Can your passport get disapproved?

Written by marilyn lindblad
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Can your passport get disapproved?
U.S. passport (us passport image by Albert Lozano from

A passport is a privilege, not a right. The U.S. Department of State can disapprove your passport application and prevent you from acquiring one. The State Department can also revoke your passport after it has been issued. Your passport can get disapproved because of the place you want to visit or because of some detail in your background.

Restricted Travel

The State Department can disapprove your application for a passport if you intend to travel to a country at war with the United States or is engaged in armed hostility against the United States. Your passport can also be denied if you intend to travel to a country where the State Department has determined that the physical safety of U.S. travellers is at risk.

Child Support and Other Debt

Unpaid debt can prevent you from getting a passport. If you owe a child support arrearage of £1,625 or more, your passport application will be denied under a child support enforcement law called the Passport Denial Program (PDP). Even if you pay your child support arrearage, the State Department can still restrict your travel under the PDP. Your application may also be denied if you owe the U.S. Government money for a loan that was made to provide emergency assistance or emergency medical attention.

Child Custody

Passport regulations help prevent a parent from travelling abroad with a minor child without the other parent's permission. Both parents must sign a passport application for a child under the age of 14. If only one parent signs, the parent who applies for the passport must prove that he has sole legal authority to get a passport for his child. If a minor child's parents are going through a divorce, the State Department will disapprove the child's passport application. This denial does not affect the approval parent's passport application.

Disruptive Activities or Fraud

The State Department can deny you passport application or revoke your passport if it determines your activities while travelling abroad will probably damage national security or interfere with U.S. foreign policy. Your passport can also be revoked if you obtained it illegally, by error, by fraud or if your passport has been altered or misused.

Mental Health

Passports can be disapproved because of mental health conditions. If you have been legally declared incompetent by a U.S. court or it you are subject to a court order committing you to a mental institution, your application for a passport will be denied.


Your passport can be denied or revoked if you are the subject of an outstanding felony arrest warrant or if you are on probation or on parole and a condition of your release is that you must stay in the United States. Similarly, you cannot get a passport if you are wanted for a crime in another country. If you are subject to a request for extradition to a foreign country, if you are the subject of a federal prosecution subpoena or if you are the subject of a felony grand jury investigation, your passport can be denied or revoked.

Immigration Status

Your passport can also be revoked if the State Department discovers you are not a U.S. national or that your certificate of citizenship or certificate of naturalisation was cancelled after the passport was granted.

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