Applying For a No-Fee Passport
The process of obtaining a passport without paying any fees is possible only for a limited number of individuals who must undergo an application process and show proof of their eligibility in order to be exempt from any fees pertaining to the issuance of the passport. Many of the eligibility requirements are quite stringent in which only a limited number of people can apply and effectively obtain a no-fee passport book. The following people are eligible in order to obtain a no-fee passport books and a no-fee passport card:
- Officers, representatives or employees of the U.S. Federal Government who are traveling overseas to represent the United States.
- Family members, spouses or any other dependent of officers, representatives or employees of the U.S. Federal Government who are accompanying them on their duties and assignments overseas.
- Family members of a deceased relative who was serving the U.S. Armed Forces overseas.
- Diplomatic officers, consulate generals and ambassadors who are representing the U.S. overseas.
Each type of application for a no-fee passport must be effectively placed on the specific travel offices for further processing. Military officers who are eligible can contact their respective installation travel offices as well as the federal government representatives or employees, Peace Corps members, personnel of the department of state and other eligible passport applicants.
Keep in mind that placing the application through the respective travel offices of each department is required, no-fee passports must be approved by each department and not by the regular local passport agency. Passport agencies do not accept no-fee passport applications; they only manage applications for paid passport books and passport cards.
There are also several restrictions placed on overseas travel and the application process for no-fee passports. Eligible individuals may only travel internationally with the no-fee passports when they are in discharge of their official duties and responsibilities. No personal international travel of any kind may be done by eligible individuals with no-fee passports; a regular paid passport book will be required for any kind of personal travel that does not involve the discharge of official duties and responsibilities by the individual.
Only eligible individuals may hold both a regular paid passport and a no-fee passport due to the restriction in international travel between both passports. It is important to also consider that dependents of eligible individuals must always carry their own no-fee passports while accompanying their relatives who work for the federal government, dependents also have the restriction of using regular paid passports whenever they are traveling internationally for personal purposes, just like the main eligible individuals.
No-fee passports are usually sent to the organization from which the eligible individual works for. These special passports are usually sent directly to the organization, the organization reviews the application and hands in the passport to the eligible individual. No-fee passports are rarely sent directly to the individual since the final approval is directed to the organization that employs the individual; this same scenario applies to dependents.
Given that most eligible individuals submit an application directly with their respective travel office department, some other individuals may sometimes apply at an Acceptance Facility. These facilities require the eligible individual to pay an execution fee of $25.00. Passport fees and other charges are still completely waived.
No-fee passports are an excellent means of international travel to any kind of eligible individual who is discharging his duties overseas and thereby representing the respective department of the United States. It is also important to note that most trips done on no-fee passports are done in groups with other eligible citizens and organizations. The No-fee U.S. Passport is well received all over the world and has a visa-free access to almost all countries around the globe. Diplomatic and official representatives of the United States may travel internationally without any kind of visa or restriction, thereby facilitating the process of engaging in diplomatic duties, meetings and trade negotiations.