Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.
QUESTION: I am a U.S. citizen who is now living in Israel. I was married to an Israeli citizens but now we are divorced. My daughter is a U.S. citizen and has a U.S. passport. When the time comes to renew my daughter’s U.S. passport, will I need him to sign the application?
ANSWER: Applications for new U.S. passports or passport renewals for children 15 or under require both parents to apply in person with the child. This is true even if one or both of the parents are not U.S. citizens.
If one of the parents is unable to apply in person with the child (for example if they are living in a different country), the non-appearing parent must complete a Form DS-3053, Statement of Consent, http://travel.state.gov/passport/forms/ds3053/ds3053_846.html , and include a copy of their passport.
If the non-appearing parent cannot or will not sign the Statement of Consent, the appearing parent may complete the Form DS-3053 and include a statement as to the special circumstances why the non-appearing parent is not submitting a Statement of Consent. The DOS may then, in their discretion, grant the passport without the non-appearing parent’s consent, depending on the reason for the omission.
If the appearing parent has sole legal custody of the child, then a Statement of Consent is not required. In that situation the appearing parent can provide one of the following documents instead: 1) Death certificate of non-appearing parent; 2) court order granting the parent sole custody (unless the order restricts the child’s travel); 3) child’s birth certificate, Report of Birth Abroad, or Certification of Birth Abroad listing only the one parent; 4) Adoption decree listing the parent as the sole parent; 5) Court order specifically permitting the applying parent to travel with the child; or 6) a court order declaring the non-appearing parent to be incompetent.
For further instructions on what is required to apply for a U.S. passport for a minor, you can visit the DOS website at http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html.