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Satisfactory evidence of citizenship is necessary before he can be furnished with a passport. A notarial certificate of the fact is not deemed sufficient, although it is quite proper that the evidence transmitted be authenticated by a notary.”
Mr. Dickins, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. Williams, Aug. 6, 1836, 28 MS,
Dom. Let. 397.
Passports are only granted to citizens of the United States. If you know the persons applying to be such, by sending a description of their persons embracing the following particulars—age, stature (feet, inches), forehead, nose, mouth, chin, hair, complexion, faceto this Department, the passports will be forwarded to yourself or them as you may direct. “P. S.-A description of the gentlemen is all that is necessary." Mr. Forsyth, Sec. of State, to Mr. McKennan, Feb. 7, 1837, 29 MS. Dom.
Th. M. T. McKennan, of the House of Representatives. Taken in
“Applicants for passports are required to furnish this Department with proof of citizenship, as well as a description of their persons. Jf native citizens, their own affidavit to the fact, made before a justice of the peace or notary, is sufficient; if naturalized, the certificate of naturalization must be forwarded to the Department, and will be returned with the passport.”
Mr. Webster, Sec. of State, to Mr. Patterson, Feb. 10, 1843, 33 MS. Dom.
1843, 33 MS. Dom. Let. 131.
“All applications for passports must be accompanied by evidence of citizenship. If a native citizen of the United States, an affidavit made by yourself before a notary public, and one other citizen to whom he is personally known, will be sufficient; and if a naturalized citizen, his certificate of naturalization must be transmitted for inspection. I refer you to the annexed círcular for further particulars.”
Mr. Buchanan, Sec. of State, to Mr. Wilkens, Oct. 16, 1845, 35 MS. Dom.
circular of instructions, giving particulars as to passport applications.
“A person who is entitled to receive a passport, if within the United States, must make a written application, in the form of an affidavit, to the Secretary of State.
“ The affidavit must be attested by an officer authorized to administer oaths, and if he has an official seal it must be affixed. If he has no seal, his official character must be authenticated by certificate of the proper legal officer.
"If the applicant signs by mark, two attesting witnesses to his signature are required.
“ The applicant is required to state the date and place of his birth, his occupation, and the place of his permanent residence, and within what length of time he intends to return to the United States with the purpose of residing and performing the duties of citizenship therein.
" The applicant must take the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States.
“ The application must be accompanied by a description of the person applying, and should state the following particulars, viz: Age, -; stature,
feet inches (English measure); forehead, ; eyes, -; nose, ; mouth, ; chin,
; ; complexion, ; face, “ The application must be accompanied by a certificate from at least one credible witness that the applicant is the person he represents himself to be, and that the facts stated in the affidavit are true to the best of the witness's knowledge and belief."
Rules governing the granting and issuing of passports in the United
States, Sept. 12, 1903. “ 14. Blank forms of application.—They will be furnished by the De
partment to persons who desire to apply for passports, but are not furnished, except as samples, to those who make a business of pro
curing passports. “ 15. Address.-Communications should be addressed to the Department
of State, Passport Bureau, and each communication should give the
post-office address of the person to whom the answer is to be directed. “ 16. Rejection of application.—The Secretary of State has the right in
his discretion to refuse to issue a passport, and will exercise this right towards anyone who, he has reason to believe, desires a pass
port to further an unlawful or improper purpose." (Ibid.) As to rules governing applications prior to 1898, see Hunt's Am. Pass
port, 48–64. See a circular of Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to diplomatic officers abroad,
Feb. 23, 1887, printed in For. Rel. 1887, 1134; also, what purport to be revised regulations of May 1, 1886, in relation to passports, 'as printed in Wharton's Int. Law Digest, II. 469-471, but apparently not now of record in the Department of State.
Where the object is to obtain a passport for an insane person, the application may be made and proper papers presented by the guardian or nearest friend of the person in question. “Even were this not
the case, the regulations in regard to issuing passports are not imposed by Congress, but are discretionary with the Executive, and may at any time be interpreted or modified by the Department of State. They should certainly not be applied in such a way as to exclude from a passport persons by whom it may be most needed, as in the present case."
Mr. Porter, Acting Sec. of State, to Mr. Winchester, min. to Switzerland,
No. 4, July 11, 1885, For. Rel. 1885, 807.
The action of the legation of the United States at St. Petersburg in declining to comply with the request of the public prosecutor of the Moscow district for the evidence on which a passport was issued to a naturalized citizen of the United States was approved by the Department of State, especially as it was presumed that the information was sought for the purpose of sustaining a charge of naturalization abroad without the permission of the Russian Government.
For. Rel. 1896, 522.
