Instructions for first time applicants of a U.S. passport, fees and forms might be different depending the age of the applicant. Read the details in our instructions below.
Also, read about photo requirements for your passport application.
Passport application for children under 16 years old
If the passport applicant is less than 16 years old and it is the first time applying for a U.S. passport, both parents must accompany the child to the American Citizens Services (ACS) unit of the Embassy.
The parents must provide evidence of the child’s identity and U.S. citizenship. A certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate or the original of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen frequently constitutes sufficient evidence of a child’s citizenship. However, the interviewing consular officer may request additional evidence, particularly if the child has not been issued a U.S. passport previously. In such circumstances, useful evidence of citizenship or identity may include the pre- and post-natal medical records of the child’s mother, hospital certificates, infant and childhood medical and vaccination records, hospital bills, family pictures illustrating the child’s growth and development, and school transcripts, diplomas or certificates, preferably with pictures attached.
The parents of a child who has been issued a previous U.S. passport must bring their child’s most recent passport, unless it has been lost or stolen.
Passport application Form DS-11 is used to process these applications.
The form can be downloaded from the Department of State passport forms page.
The parents also must provide one recent color photograph of the child. (See Photo Requirements.)
If only one parent is living with the child applicant in El Salvador, that parent must provide the Embassy with the written, signed and notarized statement of the absent parent granting consent for the accompanying parent to apply for a renewed or replacement passport for the child. This statement must be in English.
If one parent is deceased, the surviving parent must present a certified copy of the deceased parent’s death certificate along with the other required documentation.
If one parent has sole legal custody of the child, the parent must provide a copy of the court decree granting sole custody.
If the parents are divorced but have joint or shared legal custody of the child, both parents must accompany the child to the Embassy or the applying parent must provide a written, signed and notarized statement from the absent parent granting consent for the accompanying parent to apply for passport for the child. This statement must be in English.
If the child was born out of wedlock, and the father is not listed on the child’s birth certificate, and the parents never married, the child’s mother must provide a written and signed statement that she never married the father of her child and that no legal determination of custody has been made. The Embassy provides Form DS-3053 on which the mother can make this statement under oath or affirmation.
In circumstances where only one parent has physical custody of the child and has lost contact totally with the absent parent, the applying parent must submit a statement to this effect under oath or affirmation. The Embassy provides Form DS-3053 on which this statement can be made.
When the child is living in El Salvador with a guardian other than a parent, and both parents are living outside the country, both parents must execute a signed and notarized power of attorney granting the guardian authorization to apply for a passport for the child. This power of attorney must be written and notarized in English. The guardian must present the original of this document when applying for the child’s passport.
Frequently as a child grows older it no longer resembles its photograph in a previous passport. This is particularly true when the previous passport was issued when the child was an infant. In circumstances such as this, the parents should bring as many photos of the child as possible to illustrate its physical development over the years since the issuance of the previous passport. All photos will be returned to the parents.
The interviewing consular officer may ask for additional documents or evidence to verify the child’s identity.
Passports issued to all children less than 16 years of age are valid for five years.
The fee for a passport for a child under 16 years of age is USD 105.
Passport application for adults (16 years or older)
U.S. citizens 16 years old or older who are applying for their first U.S. passport must provide proof of their U.S. citizenship. An original or certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate may satisfy this requirement. An original naturalization certificate also may satisfy this requirement. The interviewing consular officer may ask for additional proof of citizenship and may ask appropriate U.S. officials to verify the authenticity of the documents presented. Verification could take several days.
All applicants also must provide proof of their identity. Identity documents that include a photograph of the applicant are preferred.
Passport application form DS-11 is used to process these applications. The form can be downloaded from http://travel.state.gov/passport/forms/ds11/ds11_842.html. All applicants also must provide one recent color photograph that provide a full front view of the applicant’s face against a plain light background. (See Photo Requirements.)
Passport applicants born in El Salvador who are not naturalized United States citizens but instead are basing their claim to U.S. citizenship on the U.S. citizenship of a parent, should read the information concerning a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. Persons 18 years of age or older are not eligible to receive a Consular Report of Birth Abroad but, if they demonstrate a valid claim to U.S. citizenship, are eligible to receive a U.S. passport
Passports issued to persons 16 years of age or older are valid for ten years.
The fee is USD 135.