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Tag: US passport

The Problem Of Sex Offenders Using United States Passports

by on Jul.30, 2010, under Travel

There are few documents that hold the importance and privilege as a new passport . In fact, it is such a valuable document that many feel a person who has been convicted of a sex crime should not be permitted to obtain one. You may not be aware that out of the sixteen million passports that were issued in 2008, 4,500 of them were issued to registered sex offenders who had been released from jail.

First, it’s important to understand the definition of, “sex offender.” This is an incredibly broad term that covers many different degrees and types of criminal activity. Everything from the guy who relieved himself outside of a bar caught for indecent exposure to convicted pedophiles and rapists is covered by this phrase. The United States Department of State grants passports to any of these cases, except for those specifically guilty of sex tourism. While it seems unfair to tag the indecent exposure case with the same title as the cases involving sexual abuse of children, some say it’s difficult to draw the line.

Some people feel this right should not be restricted hoping the sex offender will commit their crime in a foreign country where the penalties are much more severe than here in the United States. This opinion holds to the idea that once the debt is paid, they should be allowed to travel as much as they please and if they are caught in another country committing a crime, perhaps the harsh punishment will finally teach them a lesson.

There are probably as many different opinions on the subject as the people you ask. There are those who feel that once you have been convicted and served your time in jail or prison, there should be no more restrictions added after release and denial of a passport is certainly a restriction. It restricts international travel. If your term has been served, many feel that should be enough and a person should be allowed to get back into society and live like a regular person who does not have crimes like these to his or her credit.

One important detail to note is that there are very few restrictions on those who can get passports. For one, those lacking the proper American passport requirements can’t, those who owe a certain amount of child support money can’t, and drug traffickers, sex tourists, and the imprisoned can’t. However, this excludes those who have been released from jail, and this group of people can possibly include murderers, thieves, and other perpetrators.

Should the American passport requirements be made even stricter or should they be relaxed in these cases? It is imperative to realize how important U S passport is and the privileges it provides.

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    Child’s Passport: Request One Before You Really Need It

    by on Jun.30, 2010, under Travel

    If you have a child for whom you need to acquire a minors passport, it is important to know what the regulations are regarding this. Children of any age, even newborns, must have their own passports. In addition, for children of the age 16 and 17, there are additional requirements.

    Children under the age of 16 must apply for their passports in person, accompanied by both of their parents/guardians. Proof of U.S. Citizenship must be supplied and will be returned. Acceptable proof includes a previous and undamaged U.S. Passport, official proof of birth or citizenship in the U.S. A social security number must also be provided.

    The accompanying parents or guardians need to prove the relationship they have to the child applicant. This proof may be in the form of a foreign or U.S. birth certificate, a decree of adoption, or a court order that establishes guardianship or custody.

    If any furnished documents are in another language, they must be translated. It can be formally or informally translated. Both original and English translation must be submitted with the passport application.

    Previous U.S. passports cannot be used as proof that parent and child are related. If one of the parents or guardians has had a name change since original documents were issued, proof of that legal name change must also be provided. An example of proof for a name change would be a certificate of marriage. Both parents or guardians must also show valid identification such as: a U.S. passport that is undamaged, a naturalization certificate, a government or military ID, or a driver’s license.

    For a minor below the age of 16 to get a passport, both parents must consent. Therefore, both must appear with the minor at the time of application. If both cannot appear, one must appear and sign the form in front of an agent while submitting the other parent’s Statement of Consent which has been notarized. Note that this must be consent form must be dated within the last three months.

    If only one parent has complete custody, this parent must appear with the minor and sign in front of an agent. This parent must then show proof of being sole authority over the child. Such proof can be the birth certificate, consular report of birth abroad or certificate of birth abroad showing only the one parent’s name. Other proof can be a court order, an adoption decree, an incompetence declaration of the other parent or a death certificate of the other parent.

    If need be, a third person may make the application for the child’s passport. Said person needs to appear with a statement from both of the parents or the guardians, which must be notarized. In the case of sole custody, proof should be supplied, as well.

    It is a smart idea to apply for the passport for a child before you really need it, as is the case with all American passports.

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    It’s That Time Again: Before Expiration, You Can Get A Passport Renewal Through The Mail

    by on Jun.30, 2010, under Travel

    When your passport renewal is due, there are a few ways you can take care of it. There are some cases in which you can renew it by mail. There are others in which you will have to make the application in person.

    Pull out your existing passport first and take a look at it. It will need to be sent with your application package in order to renew by mail. If you do not actually have it, then you must apply for a new passport in person.

    If your current passport is available as well as undamaged, you still my not be able to renew by mail. It must have been issued when you were 16 years old or more, and within the last 15 years. It also must have been issued in your current name or you must be able to send documentation with the application showing your legal name change.

    In addition to the application and your current passport, you will need to send the fee, 2 passport photos and documentation of your name change, if any, such as a certificate of marriage or a court order. Everything should be packaged securely to avoid damages. The package should also be sent in such a way that it is able to be traced.

    Once your passport is renewed, it can be sent only to addresses with the United States or Canada. If you currently live outside of either of these countries, you will have to go to the American Embassy or Consulate that is closest to you. Also note that, if you are behind on child support payments, you may be unable to get a passport.

    The time to process your mailed application can vary. It is usually around four to six weeks. If you have an urgent need for a passport, you may need to visit a local passport agency. This is recommended if you are traveling internationally within two weeks or if you need the U.S. passports within four weeks for a foreign visa. People are seen at these agencies only by appointment.

    If you have sent in your passport application already, the status of your application can be checked online. It may take a week after applying for the status to be available. If your passport has not arrived within one week of when you are due to travel, contact the National Passport Information Center.

    There are occasions when there is an emergency requiring international travel in as little as one or two days. If you find yourself in this situation, you can get an appointment at a passport agency for immediate service. You may be asked for proof of the emergency.

    It is smarter to keep track of the expiration date of your U.S. passport. Then, when it is approaching, be sure to get the US passport renewal taken care of promptly.

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    Behind HJDS Travel Group Blog

    My name is Harry Delgado and I am a full time Internet and Small Business developer and marketer. Over 30 years in the Computer systems development, programming, hardware installations and support. Currently making a living from blogs like HJDS Computer Services , HJDS Investment Group and HJDS BlogBiz. You can connect with me via social media sites at Facebook - LinkedIn - Twitter - YouTube.