Although the restrictions upon the issuance of passports are sometimes evaded by applying first to one legation and then to another, it has not been found to be practicable to apply a remedy by notifying all other missions of the rejection of an application by one of them. The circular of the Department of State of February 25, 1897, requires applicants to declare whether they have applied elsewhere and been refused a passport. The good judgment of each envoy is trusted to scrutinize passport applications presented to him, with a view of eliciting the facts and acting accordingly.
Mr. Hay, Sec. of State, to Mr. Storer, min. to Belgium, Feb. 4, 1899, For.
Rel. 1899, 84, 85.
Believing, as I do, that, under the statute governing the issuance of passports, declarations of identity, made by applicants for passports before a consular officer charged for the time being with the care of American interests, should be entitled to full faith and credit by the officials or agents of this Government, I have instructed Mr. Straus, at Constantinople, in this sense."
Mr. Hay, Sec. of State, to Mr. Elliot, Jan. 12, 1900, 170 MS. Inst. Consuls,
2. NATIVE CITIZENS.
Appropriate forms of applications are furnished for the use of (1) native citizens, (2) naturalized citizens, (3) persons claiming citizenship through the naturalization of parent or husband, and (4) residents of the insular possessions of the United States.
An application, containing the information indicated in the extract given in the foregoing section from the rules of 1903, suffices in the case of native citizens.
Persons born in the United States of alien parents are not required to produce proofs of the subsequent naturalization of their parents, since their citizenship is derived not from their parents' naturalization, but from the fact of their American birth, the Constitution of the United States providing that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
Mr. Hill, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. White, ambass, to Germany, May 21,
1901, For. Rel. 1901, 178. See, also, Wharton, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. Phelps, min. to Germany,
No. 276, July 22, 1891, For, Rel. 1891, 515.
But a person born abroad, whose father was a native citizen of the United States, must show that his father was born in the United States, and resided therein, and was a citizen at the time of the applicant's birth. The affidavit to this effect may be required to be supported by the affidavit of one other citizen acquainted with the facts.
Rules governing the Granting and Issuing of Passports in the United
States, Sept. 12, 1903.
3. NATURALIZED CITIZENS.
“A naturalized citizen must transmit his certificate of naturalization, or a duly certified copy of the court record thereof, with his application. It will be returned to him after inspection. He must state in his affidavit when and from what port he emigrated to this country, what ship he sailed in, where he has lived since his arrival in the United States, when and before what court he was naturalized, and that he is the identical person described in the certificate of naturalization. The signature to the application should conform in orthography to the applicant's name as written in his certificate of naturalization, or an explanation of the difference should be submitted."
Rules Governing the Granting and Issuance of Passports in the United
States, Sept. 12, 1903.
The wife or widow of a naturalized citizen, if she claims citizenship by virtue of her husband's naturalization, “ must transmit for inspec. tion her husband's certificate of naturalization, must state that she
is the wife (or widow) of the person described therein, and must set forth the facts of his emigration, naturalization, and residence, as required in the rule governing the application of a naturalized citizen."
“I have to state that, in relation to the party who has lost his naturalization papers obtained in a State now in insurrection against the Government of the United States, it will be sufficient in order to obtain a passport from this Department if he shall make affidavit of the facts in the case, joined with that of a person who has some [ seen such papers in his possession."
Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to Mr. Latham, July 23, 1861, 54 MS. Dom.
W. E. B. applied to the United States legation at Buenos Ayres for a passport, alleging that he was a naturalized American citizen of German birth, but that he had lost his certificate of naturalization. As he was unable to furnish proof of such loss, the legation at first declined to issue a passport, but afterwards granted one on his producing the affidavits of two American sea captains, said to be known to the United States consul as good and true men," which declared that the affiants knew that W. E. B. was a naturalized citizen under the laws of the State of New York," and that his representations were true. With reference to the case as thus stated, and without having before it the original documents, the Department of State said that the action of the legation appeared to have been improvident.
Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Hanna, min. to Argentine Republic, No.
61, March 27, 1888, For. Rel. 1888, I. 11.
“(1) Is a passport to be refused to the wife or widow of a naturalized citizen who has not the naturalization papers of her husband?
“(2) Is a passport to be refused to a naturalized citizen who has left his naturalization papers at home, or who has lost them?
“ The legation should require the original certificate or a duly certified copy thereof to be produced as the best evidence of citizenship. If the applicant shall be unable to produce a certificate of naturalization or a certified copy thereof, then the naturalization certificate, like all other records, may be proved by parol, but to admit parol proof of it the following conditions must exist:
“(a) The prior existence of the certificate must be shown.
“(6) If burned or otherwise destroyed, such destruction of the certificate must be proved.