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Passports for US citizen children | Print |  Email
Friday, 04 November 2011

Q:   I’m an Irish citizen who recently gave birth to a child here in the US. I want to get a US passport for my child before we take a trip to Ireland. Does the child’s father need to come with me or sign something to get the passport?

A:  A child born in the US automatically has US citizenship, irrespective of the parents’ citizenship (exception: children of foreign diplomats). But because of child custody and support issues, the US Passport Office in the State Department has set out strict requirements for the issuance of US passports to enable children under the age of 16 to travel abroad: 

1. Both parents must appear together and sign the application for the child; or

2. One parent appears, signs the application, and submits the second parent's notarized “Statement of Consent: Issue of a Passport to a Minor Under age 16,” Form DS-3053, authorizing passport issuance for the child; or

3. One parent appears, signs, and submits required evidence of sole authority to apply (such as one of the following):

  • The child’s certified birth certificate listing only the applying parent; or
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) or Certification of Birth Abroad (Form DS-1350) listing only the  applying parent; or
  • A court order granting sole custody to the applying parent (unless the child’s travel is restricted by that order); or
  • An adoption decree (if the applying parent is the sole adopting parent); or
  • A court order specifically permitting an applying parent or legal guardian to travel with the child; or
  • A judicial declaration of incompetence of the non-applying parent; or 
  • A death certificate for the non-applying parent.

A third party acting “in loco parentis” (that is, acting by law in the place of the parents) and applying on behalf of a minor under the age of 16 must submit a notarized affidavit from both parents or legal guardians authorizing the third party to apply for a passport. When the statement or affidavit is from only one parent/guardian, the third party must present evidence that the authorizing parent/guardian has sole custody of the child.

Note that these requirements apply to all US citizen children under 16, irrespective of their place of birth or the citizenship of their parents.

For a free, confidential consultation about any issue of immigration law, visit one of our weekly legal clinics advertised in the Emigrant.

Disclaimer:  These articles are published to inform generally, not to advise in individual cases.  Immigration law is always subject to change.  US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the US Department of State regularly amend regulations and alter processing and filing procedures.  For legal advice seek the assistance of an IIIC immigration specialist or an immigration lawyer.


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