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DOS clarifies passport regulations for applicants with delinquent tax debt

  1. Date Announced

    Dec. 9, 2019

    The Department of State may still issue limited validity passport for direct return to the United States or for emergency or humanitarian circumstances even when the passport applicant is certified by the Treasury Department as having seriously delinquent tax debt. [ID #661]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Dec. 9, 2019
Status: Final/Actual
Type of Action: Rule
Subject Matter: Citizenship
Agencies Affected: DOS

Prior Policies

  • As part of a 2016 final rule that implemented the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) (22 U.S.C. § 2714a), the rulemaking incorporated statutory passport denial and revocation requirements for certain individuals who have been certified by Treasury as having seriously delinquent tax debts or who submit passport applications without correct and valid Social Security numbers. The 2016 Final Rule, codified at 22 C.F.R. § 51.60(a)(3), provided that such delinquent individuals may not be issued a passport, except for direct return to the U.S. This proved to be too narrow an implementation of the law, since 22 U.S.C. § 2714a(e)(1)(B) provides that not only may the Department of State issue a certified individual a passport valid for direct return to the U.S., but it also has discretion to issue passports for emergency circumstances or humanitarian reasons. Accordingly, the new rule was implemented to account for such exigent circumstances.

    22 CFR § 51.60 - Denial and restriction of passports (2017 version)

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