A passport is a legal document that is proof of citizenship. A passport is required for travel in and out of the country.

The United States Department of State issues passports and determines rules for legal passports. The Code of Federal Regulations, Title 22, Sections 51.60 – 62 and 65 outlines reasons a passport might be revoked:

  • Not paying child support
  • Forged passport
  • Tampering with a passport
  • Cancellation of citizenship through voided Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization
  • A sex tourism conviction
  • A drug or trafficking conviction
  • Illegal method of obtaining passport
  • Nonpayment of taxes

What Happens If a Passport Is Revoked?

The process for revoking a passport depends on the reason the passport was revoked. It is possible to find out your passport was revoked during the application process or renewal process. A passport may be denied for many of the same reasons it can be revoked.

The application process requires filling out a form, paying a fee, and submitting photographs. For a first passport, it can take six weeks to process an application. Some countries require the passport to be six months old in order to permit entry. Passports can be renewed within 60 days. These time guidelines are helpful in understanding when notice of a revoked or denied passport will be sent.

If your passport is revoked, you can contest the revocation. You have 60 days within the time of receiving notice of the revocation to request an administrative hearing. You will be given a hearing at which you can present a case disputing the revocation. The results of the hearing are reviewed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Passport Services.

Can a Revoked Passport Be Retrieved?

A revoked passport may be restored through an administrative hearing. If the results of the hearing do not restore the revoked passport, the next option is a legal one. You have the right to appeal the decision of the administrative hearing with a federal district court.

If the passport was revoked because of financial reasons, such as nonpayment of taxes or nonpayment of child support, you have 90 days from the date of the denial letter to remedy the financial issue. If you pay the debt within 90 days, the original application process can be continued. After 90 days, the application will expire and you will have to submit a new passport application.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you have passport issues, an immigration lawyer will help you figure out your best options. It may also be helpful to consult an immigration lawyer for appeals to administrative hearings, as well as advice on other kind of revocations.