How to Renew a Non-US Citizen Passport

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U.S. nationals can get U.S. passports.
U.S. nationals can get U.S. passports. (Image: passport image by isatori from Fotolia.com)

A small group of individuals from the outlying possessions of the United States of American Samoa and Swains Island may apply for U.S. passports. If you have been issued a U.S. passport, your renewal process is going to be nearly the same as that of a U.S. citizen.

Verify that you are a national of the United States and eligible to get or renew your U.S. passport. The Immigration and Nationality Act “confers U.S. nationality, but not U.S. citizenship, on persons born in or having ties with ‘an outlying possession of the United States.’ The outlying possessions are defined in Section 101(A)(29) INA as American Samoa and Swains Island. No other statutes define any other territories nor any of the states as outlying possessions.” Some residents of the Northern Mariana islands can opt to become U.S. nationals and not citizens as well. See the U.S. State Department’s website on Certificates of Non-Citizen Nationality for more information.

Fill out form DS-11 or DS-82 to renew your passport. These forms are available on the State Department’s website. In addition, passport offices have these forms available. Fill out DS-82 if you want to renew your passport by mail. Fill out DS-11 if you want to apply for a renewal of your passport in person. Do not sign form DS-11 if you are going to apply in person until you are at the passport office and instructed to do so. Follow the instructions on the form and the State Department’s passport renewal websites to ensure that you are eligible to renew a passport by mail. For example, minors under 16 have to apply in person, and if you cannot legally document a name change that occurred since you were last issued a passport, you must apply in person.

Submit your old passport if you still have it, documentation of your status as a U.S. national (your old passport can serve this purpose), documentation of any name change and other identification documents as required by the State Department.

Get two passport photos as well to submit with your application and documentation. These can be taken at places that develop film and at some passport office locations. A list of passport offices is available at the State Department’s website.

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