(Jewish Daily Bulletin)
New instructions concerning the issuance of American passports abroad, affecting both native and naturalized citizens were issued by the Department of State.
A large number of American Consular officers abroad will be authorized to issue passports to American citizens abroad beginning October 1. Heretofore American citizens in other countries have been able to obtain passports only by applying through the consulates to Washington, or by receiving emergency passports of limited duration through the grace of American embassies, legations and a few consulates.
The State Department, which announced the new plan this afternoon, believes many annoyances will be done away with by its institution and that the practice of issuing passports in local offices will be of great benefit to the American traveling public.
Under the present practice, a long period frequently elapsed between the date of filing an application for a passport in a consulate and the receipt of the document from Washington. In cases of application from far distant countries, months sometimes intervened, and as a result American citizens were greatly inconvenienced when their old passports expired and new ones had not arrived.
Passports will be issued by consuls only to applicants of the classes named below under the conditions described and in accordance with certain general instructions of the department:
To native citizens, to whom departmental passports have been issued or who have been included in departmental passports subsequent to Jan. 3, 1918, if indisputable evidence thereof is presented to the officer taking the application; and subsequent to the coming into operation of this instruction to native citizens who likewise are identified by service passports issued to or including them.
To native and naturalized citizens, whose registration at a consulate is valid at the time when the application for a passport is filed and has received the approval of the department.
To naturalized citizens, to whom departmental passports have been issued, or who have been included in departmental passports, subsequent to Jan. 3, 1918, and against whom the presumption of expatriation prescribed by Section 2 of the Act of March 2, 1907, has not arisen, provided evidence of the issue of such a passport is presented to the officer taking the application.
To citizens not included in the classes named above, in certain emergency cases.
There will still be certain instances in which consuls will not be allowed to issue passports, the passports in these cases having to come from the State Department or he specifically authorized by it. The classes of persons in these cases were named as follows: All naturalized citizens against whom the presumption of having ceased to be citizens has arisen, i.e., those naturalized citizens who have resided for two years or more in the foreign State from which they came, or for five years in any other foreign State, except when the registration as citizens of such persons is current and approved by the department; or those against whom the presumption will arise within a short time.
Women who were citizens of the United States but who, having been married to aliens after Sept. 22, 1922, may have become subject to the presumption of expatriation.
Persons who claim American citizenship, but who have never established their claims or whose claims are open to doubt. This class will include among others:
Those persons who claim citizenship by birth in the United States and who adduce evidence in proof of their claims, the authenticity of which requires verification.
Those who claim citizenship by birth but who possess dual nationality and whose claims to the protection of this Government are of doubtful validity by reason of their having taken a foreign oath of allegiance by having abandoned their ties with the United States or for other reasons. These classes as a rule apply for passports for the sole purpose of coming to the United States, and their claims require the strictest investigation, since many unscrupulous aliens endeavor to effect illegal entry into the United States by fraudulently claiming American citizenship.
If an officer has any doubt as to the loyalty of an applicant for a passport, or if it is suspected that such applicant intends to commit crime or otherwise to bring grave discredit on the United States as an evader of justice or in other ways, the issue of a passport will be declined by the consul and the application will be forwarded to the department with a statement of the facts in the case. If it is considered that an exigency exists which would warrant the issue of a passport promptly and if, after investigation, it is concluded that the doubt or suspicion is not justified, the officer may in his discretion report the facts to the department by telegraph at the expense of the applicant.
The department may have issued passports to minors having dual nationality, on applications filed in this country, who while subsequently in the foreign country to which they may also owe allegiance may be called for military service by the authorities of that Government. Passports should not be issued by consular officers in these cases, but the application should be forwarded to the department with a statement of the facts, unless the officer receiving the application has not been called or is not about to be called for military service.
In these cases full explanation of the reasons for refusal of the officer to approve issue, or to issue a service passport, is to be sent to the department with the applications. A consular officer will not be authorized finally to refuse to issue a passport, since such authority is vested only in the Secretary of State.
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