaper files and insurance papers. Secondary evidence should be created as close to the time of birth as possible.

2. All documents used as evidence of U.S. citizenship by birth must include the place and date of birth of the applicant and bear the seal of the office, if this is customary, and signature of the person before whom such documents were executed or by whom they were issued.

c. A person who claims U.S. citizenship by naturalization may use his certificate of naturalization.

d. If U.S. citizenship was acquired through naturalization of a parent or parents, or by birth abroad to a U.S. citizen parent, the certificate of citizenship issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service may be used. If such a certificate is not available, citizenship may be supported by the following documents:

1. Parent certificate of naturalization, applicant's foreign birth certificate and evidence of admission to the U.S. for permanent residence or if citizenship was acquired through the naturalization of a sole parent, the other having been an alien, the divorce decree showing naturalized parent has custody, or the death certificate of the alien parent, when appropriate.

2. A Consular Report of Birth (Form FS-240) or Certification of Birth (Form DS-1350 or Form FS-545) issued by the Department of State may be used if citizenship was acquired through birth abroad to the U.S. citizen parent or parents. If neither of these is available, the foreign birth certificate, evidence of the U.S. citizenship of the parent and an affidavit from parent showing the periods and places of residence in the U.S. and abroad (specifying precise periods abroad in U.S. Armed Forces, in other U.S. Government employment, with qualifying international organization, or as a dependent of such persons) before birth of applicant may be used.


a. Passports which are mutilated or altered shall not be used for travel. Such passports shall be turned into passport agents, clerks of courts or other officials of the U.S. Government. Any new passport issued to replace a lost valid passport will be limited to 3 months.

b. The address and notification data appearing on the inside front cover of the passport may be changed by the passport bearer. The passport need not be submitted to a Government official for such changes. All other entries or changes, however, must be made by an authorized official.

c. The loss of a valid passport is a serious matter and should be reported in writing immediately to:

Passport Office
Department of State
Washington, DC 20524
or, when abroad, to the nearest Consular Office of the U.S.

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