If you are intending to travel out of the United States, you need to obtain a US passport. Whether you are traveling for educational, business, or leisure purposes, without a US visa, you cannot be able to actualize your travel dreams. It is, however, necessary to understand the process and requirements of acquiring a US passport. In this blog post, we will be guiding you through the requirements for US passport, to ensure you are well-prepared for your journey outside the US.
Requirements for US Passport
A passport (or an international passport) is a legal travel document issued by the government of a country to an individual to verify the identity and nationality of the holder.
To apply for a US passport, you will need to provide the following requirements:
1. Completed Passport Application:
To apply for a US passport, you need to fill out the passport application form (Form DS-11). You can fill out this form online on the application portal or print it out and fill it out manually. Make sure you correctly and accurately fill out the necessary information required. Some of the information you will be required to fill in include your personal details (full name, date of birth, social security number, and current home address). You must only fill out the form using black ink only, and you should not sign the form until your passport acceptance official asks you to do so.
2. Proof of US Citizenship:
To qualify for a US Passport, you must either be a US citizen by birth or naturalization or be a US noncitizen that is qualified for a US passport. You must provide proof of your nationality to establish that you are a US citizen or you meet the citizenship requirements for a US passport. The following documents are requested as proof of citizenship:
- Certified birth certificate issued by the city, or state of birth. The certificate must bear the applicant’s full name, date of birth and place of birth. It must also bear the list of the applicant’s parents’ full names.
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth for US citizens given birth to outside the US.
- Naturalization certificate (for individuals who became citizens from being Permanent residents)
- Certificate of Citizenship
3. Proof of Identity
In addition to the proof of US citizenship, one of the requirements for US passport is the proof of identity. The proof of identity which you will be submitting must be a state or government–issued identification. Some of the acceptable means of identification include:
- A valid driver’s license
- A previously issued (undamaged) US passport (if you are renewing your expired US passport)
- Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization
- Government-issued ID or Military ID
- Pilot’s License (valid) issued by the FAA
4. Passport Photo
You will be required to provide two (2) recent passport-sized photographs along with your application (online or manually). The passport photo must meet the USDS’s passport criteria. Some f the criteria include the photo being 2×2 inches and should be recently taken in the last six months to the time of application. You must have both of your eyes open and your face should be neutral in the passport.
5. Acceptance Fees Receipt
You need to pay the passport acceptance fees which can vary depending on the type of passport and services you are applying for. The passport application/ acceptance fee can vary, so it is important to verify the current fee structure at the time of your application.
6. Proof of Travel Plans
This document is one of the requirements for US passport when you have an upcoming journey. This document is not a mandatory requirement but can help speed up the processing of your passport application. You will be required to provide documents such as your upcoming travel itinerary, hotel reservations, conference invitations, business meeting plans, etc. However, you will be required to pay an extra fee for speeding up your passport processing.
7. Parental Consent (for underage children)
Parental consent is needed when you are applying for a minor (below w6 years of age). The consent can come in the form of the parents being present themselves or submitting a notarized consent form along with the passport application if any of the parents cannot appear. The parent or guardian must also provide a photocopy of the front and back of his or her ID with the form. The parent or guardian must also explain why none of the parents or guardians is present.
However, if the applying child is below 16 years old, both parents must be present. Any of the parents that cannot be present must send a notarized consent form to be taken along with the appearing parent.
If you are traveling out of the United States for any purpose, you will be required to obtain a US passport. By familiarizing yourself with the application procedures and understanding the requirements for US passport, you can streamline your application process and make your experience a smooth one. Remember to gather all the necessary documents, and fill out the passport application form carefully, honestly, and accurately.