Passport is what you have to prepare if you want to travel to an area outside the United States. One of the most important factors that determine the eligibility for applying a passport is the criminal background. If you are a felony, you may find it much more difficult to get a passport, yet it is not impossible.
So, how can a felon get a passport? Whether you are eligible to apply for a passport depends greatly on the type of crime that you’ve committed. Under Federal law 22 U.S.C 2714, the US government will automatically disqualify you from obtaining a passport if you are convicted of international drug trafficking or arms trafficking. It means that once you have got an US passport and you’ve used it to cross the international boundaries to make a global illicit trade involving the manufacture and distribution and sale of drug or army. In these cases, your current passport would also be revoked.
As felony drug charges are among the most serious types of crimes according to federal laws and drug crimes are considered highly dangerous to the safety and welfare of the general public, a drug-related felon are not allowed to leave the country. That’s why you can obtain a passport throughout the duration of your imprisonment. Just in rare cases that you have been convicted of a drug charges involving only a first offense possession of a controlled substance, the US Secretary of State may qualify you and issue you a passport in humanitarian cases.
However, in addition to drug-related crimes, you will also be disqualified in case you are subject to felony arrest or have been forbidden from leaving the country by court order, probation or parole. An ex-offender will be unable to travel to another country if the State Department regards you as a real threat to national security or US policy. More importantly, if you have been charged with obtaining and using citizen identity information or passport fraud, or altering a passport, your passport can be revoked and you cannot apply for another one.
If you are not the kinds of felons that have had felony drug convictions or legal troubles listed above, let’s think about other situations that could prevent you from having your passport application approved. One Other issue includes owing from children support arrears of equivalent to $2,500 or more. Besides, if you have an outstanding unpaid loan to the US government, the State Department can also refuse to issue you a passport. Last but not least, considering your age. Minors under 16 without the consent of both parents and legal guardians are also ineligible to get a passport.
Instructions for getting a passport
Now, once you have read all-important parts above and understand your eligibility, the following parts are the instructions for getting a passport.
Firstly, fill out Form DS-11: Application for a US passport, which can be done online or in person at an official Passport Agency or Passport Acceptance Facility. Keep in mind that the form needs to be filled out completely to avoid delays and answer the questions for application with greatest honesty. Any misinformation can lead to troubles. Another way is that you can download this form from the Internet, fill out, and then submit it through your local post office, together with all required documents.
Other documents include a citizen document, which can be a birth certificate, naturalization certificate or consular report of birth abroad, and proof of citizenship – a copy of your photo identification, such as driver’s license or current school or military ID card. You should photo all needed documents on 8-1/2-by-11-inch white paper stock.
Next, get your passport pictures done by an appropriate passport agency or take them at a photo shop. Ensure you have 2 photos of yourself in front of a white background, taken within 6 months of passport application, clearly showing your face and be 2-inches in size. Remember the most important documents you have to submit is your official court documents which show you have satisfied the court and are not on probation or parole any more.
In brief, as long as you have not had felony drug convictions or in some certain cases like I’ve mentioned, it’s quite easy for you to obtain a passport. However, even with the US passport, you may not be allowed to entering a country according to its nation’s law based on your status as a convicted felon.