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What is a Passport?

A passport is an internationally-accepted document that proves the identity of its holder. Individuals who wish to cross international borders generally must carry these documents. Each country issues its own passports in accordance with a set of accepted standards. In the United States, only natural-born and naturalized U.S. citizens are permitted to hold an official U.S. passport. While this is also the case in most other countries around the world, individuals who hold dual citizenship may hold passports from both of their “home” countries.

How are Passports Obtained?

In the United States, passports are issued by the State Department and must be obtained in a legal manner. Unlike some other forms of identification, passports must be obtained “in person” at an office or outpost that has been authorized to issue these documents. Applicants must present an application fee, two valid forms of identification, proof of U.S. citizenship, a valid Social Security identification card, and two wallet-sized photos or images. Depending upon the current application backlog, the passport application process can take weeks or months. If you need help obtaining a passport, talk to one of the Gutierrez Law Firm‘s passport lawyers.

Can Passports Be Restricted or Revoked?

From time to time, the U.S. government chooses to revoke or restrict specific citizens’ passports. The State Department must provide the affected individuals with written notice of this action. U.S. citizens may have their passports revoked or restricted for the following reasons:

  • They have been declared psychologically unstable or incompetent.
  • They have engaged in treasonous or “harmful” activities while outside of the U.S.
  • They have been arrested or are subject to arrest on felony charges.
  • They have been convicted of certain felonious drug crimes.
  • They committed fraud during the passport application process.

For a thorough explanation of these restrictions, get in touch with a passport attorney.

Remedies for Passport Revocation or Application Denial

U.S. citizens whose passports have been restricted or revoked may seek legal recourse. Within 60 days of receiving notice of the State Department’s restrictive action, an affected individual may petition for an administrative hearing. At the hearing, the individual must furnish proof that the decision to revoke or restrict his or her passport was made in error. If the outcome of the hearing is unsatisfactory, further legal recourse is available through the federal court system. Since the administrative-hearing process is difficult to navigate, individuals who wish to restore their full passport privileges are encouraged to seek the assistance of a trained immigration lawyer.

How We Can Help

The seasoned passport attorneys at the Gutierrez Law Firm have over 20 years of experience with passport-related issues. We strive to ensure that each of our clients is able to navigate the passport application process smoothly and respond quickly to delays or denials. We also have extensive experience with the administrative-hearing process and stand ready to assist clients who face the revocation or restriction of their passports.

A qualified passport lawyer can tell you more about preparing for a passport-related administrative hearing. Make a call to the Gutierrez Law Firm today at 210.225.7114.

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