US Passport Attorney Los Angeles
Los Angeles San Fernando Valley Immigration Attorney Pecchia practices Immigration and Naturalization exclusively with an emphasis on Family Immigration. He also assists individuals and families seeking U.S. Passports as a Passport Attorney. In addition to applications, his services also include personally taking an individual to the Passport Office, if requested. If you are interested in hiring an attorney to assist you in obtaining a U.S. Passport or handle your immigration or naturalization case, and have questions, you may telephone Immigration Lawyer Pecchia at (818)963-8238 for a free, telephone consultation.
The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) website says that your U.S. Passport is the best proof of U.S. citizenship. There are other ways to prove your U.S. citizenship as well. A U.S. birth certificate or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad can be used if your birth was registered at the U.S. Consulate when you were born. If you are already in the U.S., you can apply for a Certificate of Citizenship. If you were naturalized, you can use your Naturalization Certificate to prove U.S. citizenship. You may also want to read my informative article Benefits of Citizenship.
What is aPassport
A passport is a travel document that serves as the ultimate form of proof of your citizenship. Every country issues passports to citizens of that country. U.S. passports are issued by the United States Department of State. A U.S passport is often used, and is widely accepted, as a form of identification for other purposes as well. Even when applying for an immigration benefit,for example when a U.S. Citizen is sponsoring an alien spouse, or other immigration benefit, USCIS will accept a U.S. Passport as proof of U.S. citizenship.
Is Obtaining a U.S. Passport Easier than Obtaining Proof of Citizenship through USCIS
I am discovering more and more that obtaining a passport, in selected cases, may be an easier, faster, and more economical way for an adult or child to obtain evidence of U.S. citizenship. But it does depend on the particular case and circumstances.
Why Use an Immigration Lawyer
In contrast to seeking other immigration benefits, many individuals may not need a lawyer to obtain a passport. It is a fairly straight forward process. However, instances arise in which individuals may have issues or circumstances which complicate or could cause substantial delay or can lead to a denial of their passport. Here are a few situations (though there are others) in which a person might be better served by using an immigration lawyer to represent him or her or their family in seeking a passport:
- Applying for a passport when U.S. Citizenship is not apparent, must be proven or issues are present concerning the same;
- Issues exist concerning fraud or other criminal offenses;
- A passport has been revoked;
- A person may want help with the process or not have the time or inclination to prepare the “passport package” for himself or herself or a his or her family;
- Obtaining a passport may require the applicant to obtain documentation from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services prior to applying for a passport;
- There are other reasons as well.
How Do I Apply for a Passport
Applying for a passport in most cases is a fairly easy process. This link Applying For a U.S. Passport takes you directly to the Department of State web site which is very helpful. It contains a comprehensive list of requirements. Generally, what is required includes:
This can be filled in by hand at the place where you submit the form, or online (after which you will need to print it out). This form asks for your details (where you live, where you were born, your Social Security Number, etc.) as well as information like your height and eye color. Filling in your SSN is absolutely required.
Proof of Citizenship
Proof of citizenship must be submitted with all passport applications. A previously issued passport; a certified, government-issued birth certificate; a consular report of birth abroad; a naturalization certificate or a certificate of citizenship can be used to prove citizenship. If none of these documents is available, secondary documentation may be provided. Secondary documentation includes early public records, such as a hospital birth certificate or early school records, accompanied by a birth record, birth affidavit or a government-issued letter noting that no birth record can be found. I recommend that you to read my informative blog article: Getting a U.S. Passport and U.S. Citizenship
Proof of Identity
Proof of identity must be presented with all passport applications. Acceptable forms of identification include a passport, naturalization certificate, drivers license, military ID card or other current government-issued ID. A photocopy of the identity’ documents also must accompany the passport application. The copy must be made on a single side of white, letter-size paper and the front and back of the ID must be included. Applicants without proper proof of identity may submit several forms of secondary identification, such as a social security card, credit card and an employee ID, or have an identifying witness swear to their identity.
A Passport Photograph
A single 2-by-2-inch passport photo must be submitted with each application. Passport photos must be a color picture taken within the past six months in front of a white or off-white background. The applicant should be looking directly into the camera with a neutral expression with the head taking up the majority of the frame. Everyday dress should be worn in the photo, including glasses or hearing aids worn daily.
Additional Documentation for Children
Children’s passport applications, for minors under 16, must be accompanied by proof of identity for the parents in lieu of proof of the child’s identity. Proof of relationship between the child and her parents or guardian, in the form of a birth certificate, adoption decree or court order, also must be presented. If both parents are not present when the child’s application is submitted, proof of sole guardianship or a notarized statement from the absent parent granting permission for a passport to be issued also must accompany the application.
How is it Submitted
Unless you are renewing an adult passport, you will usually have to submit your application in-person. This can be done at your local passport authority, or at designated locations (often major post offices). You will also need to apply in person if you changed your name since your previous passport, if it has been more than 15 years since your last passport was issued, or if your previous passport was stolen,lost, or damaged.
Where is it Submitted
Acceptance Facility. You may locate the Acceptance Facility nearest you, but visiting the Passport Acceptance Facility search page at: http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/. Acceptance facilities may include post offices, clerks of court, public libraries or other state, county, township, and municipal government offices.
Passport Agency or Center. You must have an appointment in order to apply at a Passport Agency or Center, and an Expedited Fee is required for each application submitted in person at any agency or center. A list of Agencies is located on the Department’s website at: http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/npic/agencies/agencies_913.html.
If expediting the process or requesting an emergency passport, some Passport Agencies and Centers require proof of international travel within two weeks, or proof of need to obtain a foreign visa within four weeks, so be sure to contact the center in advance in order to ensure that you have all the necessary information.
Passport renewal for previously issued adult passports can be done by mail, though this method is much less secure.
Call us at (818) 963-8238 for a Free, Telephone Consultation concerning, your particular situation and learn your options.
Thank you for visiting my site.
Serving the California cities, including, but not limited to: Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, Reseda, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, Studio City, Panorama City, Northridge, Tarzana, Canoga Park, Simi Valley, Van Nuys, Sylmar, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Calabasas, North Hollywood, Hollywood, Pacoima, North Hills, Sun Valley, Lake View Terrace, Bell, Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Carson, Cerritos, Claremont, Culver City, Diamond Bar, Downey, El Monte, El Segundo, Gardena, Glendora, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Huntington Park, City of Industry, La Canada Flintridge, Lawndale, Lomita, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Monrovia, Montebello, Palmdale, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, San Fernando, San Marino, Santa Clarita, South Pasadena, Pasadena, Pico Riviera, as well as those throughout California, the United States, and the world.