Executive order No. 2286–A

Rule of December 17, 1915, governing the granting and issuing of puss ports in the United States


  • 1. [Same as rule 1 of January 12, 1915.1]
  • 2. To Whom passports are issued.—Section 4076 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, 2765) provides that “no passport shall be granted or issued to, or verified for, any other persons than those owing allegiance, whether citizens or not, to the United States.”
  • 3. [Same as rule 2 of January 12, 1915.]
  • 4. [Same as rule 3 of January 12, 1915.]
  • 5. Applications.—A person who is entitled to receive a passport, if within the United States, must submit a written application in duplicate, in the form of an affidavit, to the Secretary of State. The application should be made by the person to whom the passport is to be issued and signed by him, as it is not proper for one person to apply for another.
  • The affidavit must be made before a clerk of a court of record, either Federal or State, within the jurisdiction of which the applicant or his witness resides, and the seal of the court must be affixed; but in any place where there is an agent of the Department of State, the application must be made before him. The applicant must state from what point he intends to leave the United States, and the date of his intended departure and also if by aport of the United States, by what ship he intends to sail. Each application must be in the hands of the Department of State or its agents at least five days before departure from the United States.
  • 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, the place of his permanent residence, and within what length of time he will return to the United States with the purpose residing and performing the duties of citizenship. He is also required to state the names of the foreign countries which he expects to visit, and the objects of his visits thereto. The latter statement should be brief and general in form, thus: “commercial business.” An applicant who states that he is going abroad on commercial business must support his application with a letter from the head of the firm or firms which he represents stating the names of the countries it is necessary for him to visit and the objects of his visits thereto. An applicant who is going abroad for any other purpose must satisfy the Department of State that it is imperative that he go and submit satisfactory documentary evidence substantiating his statement concerning the imperativeness of his proposed trip.
  • The applicant must take the oath of allegiance to the United States.
  • The application must be accompanied by a description of the person applying, and should state the following particulars, viz.: [Page 913]
    • Age, _ _ _ _; stature, _ _ _ _ feet, _ _ _ _inches English measure); forehead, _ _ _ _; eyes, _ _ _ _; nose, _ _ _ _; mouth, _ _ _ _; chin, _ _ _ _; hair, _ _ _ _; complexion, _ _ _ _; face, _ _ _ _; special identifying marks, if any (scars, birthmarks, etc.).
  • The application must also be accompanied by three photographs of the applicant, on thin paper, unmounted, and not larger in size than three by three inches. One must be attached to the back of each application by the clerk of court or the Department’s agent before whom it is made, with an impression of such officer’s seal so placed as to cover part of the photograph but not the features, and the other sent loose, to be attached to the passport by the Department. The loose photograph must be signed across its face, so as not to obscure the features, by the applicant, and the signature thereon must correspond to the applicant’s signature affixed to the application. Photographs on cardboard or postcards will not be accepted.
  • The application must be supported by an affidavit from at least one credible witness that the applicant is the person he represents himself to be, and that the facts stated in the application are true to the best of the witness’s knowledge and belief. This affidavit must be made before the clerk of court or the Department’s agent before whom the application is executed and the witness must be an American citizen, who resides within the jurisdiction of the court or the Department’s agent. The applicant or his witness must be known to the clerk of court or the Department’s agent before whom the application is executed, or must be able to satisfy such officer as to his identity and the bona fides of the applicant.
  • 6. Native citizens.—An application containing the information indicated by rule 5 will be sufficient evidence in the case of a native citizen; except that a person born in the United States in a place where births are recorded will be required to submit a birth certificate with his application.
  • Passports issued by the Department of State or its diplomatic or consular representatives are intended for identification and protection in foreign countries, and not to facilitate entry into the United States, immigration being under the supervision of the Department of Labor.
  • 7–17. [Correspond to rules 6–16 of January 12, 1915.]

Woodrow Wilson
  1. Ante, p. 902.