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USCIS issued memo on procedures for revocation of a U.S. passport

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a memorandum on April 15, 2011, on procedures for recommending revocation of a U.S. passport to the Department of State (DOS). The memo provides background information and outlines statutes under which U.S. passports may be revoked for reasons such as fraud, nonpayment of child support, drug trafficking, non-repayment of a repatriation loan, or conviction for sex tourism.

The memo notes that in recent months, USCIS employees have on occasion informed people that their U.S. passports were invalid and should be surrendered to DOS. Upon review, however, DOS determined that the passports were valid. DOS then asked that USCIS direct any concerns regarding the validity of a passport to DOS and not to the bearer of the passport.

USCIS lacks the authority to revoke or confiscate a U.S. passport, the memo states. The memo instructs USCIS employees who doubt the validity of a passport not to seize the passport, tell the bearer that there are issues with it, or instruct the bearer to return it to DOS. Instead, USCIS employees are to follow the procedures outlined in the memo to request revocation of the passport from DOS.

It is unclear from the memo whether DOS notifies the passport-bearer directly when a passport is revoked. The memo notes that:

After reviewing the revocation request and reaching a determination, DOS will notify the referring contact person of the decision. DOS (Passport Office of Legal Affairs) generally processes revocation requests within 30-60 days of receipt.

In the case of revocation, DOS will transmit a copy of the revocation letter to the referring contact person. The DOS revocation letter must be placed in the individual’s USCIS record. If DOS revokes the passport, the passport is then marked revoked in the Passport Information Electronic Records System (PIERS) and the information is transmitted to TECS.

The memo is available at http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/Laws/Memoranda/2011/April/revocation-us-passport-pm-602-0036.pdf.

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